The Iowa Cubs took the field on Saturday night knowing they were already eliminated from playoff contention. The Omaha Storm Chasers walk-off win over Colorado Springs on Saturday afternoon ended Iowa’s post-season hopes for 2014.
Despite the elimination, 10,606 fans watched Dallas Beeler spin a gem of a game as the Iowa Cubs (72-70) shutout the Oklahoma City RedHawks 3-0 on Saturday night at Principal Park. The game featured two Iowa home runs and some fabulous defense displayed by both teams. With the win, Iowa is guaranteed at least a .500 record.
Beeler (9-6) picked up another quality start for Iowa, tossing seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and three walks while striking out four. In 20 starts for Iowa this season, Beeler had 15 quality starts. Beeler has tossed at least six innings in 17 straight outings and finishes the season with 13 straight scoreless innings over his last two starts.
Iowa got on the board in the fifth when Jonathan Mota hit a missile over the left field wall to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead. The home run, coming off RedHawks (74-68) starter Luis Cruz (1-2), was the third of the season for Mota in an Iowa uniform.
The Cubs added some insurance in the eighth. A one out single by Elliot Soto brought Ryan Kalish to the plate. Kalish crushed the first pitch from Richard Rodriguez over the right-center field wall for his seventh Iowa home run, giving the Cubs a 3-0 lead.
Armando Rivero took over for Beeler and tossed a scoreless eighth, giving way to Blake Parker to pitch the ninth. The first two batters reached base against Parker but he was able to wriggle out of the jam to pick up his PCL-best 25th save of the season. Parker’s save tied him with Jermaine Van Buren for the Iowa single-season record. Parker is already the Iowa franchise leader in career saves with 66.
Mota continued to be hot at the plate, going 2-for-2 with a home run. Mota has hit safely in eight of his last nine games, hitting .368 (14-for-38) over that stretch. Mota also turned in the defensive play of the night, robbing Max Stassi of what appeared a sure single in the third.
The Cubs and RedHawks play the third of a four-game series on Sunday afternoon at Principal Park.