Saturday night was not the best of nights for the Iowa Cubs. Not only did the Cubs lose the game and with it, a share of first place, but all-everything prospect Kris Bryant left the game with an injury.
Bryant, who is hitting .333 with a minor league-leading 40 home runs and 103 RBI, left Saturday night’s game at the end of the second inning. Bryant walked off the field and into the locker room with Iowa Cubs trainer Scott Barringer. Late reports indicate Bryant had x-rays of his left big toe taken and the results were inconclusive. Bryant will have an MRI on Sunday.
Meanwhile, on the field, the Salt Lake Bees (53-75) took a 5-3 victory over the Iowa Cubs (67-62). The loss by the Cubs combined with a come-from-behind win by the Omaha Storm Chasers, gives Omaha a one game lead over Iowa in the PCL American North division.
Iowa got on the board first, scoring two runs off former Iowa pitcher Chris Volstad (2-1) in the first inning. After Ryan Kalish led off the game with a single, back-to-back walks to Logan Watkins and Bryant loaded the bases with nobody out. An RBI force out by Jorge Soler and sacrifice fly from Mike Olt gave Iowa the quick two-run lead.
The Bees quickly tied the game in the second off Iowa starter Carlos Pimentel. Pimentel (3-9) allowed three singles and two walks, including a bases loaded walk to former Cubs outfielder Tony Campana, to even the score.
Salt Lake continued to cuff around Pimentel in the third. The big blow of the inning was a three-run home run from Roberto Lopez. Lopez’ 11th home run of the season proved to be the game-winner as Salt Lake took a 5-2 lead.
Iowa mounted a rally in the sixth. With two outs, back-to-back singles by Elliot Soto and Kalish put two runners on. Watkins promptly doubled off the right field wall to score Soto but Kalish was thrown out at home plate, ending the scoring threat, cutting the Bees lead to 5-3.
From there the Bees bullpen would shut down the Cubs offense, allowing just a single and a walk over the final three innings. David Carpenter pitched two scoreless innings and Michael Kohn recorded his seventh save of the season, retiring the Cubs in order in the ninth.
Soto went 3-for-4 with a run scored while Kalish and Soler had two hits each for Iowa.
Game two of the four-game series is Sunday afternoon at Principal Park.
NOTES: Reports out of Chicago indicate Matt Szczur will be joining the Cubs on Sunday in New York. Szczur, a fifth-round pick by the Cubs in 2010, has come on of late, hitting .315 in 31 games since the All-Star break. This will be Szczur’s first time on the major league roster.