Zac Rosscup contributed on the mound and at the plate and Matt Szczur hit his first home run of the season as the Iowa Cubs took a 6-3 decision over the Memphis Redbirds (6-5) at AutoZone Park on Sunday afternoon.
A four run seventh inning by Iowa (6-5) proved to be the difference on Sunday. Rosscup’s two-run single extended the slim 2-1 Iowa lead to 4-1. Szczur followed Rosscup with a blast to left field for his first triple-A home run, giving Iowa a 6-1 lead.
Memphis threatened in the ninth. Greg Garcia hit a two-run homer off Iowa reliever Neil Ramirez to cut the lead to 6-3. Jermaine Curtis followed Garcia with a double. After a walk to Joey Butler, Marcos Mateo came in to pitch for Iowa and coaxed Luis Mateo into a ground ball to first base to end the game. Mateo picked up his first save of the season.
Memphis began the scoring on an RBI single by Scott Moore in the first.
The I-Cubs would take a 2-1 lead in the sixth when Arismendy Alcantara doubled to left, scoring Luis Flores. Alcantara would later score on a sacrifice fly by Lars Anderson.
Alberto Cabrera (1-0) picked up the win in relief on Sunday, pitching three scoreless innings. Rosscup followed Cabrera with two scoreless innings for Iowa.
The final game on the series is Monday at AutoZone Park.
NOTES: Sunday saw a flurry of activity with players moving to and from the Iowa roster. Javier Baez was placed on the disabled list with a sprained ankle. Baez sustained the injury while fielding ground balls prior to Friday’s game in Memphis. Taking his spot on the roster is Edgar Gonzalez. Outfielder Jae-Hoon Ha was reassigned to the double-A Tennessee Smokies. Chris Rusin was optioned back to Iowa from Chicago after pitching in relief in St. Louis yesterday. Chicago recalled pitcher Blake Parker to take Rusin’s spot on the Cubs roster. Eduardo Figueroa joined Iowa from extended spring training in Arizona. Figueroa started for Iowa on Sunday, pitching two innings.