Erratic pitching proved too much for the Iowa Cubs to overcome on Wednesday afternoon, as the ball club dropped a 6-3 decision to the New Orleans Zephyrs after the pitching staff issued a season-high 10 walks.
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The loss fell on the shoulders of southpaw Hunter Cervenka, who allowed three runs on three hits and four walks in just 1 2/3 innings of work after coming on in relief of rehabbing left-hander Tsuyoshi Wada. The Japanese lefty pitched into the sixth, striking out five and allowing only two earned runs.
New Orleans (5-8) trailed heading into the seventh, but managed to hang a three-spot on the board that inning – erasing the three-run bottom of the sixth the I-Cubs’ offense had put together only moments earlier.
The Zephyrs pulled even when Cervenka uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Brady Shoemaker to score the first of the team’s three runs in the inning. That followed a pair of singles and a balk that moved runners to second and third.
Vinny Rottino singled to left, scoring the final two runs of the inning and pushing the New Orleans lead to 5-3. The visitors would add another run in the top of the ninth off Iowa reliever Joe Ortiz, when Rottino singled again, scoring Cole Gillespie.
Trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Iowa scratched across its first run when recently-demoted Arismendy Alcantara reached on an error, allowing John Andreoli to score. Jonathan Mota singled to right, scoring Alcantara later in the inning to tie things up 2-2. A Junior Lake double made it 3-2 Cubs, allowing Chris Valaika to come in for the third tally of the inning.
Lake added a pair of hits and an RBI in the loss for Iowa, raising his average on the year to .268. Mota, who is batting a robust .355 this season, also contributed two hits.
As for Cervenka, the southpaw has seen his fair share of struggles in his first two Triple-A outings, as his ERA has skyrocketed to 23.14.