Eric Jokisch was brilliant and the offense tied a season-high in runs scored and set a new season-high in hits as the Iowa Cubs (27-21) routed the Colorado Springs Sky Sox 12-3 on Monday afternoon at Principal Park. Iowa took the last three games of the four-game series and has won six of seven against the Sky Sox this season while improving its record in day games to 15-3.
Jokisch (4-4) had an outstanding day for Iowa, pitching a season-high 8.1 innings before giving way to Frank Batista. Jokisch retired 11 of the first 12 batters he faced before allowing a run to score in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Sky Sox third baseman Angelys Nina. Jokisch allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and one walk while striking out four and was never in any serious trouble all day. Jokisch also contributed on offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and 2 RBI.
The offense battered Sky Sox (23-27) pitching all day beginning with starter Pedro Hernandez (3-1). Matt Szczur led off the game with a single and advanced to second on a single by Arismendy Alcantara. Javier Baez followed with an RBI double to left, extending his hitting streak to 11 games. A sacrifice fly by Chris Valaika gave Iowa a 2-0 lead after an inning.
Iowa took a 3-0 lead in the third when Alcantara led off with his league-leading sixth triple of the season. Alcantara scored one batter later on a sacrifice fly by Baez.
Dan Houston took over for Hernandez in the fifth but it didn’t seem to bother the Iowa offense. Valaika started the scoring with an RBI single. Three batters later, Logan Watkins hit a bases loaded single to center scoring two more runs. Watkins is 4-for-5 with 9 RBI with the bases loaded this season. Jokisch came up with the bases loaded later in the inning and lined a two-run single to center, giving Iowa an 8-1 lead.
The offense continued to rough-up Sky Sox pitching, scoring four runs off Brooks Brown in the eighth inning. After Brown walked Jokisch to lead off the inning, back-to-back-to-back doubles by Szczur, Alcantara, and Baez along with an RBI single by Christian Villanueva put the game away, extending the lead to 12-1.
Jason Pridie blasted a two-run home run, his seventh, off Iowa reliever Frank Batista in the ninth to cut the lead to 12-3.
Alcantara went 4-for-4 with a triple, double, 2 RBI, and four runs scored. Valaika also added four hits and 2 RBI, while Baez was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI.
Iowa heads to Memphis to open up a five-game, four-day series against the Redbirds on Tuesday before heading to Nashville for four games against the Sounds.