Mike Olt had a big night at the plate and the offense posted a five-run sixth inning as the Iowa Cubs (61-74) defeated the Memphis Redbirds 8-5 on Saturday at Principal Park. The win coupled with a loss by the first place Omaha Storm Chasers cut the Omaha division lead to five over Iowa while Memphis (64-71) remains two games back with 10 to play.
The big inning for Iowa came in the sixth when they posted five runs. Tied at 3-3, Jae-Hoon Ha led off the inning for Iowa and was robbed of a sure double on a great play by Memphis third baseman Jermaine Curtis. Mike Olt followed by crushing a ball deep the right-center field for a double which chased Memphis starter Nick Greenwood (2-7) from the game. Deryk Hooker replaced Greenwood on the mound for Memphis and didn’t fare well. After a walk to Luis Flores, Tim Torres roped an RBI double to center, scoring Olt and sending Flores to third. Hooker then walked pinch-hitter Julio Borbon to load the bases with one out. After a Ty Wright sacrifice fly added another run, Dave Sappelt doubled to right, scoring Torres and sending Borbon to third. Brad Nelson would then clear the bases with a two-run double to deep right-center, giving Iowa an 8-3 lead.
Casey Coleman was uncharacteristically wild on Saturday, getting the start for Iowa. Coleman walked four batters and gave up five hits and three runs. Coleman was limited to five innings as he racked up a lot of pitches early.
The teams exchanged runs in the second. An RBI single by Memphis catcher Travis Tartamella was answered by an Olt solo home run, tying the game at 1-1.
Iowa would score single runs in the fourth and fifth before the big sixth inning decided the game.
Olt finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run, double, and 2 RBI. Sappelt, Nelson, and Torres each added two hits for Iowa.
Alberto Cabrera (1-3) picked up the win in relief for Iowa.
The final game of the five game series is Sunday at Principal Park.