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Iowa drops finale against Oklahoma City, Baez homers in Futures Game

Javier Baez passes Kris Bryant while rounding the bases
Javier Baez passes Kris Bryant while rounding the bases
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Preston Tucker had a big day at the plate and RedHawks (50-49) pitching held the Cubs offense in check, giving Oklahoma City a 5-2 victory over the Iowa Cubs (51-46) on Sunday at Principal Park. Iowa dropped a day game for only the fifth time but still owns a remarkable 26-5 record in day games this season.

Tucker was a one-man wrecking crew for the RedHawks on Sunday, going 4-for-4, blasting two home runs and two doubles against Iowa pitching. His first home run came off Iowa starter Tsuyoshi Wada in the second inning, giving the RedHawks a 1-0 lead.

Iowa plated two runs in the fourth with some help from Oklahoma City. Matt Szczur led off the inning and was hit by a pitch from RedHawks starter Michael Foltynewicz (7-6). Szczur advanced to second when Logan Watkins reached on a walk and went to third on a wild pitch by Foltynewicz. Chris Valaika brought in Szczur with a sacrifice fly to even the game at 1-1. Watkins gave the Cubs a 2-1 lead when he scored on a throwing error by Foltynewicz.

The RedHawks immediately took the lead back in the fifth when Jonathan Villar launched a two-run homer to left, his first of the season, giving Oklahoma City a 3-2 lead. The lead increased to 4-2 in the sixth on Tucker’s second home run of the day, leading off the inning.

Wada (9-6), coming off his first start with Chicago last week, pitched six innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out five.

Without Javier Baez and Kris Bryant who were in Minneapolis participating in the Futures Game and Arismendy Alcantara, who is taking Chicago by storm, Iowa’s offense managed just three singles on the afternoon. Kevin Chapman retired Iowa in order in the ninth to record his sixth save of the season.

Iowa sits 0.5 games behind the first place Omaha Storm Chasers in the PCL American North division going into the all-star break. After a few days off, Iowa returns to play on Thursday evening with a four-game series against the Round Rock Express at Dell Diamond.

NOTES: Javier Baez and Kris Bryant participated in the Futures Game in Minneapolis on Sunday. Baez didn’t start but came in to play shortstop in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the sixth, Baez blasted the first pitch he saw from Lucas Giolito over the right field wall for a two-run homer. Baez became the third Iowa Cubs player to homer in the Futures Game with Jae-Hoon Ha (2012) and Arismendy Alcantara (2013) accomplishing the feat the previous two years. Bryant played third for the US team and was
0-for-3 with a walk.