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Alcantara comes up big in Iowa victory

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Arismendy Alcantara’s two-out, three-run eighth inning homer turned an 8-6 deficit into a 9-8 lead as the Iowa Cubs (22-18) defeated the Round Rock Express (21-21) in a back-and-forth affair on Sunday afternoon at Principal Park.

Iowa fell behind quickly on Sunday. Iowa starter Tsuyoshi Wada surrendered a two-run homer to former Iowa Cubs player Brad Snyder, giving the Express a 2-0 lead after one inning. Brent Lillibridge, another former I-Cubs player, added a solo homer in the second, extending the Round Rock lead to 3-0.

Wada had his worst outing this season, surrendering six runs on ten hits and three walks while striking out five. Wada saw his ERA go from a league-leading 1.22 to 2.10.

Iowa tied the game with a three-run third. Logan Watkins RBI double was followed by an RBI groundout by Alcantara and a sacrifice fly by Javier Baez to knot the game at 3-3.

Down 4-3 in the fifth, Express outfielder Jared Hoying delivered a two-run single allowing the Express to re-take the lead 5-4. Hoying’s single was the first time this season that Wada has given up a run on anything other than a home run.

The Express would add to its lead with sacrifice flies by Adam Rosales and Kensuke Tanaka. Ryan Strausborger then scored on a balk by Marcus Hatley (1-0) extending the lead to 8-5.

Christian Villanueva led off the bottom of the eighth inning, blasting his second home run of the season, off Neftali Feliz (1-1), cutting the lead to 8-5 and setting the stage for Alcantara’s three-run shot later in the inning.

Blake Parker continued to be impressive retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth, picking up his eighth save of the season for Iowa.

Watkins extended his hit-streak to nine games while Baez, Villanueva, and Chris Valaika picked up two hits each for Iowa.

NOTES: Lars Anderson was placed on the disabled list after experiencing some dizzy spells. The current active roster stands at 23.

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