Nate Freiman belted a grand slam, turning a two-run deficit into a two-run advantage, leading the Sacramento River Cats (39-29) to a 7-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs (33-32) on Friday night at Raley Field. The loss was the fourth in a row for Iowa, tying a season-high.
The decisive seventh inning began with Iowa starter Dallas Beeler giving up three straight singles to load the bases for Sacramento. Beeler was then able to record two outs in a row at home plate on force plays on ground balls. With the bases loaded and two out Beeler walked Daric Barton, forcing in a run and cutting the Iowa lead to 5-3. Carlos Pimentel came in to pitch for Iowa and was greeted by Freiman’s grand slam on a 3-2 pitch, giving Sacramento a 7-5 lead. It was a short night for Pimentel who was ejected from the game after hitting Shane Peterson with the first pitch after the Freiman grand slam. Iowa manager Marty Pevey was also ejected.
Iowa managed to take a lead after a four-run fifth inning which saw the team record only one hit. Iowa loaded the bases after Christian Villanueva was hit by a pitch followed by walks to Brett Jackson and Matt Szczur. One batter later, Ryan Kalish drilled a three-run triple to right, giving Iowa a 4-2 lead. Javier Baez followed with a sacrifice fly, extending the lead to 5-2.
Iowa managed only three hits on the evening despite scoring five runs with Kalish, Jackson, and Arismendy Alcantara each picking up a hit.
Beeler (3-3) picked up the loss for Iowa, giving up six runs on eight hits while walking two and striking out six in 6.2 innings.
Paul Smyth (1-1) recorded the win for the River Cats, pitching a scoreless seventh inning,