Thursday night in Des Moines, the Iowa Cubs (65-75) completed a four-game sweep of the first place Omaha Storm Chasers (67-73), taking a 4-2 victory behind another solid pitching performance. Iowa has gained four games on the first place Storm Chasers in the last four days and now trail by two games with four to play. Also on Thursday, the Memphis Redbirds defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs and are tied with the Storm Chasers for the division lead.
Casey Coleman took the mound in the latest “must win” game for Iowa. Coleman (5-3) scattered five hits while walking three and striking out three over six innings. Coleman was unscored upon until the seventh when newly signed Carlos Pena took a 2-1 pitch over the left field wall for a two-run homer for Omaha, which chased Coleman from the game.
From there, Alberto Cabrera, Marcos Mateo, and Eduardo Sanchez each pitched a scoreless inning for Iowa. Sanchez picked up his third save of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth.
Iowa wasted no time scoring, piling up five hits in the first inning off Omaha starter Yordano Ventura (5-4). After Julio Borbon led off with a single, Dave Sappelt doubled to center, scoring Borbon. Sappelt would score two batters later on a single up the middle by Edgar Gonzalez, giving Iowa a 2-0 lead.
Iowa would add to its lead in the sixth. Brad Nelson, Gonzalez, and Ty Wright all singled to load the bases with no outs. Consecutive sacrifice flies by Edwin Maysonet and Mike Olt gave Iowa a 4-0 lead.
Gonzalez, Wright, and Maysonet had two hits each for Iowa.
Iowa now heads to Nashville to play the Sounds in a four-game series to end the regular season while Memphis visits Oklahoma City and Omaha plays host to the Round Rock Express.