For the second straight night Javier Baez and Kris Bryant both homered, backing a strong pitching performance by Tsuyoshi Wada as the Iowa Cubs (53-46) took a 4-1 victory over the Round Rock Express (48-49) on Friday night at Dell Diamond. With the victory, Iowa sits atop the PCL American North division, leading the Omaha Storm Chasers by 1.5 games.
Baez and Bryant homered on the same night for the second game in a row and the fourth time overall in the 26 games they have played as teammates for Iowa. Bryant went first on Friday, drilling a two-run home run in the third off Round Rock starter Jerome Williams (0-1). The Bryant blast scored Baez who had singled and gave Iowa a 3-1 lead. In 26 games with Iowa, Bryant is batting .344 with 11 HR and 26 RBI.
Baez came up in the fifth and connected for his 16th home run of the season, widening the Cubs lead to 4-1. Baez, in his second game at second base, went 2-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. The 12-game streak is the second best by an Iowa Cub this season, trailing a 13-game hit streak by Arismendy Alcantara. Baez has a career best hitting streak of 16 games, accomplished with the Peoria Chiefs in 2012.
Wada pitched another strong game for Iowa. Wada (10-6) allowed only one run on three hits and one walk while striking out 10 Express batters over six innings. With the 10 strikeouts, Wada took over the PCL lead in strikeouts with 120. Wada also tied teammate Kyle Hendricks and Nashville starter Jimmy Nelson for the league lead in victories and sits third in the league in ERA with a 2.77.
After Alberto Cabrera pitched two scoreless innings in relief for Iowa, Blake Parker came on to pitch the ninth and struck out the side to pick up the save. Parker leads the PCL in saves with 19.
Game three of the series is Saturday night at Dell Diamond.
NOTES: Reports out of Chicago indicate Kyle Hendricks will get his second start with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday in Chicago. Hendricks made his debut with Chicago on July 10, picking up a no-decision against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cubs will need another starter on Wednesday and Wada could likely get the call there.