Josh Satin’s double to right-center field in the ninth inning scored the go ahead run and Gonzalez Germen wriggled out of a jam in the bottom of the inning as the Las Vegas 51s (70-55) defeated the Iowa Cubs 6-5 in the first game of a four-game series. Despite the loss, Iowa maintains a one-game lead over the Omaha Storm Chasers for first place in the PCL American North division.
Germen came in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth. After retiring the first two batters, Kris Bryant singled to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Mike Olt reached via walk to put two runners on base. Germen then faced Brett Jackson and struck him out looking on a 3-2 pitch to end the threat. Germen recorded his fifth save for Las Vegas.
Down 2-0 in the second, Iowa (66-59) would tie the game. Cubs’ starter Felix Doubront, on a rehab assignment, was hit in the foot by a pitch with one out. Matt Szczur singled and Logan Watkins’ ground out advanced the runners to second and third with two outs. Back-to-back RBI singles by Bryant and Olt tied the game at two.
Iowa took a 3-2 lead in the third on a sacrifice fly from Elliot Soto, scoring Rafael Lopez.
The 51s scored single runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings including a long home run by center fielder Corey Vaughn. For Vaughn, son of former major leaguer Greg Vaughn, it was his fourth home run of the season.
Iowa went into the eighth down 5-3 but would tie the game. Bryant led off the inning, belting his 17th home run in an Iowa uniform. Bryant leads the PCL in home runs since joining the league on June 19. Combined with his numbers from double-A Tennessee, Bryant has 39 home runs and 100 RBI in his first full professional season and is clearly the front-runner for minor league player of the year honors.
Ryan Kalish tied the game later in the eighth on an RBI single scoring Jackson.
Marcus Hatley (2-6) picked up the loss for Iowa, giving up a run on three hits and a walk in the ninth.
Bryant went 3-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI while Lopez added two hits for Iowa.
Chase Bradford (3-1) picked up the victory for the 51s despite giving up two runs on four hits in one inning.
NOTES: Felix Doubrant began his rehab assignment from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, pitching four innings. Dubront allowed three runs on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Jonathan Mota was also activated from the disabled list on Monday. In corresponding moves, Dae-Eun Rhee was placed on the disabled list and Yoanner Negrin was transferred to the single-A Boise roster.