For the second night in a row, the lead in the PCL American North division changed hands. Eric Jokisch was outstanding on Monday, leading the Iowa Cubs (62-56) to a 6-0 shutout victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers (60-55). With the win, Iowa reclaimed the division lead by .5 games over Omaha.
Jokisch (8-8) was in control all night, limiting the Strom Chasers to five singles over eight innings. Jokisch didn’t walk a batter and struck out seven Omaha batters. Omaha’s best chance to score was in the sixth. Pedro Ciriaco and Brian Bocock opened the inning with back-to-back singles. After Jokisch struck out Paul Janish, Whit Merrifield flared a ball to left-center that Cubs shortstop Elliot Soto made an outstanding over the shoulder catch on. Jokisch then retired Johnny Giavotella to end the only threat of the night. In 22 starts this season, Jokisch has 13 quality starts.
Iowa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first off Omaha starter John Lamb (6-9). After a Logan Watkins single and a Kris Bryant walk, Mike Olt roped a two-run double to left-center field for the first runs of the game. The double extended Olt’s hitting streak to nine games.
The Cubs scored three more runs in the fifth. With Matt Szczur and Logan Watkins on base, Bryant smoked a two-run double to left, giving Iowa a 4-0 lead. Bryant came around to score on two wild pitches by Lamb, extending the lead to 5-0.
Szczur extended his season-high hit streak to nine games with a fifth inning single to center. Bryant and Olt had two hits each for Iowa in the victory.
Iowa set a season-high in stolen bases in a game with six. Watkins, Bryant, and Szczur had two steals each. Szczur leads the team with 25 steals.
Iowa holds an 8-7 lead in the season series with Omaha with one game left to play. The final game of the four-game series is Tuesday afternoon at Werner Park.