Josh Vitters walk-off single in the tenth lifted the Iowa Cubs (44-38) to a 7-6 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers (44-39) in one of the more exciting games in recent memory at Principal Park. The game featured the home debut of Manny Ramirez and another impressive night from Kris Bryant. The win put Iowa back in front in the PCL American North division, .5 games ahead of both Omaha and Round Rock.
6,746 fans waited out a 35 minute rain delay and were treated to a fun ballgame. Vitters lined a bases loaded 1-2 pitch off Storm Chasers reliever Wilking Rodriguez (0-1) to right field. The single scored Javier Baez with the winning run in what was a back and forth game.
The game went into extra innings thanks, in part, to Bryant. Bryant blasted a grand slam in the eighth inning to turn a 5-2 deficit into a 6-5 lead. Iowa was helped out by a wild streak by the Storm Chasers pitching staff. Rafael Lopez, Arismendy Alcantara, and Baez all reached base via base on balls leading to the Bryant grand slam. In 11 games with Iowa, Bryant is batting .333 with 6 HR and 15 RBI. Combined with his numbers from Tennessee, Bryant has 28 HR and 73 RBI in 79 games played this season.
Ramirez home debut was an unqualified success. Ramirez crushed a 1-0 pitch from Storm Chasers starter Sugar Ray Marimon over the center field wall for a two-run homer in the seventh, sending the crowd to its feet as chants of “Manny” rang out in the ballpark. Ramirez finished the night 3-for-4 with two singles, a homer, and 2 RBI, before being lifted for a pinch-runner in the eighth.
Alcantara, fresh off PCL Player of the Week honors, went 1-for-4 with a walk, extending his season-high hitting streak to nine games. Alcantara has also reached base safely in 24 of his last 25 games for Iowa.
Marcus Hatley (2-1) picked up the win for Iowa, tossing a scoreless tenth inning.
The two teams play a split-doubleheader on Tuesday, making up a game that was rained out earlier in the season. Both games will be seven inning contests.