Coming off a three home run night on Thursday, the offense blasted four home runs on Friday as the Iowa Cubs (61-54) cruised to a 9-2 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs (56-58) at Zephyr Field. Iowa won the last four games of the series with New Orleans after dropping the series opener. With the win, Iowa evened its road record at 27-27.
Iowa took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Leading off the second, Kris Bryant was hit by a pitch from New Orleans starter Andrew Heaney. Three batters later, Josh Vitters launched his tenth home run of the season to give Iowa the lead.
In the third, Heaney (4-3) gave up a single to Javier Baez and Bryant reached on an error. Jorge Soler stepped up to the plate and blasted a 2-2 pitch deep over the left field wall for his third home run in 10 games with Iowa, giving the Cubs a 5-0 lead.
Carlos Pimentel (3-7) got the start for Iowa and picked up his fourth quality start of the season. Pimentel allowed one run on four hits and one walk with four strikeouts over six innings in picking up the victory.
After Eli Whiteside added a solo home run in the sixth inning, his fifth, Bryant added his 14th home run in the ninth, to give Iowa a 9-1 lead. Bryant has 36 home runs combined between Iowa and double-A Tennessee, trailing Joey Gallo (37) of double-A Frisco for the minor league lead by one.
Kyuji Fujikawa pitched another scoreless inning in relief for the Cubs. Fujikawa, on a rehab assignment from Chicago, is coming back from Tommy John surgery. Fujikawa has six relief appearances with Iowa and hasn’t allowed a run since his first outing on July 21.
Iowa opens up a big four game series with the Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday night at Werner Park in Omaha. Iowa currently sits atop the PCL American North division, 1.5 games ahead of second place Omaha.