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I-Cubs come up short against Redbirds

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Eric Jokisch struggled in his second start of the season as the Memphis Redbirds (6-3) defeated the Iowa Cubs 8-5 on Friday night at Auto Zone Park.

Iowa (4-5) scored first in the game, plating two runs on the third inning. Matt Szczur’s RBI single, scoring Luis Flores, gave Iowa a 1-0 lead. Arismendy Alcantara would follow with another RBI single, scoring Szczur and extending the lead to 2-0.

Memphis quickly responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the third, taking a 3-2 lead. Memphis would extend the lead to 5-2 in the fourth on a two-run home run by Memphis catcher Ed Easley, his first of the season.

Down 6-2 in the sixth, I-Cubs first baseman Chris Valaika launched his first home run of the season, a three-run shot, to cut the lead to 6-5.

Memphis would add single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to complete the 8-5 victory.

Jokisch (0-1) went five-plus innings, giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and striking out two.

Valaika had two hits and three RBI for Iowa while Szczur, Alcantara, Josh Vitters, and Flores added one hit each.

Game two of the series is Saturday night at Auto Zone Park.

NOTES: Left-handed reliever Jonathan Sanchez was placed on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis on Friday. Taking his place on the roster will be outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha. Ha is coming off wrist surgery and had been in extended spring training in Arizona.

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