Iowa Cubs salvage series finale against Oklahoma City Dodgers


9. 3. 71. Final. 4

Iowa fends off sweep; earns first home win

After coming within one strike of having a perfect game thrown against them in the opener of Monday’s twin bill, the offense notched four runs to salvage the finale of the four-game set against the Oklahoma City Dodgers by a 4-3 final.

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Outfielder Junior Lake drove home the winning run in the bottom of the ninth after left-hander James Russell turned in two perfect innings of relief work in the eighth and the top of the ninth to keep the game tied 3-3.

Iowa (5-6) ended its scoreless streak at the plate early on, scoring its first run since Opening Night (a span of 15 1/3 innings) in the bottom of the first when Addison Russell drove in a run with an RBI double against Oklahoma City starter Rudy Owens.

Owens allowed two runs on two hits in four innings of work on Monday, but was slightly outdeueled by Cubs right-hander Yoanner Negrin, who allowed a pair of tallies in five innings pitched. The righty struck out four and the two hits he allowed both left the ballpark.

The first came in the top of the second, when Kyle Jensen hit a solo shot to center field, tying the game at one apiece. Buck Britton led off the top of the fourth with his second home run of the season, propelling the Dodgers ahead of Iowa, 2-1.

Trailing and seemingly headed to their fourth-straight home loss, Iowa was once again saved by Russell, who tied things up with a double to left. After struggling in the team’s first three games at Principal Park, Monday’s finale was a breakout contest for the young infielder, who went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

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Taylor Davis gave Iowa the lead back with a solo blast in the sixth, but Oklahoma City (9-3) answered back with a homer of their own in the next half-inning, setting up the eventual game-winning sac fly by Lake in the ninth.

Iowa struck out 10 times in the contest, but also drew six walks.

What Stood Out:

Addison Russell had been dismal in the series to this point, so seeing him drive in two runs and come through with a pair of clutch base hits is promising, to say the least. With fans and media speculating that he could be promoted sooner rather than later, him breaking cold spells at the dish before they become full-blown slumps is a major plus.

What’s Next:

Iowa (5-6) will welcome New Orleans (3-7) to Des Moines Tuesday night for a series opener. First pitch is slated for 6:38 p.m. CT.

Right hander Donn Roach (0-0, 3.18) will make his third start on the year, and second of the season against the Zephyrs. He will be opposed Zephyrs’ right-hander Jake Esch (0-0, 5.40).

Next: Iowa Cubs on the wrong end of near-perfect game