The futility at home for the Iowa Cubs continued on Tuesday. Iowa (67-65) closed out a miserable home stand with a 4-2 loss to the Salt Lake Bees (56-75) before 7,107 fans. The Cubs completed the home stand with a 1-7 record and have dropped three consecutive series at home. The sweep by the Bees was its’ first since sweeping Iowa in Salt Lake last season. Iowa has dropped 12 of the last 13 games played at home and continue to slide down the standings in the PCL American North division. Iowa currently sits in third place, 3.5 games behind the first-place Omaha Storm Chasers and 1.5 games behind Oklahoma City.
The game promised to be close pitting veteran starter Randy Wolf for Salt Lake against Dallas Beeler for Iowa. Iowa put the first runs on the board, going up 2-0 in the fourth. Mike Olt’s two-out single to left extended the inning, bringing up Manny Ramirez. Ramirez worked a great at-bat, fouling off some difficult pitches after falling behind 1-2 in the count. Ramirez was able to work a full count before blasting a long two-run home run to left-center field , his third, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to give the Cubs the lead. Ramirez homered once before against Wolf, back on June 8, 2001, when Ramirez was a member of the Boston Red Sox and Wolf pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Bees cut the lead to 2-1 in the sixth without the benefit of a hit. Beeler walked Shawn O’Malley with one out. O’Malley went to second base on a balk by Beeler and advanced to third when Beeler uncorked a wild pitch. J.B. Shuck brought O’Malley home with a sacrifice fly for the Bees run.
Salt Lake took a 3-2 lead in the seventh. C.J. Cron and Ryan Wheeler opened the inning with back-to-back singles to put runners on first and third. John Buck picked up an RBI on a groundout to short to tie the game, sending Wheeler to second. Vance Albitz then singled to score Wheeler to put the Bees in front.
From there the Salt Lake bullpen held Iowa down, allowing only two hits over the final 3.1 innings to close out the game. Cam Bedrosian picked up his second save of the season and the series to give David Carpenter (2-1) the victory after coming in for Wolf.
The Bees added an insurance run in the ninth when Cron belted his seventh home run of the year, coming on the first pitch from Blake Parker, to give Salt Lake a 4-2 lead.
Beeler was the tough-luck loser for Iowa despite picking up his 13th quality start of the season. Beeler (8-6) allowed three runs on only five hits and one walk with one strikeout over seven innings.
In his second game since being optioned to Iowa, Junior Lake had a big game, going 4-for-5 with four singles. Kris Bryant returned to the starting lineup, showing no ill-effects of his foot injury, and had a double and walk in four plate appearances.
Iowa opens up a four-game series with the Reno Aces on Wednesday at Aces Ballpark.
NOTES: Mike Olt left Tuesday’s game in the eighth inning with what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Olt charged in from first base after Bees shortstop Shawn O’Malley popped up a bunt. Olt caught the ball but immediately grabbed the back of his left leg and had to leave the game. No update on Olt’s condition has been released.