Oklahoma City (49-49) scored early and held on late as the RedHawks snuffed out a seventh inning rally in a 2-1 victory over the Iowa Cubs (51-45) in the second game of a split doubleheader. Iowa took game one of the twin bill with a walk-off 6-5 win on Saturday afternoon. Both games were seven inning games.
Iowa’s offense was finally able to break through against RedHawks starter Rudy Owens (5-4) in the seventh. Lars Anderson led off the seventh with a double to left. After Owens struck out Brett Jackson, RedHawks manager Tony DeFrancesco summoned Jorge De Leon from the bullpen. De Leon was greeted with a hard single to left by Matt Szczur sending Anderson to third. After Szczur stole second base, Logan Watkins picked up an RBI on a groundout to first base, sending Szczur to third with the tying run. That was as close as Iowa would get. De Leon coaxed Chris Valaika to ground out to shortstop to end the game. De Leon picked up his first save of the season and secured the victory for Owens.
Iowa starter Yoanner Negrin was the tough-luck loser for Iowa. Negrin (0-2) was called upon to make his first start of the season due to the shuffling of the Chicago Cubs pitching staff after Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel were traded to Oakland. Chris Rusin, Tsuyoshi Wada, Kyle Hendricks, and Dallas Beeler, 80 percent of the Iowa starting rotation, spent time on the Chicago roster this week. Negrin picked up a quality start in the loss, tossing six innings, giving up two runs on five hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
The RedHawks scored single runs in the first two innings. Marc Krauss picked up and RBI single when he belted a ball high off the wall in right field scoring Austin Wates. Oklahoma City scored its only other run in the second when Joe Sclafani scored on a passed ball by Iowa catcher Rafael Lopez.
Watkins picked up two hits for Iowa in the nightcap.
The final game of the four-game series and final game before the All-Star break is set for Sunday afternoon at Principal Park.
NOTES: The Iowa offense was without its bangers on Saturday. Javier Baez and Kris Bryant were not active for Saturday’s game. Baez and Bryant will both be playing in the Futures Game on Sunday at Target Field in Minneapolis. The lineups were announced on Saturday night with Kris Bryant starting at third and batting cleanup for the U.S. team. Baez is not in the starting lineup for the World team.