A Labor Day crowd of 9,069 watched the Iowa Cubs close out the 2014 season with an 11-1 pasting of the Oklahoma City RedHawks on Monday at Principal Park. The Cubs finished with a five-game win streak and a 74-70 record, 2.5 games behind the PCL American North division champion Omaha Storm Chasers.
Cubs starter Dae-Eun Rhee was gifted plenty of run support but didn’t need it, picking up his fourth quality start out of eight total starts with Iowa. Rhee (3-2) allowed only one runner as far as third base over seven shutout innings. Rhee scattered six hits and walked one while tying a career-high with 11 strikeouts in earning his third victory of the season.
Iowa scored early and often against RedHawks starter Alex White. First inning singles by Ryan Kalish and Kris Bryant put runners at first and second with one out. Junior Lake’s grounder to RedHawks shortstop Jio Mier was misplayed for Mier’s first of three errors on the day, loading the bases. White walked Andrew Ely with the bases loaded to give Iowa a 1-0 lead. David Bote followed Ely with a two-run single to center, giving Iowa a 3-0 lead.
The Cubs plated two more in the second. Jonathan Mota and Kalish opened with back-to-back singles. Bryant drove in a run on a fielder’s choice error by Mier. After Lake reached via base on balls, Eli Whiteside blooped an RBI single to right, giving Iowa a 5-0 lead.
Iowa posted five more runs in the third, sending ten batters to the plate. Kalish and Whiteside each had two-run doubles and Mota added a sacrifice fly to give the Cubs a double-digit 10-0 lead.
Ely and Jae-Hoon Ha both singled in the eighth. The third error of the game for Mier loaded the bases and Ely would score on a passed ball by RedHawks catcher Max Stassi for an 11-0 Cubs lead.
Kalish went 4-for-5 with 2 RBI and finished the season with a flourish, going 8-for-14 with two home runs and 8 RBI in his last three games. Whiteside finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and 3 RBI and Elliot Soto also added three hits including a double.
NOTES: Blake Parker was recalled by the Chicago Cubs prior to the game on Monday. Parker became the first Iowa Cubs pitcher to lead the PCL in saves during a season with 25. With Iowa’s season over and the major league rosters expanded, more Iowa players will surely join Chicago in the coming days.