The Iowa Cubs (10-9) posted season highs in runs and hits and Eric Jokisch earned his first triple-A victory as Iowa wrapped up an eight-game homestand with a 10-3 victory over the Round Rock Express (10-9) on Tuesday afternoon at Principal Park. With the victory, Iowa finished the homestand with a 4-4 record.
Iowa scored early and the struggling offense came to life against Express starter Michael Kirkman and reliever Scott Richmond. Iowa took a quick 1-0 lead in the first when Arsimendy Alcantara hit his second home run in as many days over the right field wall. The play was originally ruled a double but after a conference by the umpires, the call was changed to a home run. Alcantara is the first I-Cubs player to hit home runs in back-to-back games this season. Alcantara, a switch hitter, now has a homer from each side of the plate.
Kirkman (0-2) gave up four runs in the third inning, which would be his last. Walks to Luis Flores and Chris Coghlan set the table for Alcantara who doubled to left scoring Flores. Javier Baez followed by drilling a triple down the left field line, driving in two runs. Baez would score two batters later on an RBI double by Chris Valaika, extending the Iowa lead to 5-0.
Richmond didn’t fare any better for Round Rock. Iowa posted two more runs in the fourth. Flores singled to left, scoring Logan Watkins. Watkins had doubled, extending his hit streak to nine games. Later in the inning, Baez singled, scoring Flores and giving Iowa a 7-0 lead.
Iowa scored three more runs in the fifth off Richmond. Flores second RBI single of the day scored Valaika who led off the inning with a walk. Coghlan followed with a two-run double to right and the rout was on.
Jokisch (1-1) was impressive, scattering seven hits and allowing three runs over seven innings with no walks and eight strikeouts. Through four starts this season, Jokisch has pitched 24.2 innings and has shown pinpoint control, walking only three batters.
Coghlan had a busy day on Tuesday. Coghlan finished 1-for-1 with a double and 2 RBI. Coghlan had four walks, the first I-Cubs player to walk four times in a game since Watkins accomplished the feat in April of 2013. Coghlan also made a stellar defensive play in the sixth, when he tumbled over the bullpen mound and caught a foul ball off the bat of Adam Rosales.
Valaika went 3-for-3 with an RBI double and a walk. Alcantara, Baez, and Flores added two hits each for Iowa.
Iowa has Wednesday off before beginning a four-game series on Thursday against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at Security Service Field in Colorado Springs.