Taylor Teagarden leads Iowa Cubs to win over Zephyrs


It wasn’t that long ago that the catcher position was considered a spot of weakness for the Chicago Cubs organization. This winter, the front office shored up, adding several names, including big league veteran Taylor Teagarden to the ranks to provide depth behind the plate.

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On Tuesday night, in just his second game with the Iowa Cubs, Teagarden brought much-needed life to the offense, sparking the bats in a 6-4 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs on a windy night at Principal Park in Des Moines.

Iowa (6-6) tallied three runs in the bottom of the eighth, which, at the time, seemed like insurance – but would ultimately prove to be necessary as New Orleans scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to pull within 6-4, making things interesting for the home faithful.

In his first game back with Triple-A Iowa, outfielder Matt Szczur put together a nice night at the plate, going 3-for-4 out of the two hole in the Cubs lineup. Shortstop Chris Valaika also added three hits, raising his average on the young season to .244. In all, Iowa tallied 13 hits, but also struck out 13 times while walking just once.

New Orleans (4-8) opened the scoring in the top of the second on an RBI single by Jhonatan Solano, but that would prove to be the only tally the Zephyrs would manage against Iowa right-hander Donn Roach.

Roach (1-0, 2.60) finally earned his first win of the season in his third outing, tossing six innings of one-run ball. The right-hander struck out three and walked two before turning things over to the Iowa pen, which struggled again.

Armando Rivero came on to pitch the seventh, and allowed one run in the inning after walking a pair of batters. Blake Cooper fared little better in his two innings of work, allowing a pair of ninth-inning tallies. Despite allowing our hits and issuing two walks on Tuesday, Cooper did notch four strikeouts.

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Teagarden’s blast came in the bottom of the fourth against Jake Esch, and it broke a 1-1 tie, pushing Iowa ahead by two. However, an RBI groundout by Cole Gillespie of New Orleans in the seventh made it a one-run game before Iowa again answered back in the bottom of the eighth when Junior Lake singled to make it 6-4 Cubs.

What Stood Out:

Roach has been very effective since a less-than-stellar season debut back on April 9 on the road in Memphis when he served up four runs in just 5 1/3 innings of work. In two starts since then, the righty has allowed just one earned run in 12 innings of work – and the Las Vegas native could become a name to keep an eye on moving forward should he continue his string of strong starts.

What’s Next:

Iowa (6-6) and New Orleans (4-8) continue their series on Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park. The two teams will play in Des Moines through the end of the week before the Cubs head to Colorado for a four-game stint against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

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