Kris Bryant and Javier Baez homered while Dallas Beeler twirled seven strong innings, leading the Iowa Cubs (52-46) to a 7-0 whitewashing of the Round Rock Express (48-48) on Thursday night at Dell Diamond. With the win, Iowa takes a 7-6 edge on Round Rock in the season series.
Beeler (6-3) was making his first start back with Iowa after pitching for the Cubs in Cincinnati on July 9. Beeler kept Round Rock hitters off balance all night, allowing only one base runner to reach second base. In seven innings, Beeler allowed only three hits and two walks while striking out four and inducing three double play ground balls.
Offensively, Iowa pounded out 15 hits on the night including six for extra bases. Bryant got the scoring started for Iowa when he blasted an 0-1 pitch from Express starter Robbie Ross Jr. (1-3) over the right-center field wall for his tenth home run in an Iowa uniform. Bryant now has 32 home runs combined between Iowa and double-A Tennessee, breaking a tie with Joey Gallo of double-A Frisco for the most home runs in all of minor league baseball. Bryant finished 3-for-5 with a double and home run.
Baez put Iowa ahead 2-0 in the fourth when he pulverized a 3-2 pitch from Ross deep over the center field wall for his team-leading 15th home run of the season. Baez added an RBI double in the seventh and an RBI sacrifice fly in the ninth to give him 58 RBI on the season, also a team-best. In his first career start at second base, Baez was in the middle of three double plays and handled every ball hit in his direction flawlessly.
Brett Jackson also had a good night for Iowa. Jackson collected two hits, including his fourth triple of the season, scored two runs, and had 2 RBI. Matt Szczur added three hits in Iowa’s win.
Marcus Hately and Armando Rivero each pitched a scoreless inning in relief of Beeler.
Tsutoshi Wada (9-6) gets the start for Iowa on Friday night at Dell Diamond in game two of the series against Round Rock.
NOTES: With Baez and Bryant coming off the inactive list, Iowa sent Jonathan Mota back to the double-A Tennessee Smokies and Dae-Eun Rhee was placed on the disabled list with a left calf strain.