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Kyle Hendricks pitches Iowa to victory over Round Rock

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Kyle Hendricks pitched six strong innings and Matt Szczur went 3-for-4 as the Iowa Cubs (9-9) defeated Scott Baker and the Round Rock Express 5-1 on wind-blown Monday night at Principal Park.

Hendricks (3-1) allowed only two hits and two walks while striking out six on 89 pitches in his six innings pitched. It was the third quality start out of four starts for Hendricks on the season. Hendricks has now pitched 11 straight scoreless innings.

Baker (3-1), formerly of the Chicago Cubs, suffered his first defeat of the season, pitching seven innings and giving up two runs on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts.

Arismendy Alcantara put the I-Cubs on the board first with his first triple-A home run off Baker in the fourth. Alcantara lined the 2-2 pitch just over the left field wall. Coming in to Monday’s game, Alcantara led Iowa in hits, doubles, triples, and total bases and his home run broke an 18 inning scoreless streak by the Iowa offense.

Szczur extended the led to 2-0 in the fifth on a single to center, scoring Logan Watkins who reached base via walk and stole second. Iowa swiped five bases on the night and leads the PCL in steals.

Iowa posted some insurance runs in the eighth. Szczur led off with a bunt single to third, his third hit of the night. Alcantara followed with a single, sending Szczur to third. The I-Cubs pulled off a double steal with Szczur stealing home and Alcantara stealing second and advancing to third on a throwing error by Express catcher Brett Nicholas, extending the lead to 3-0.

Cubs fans everywhere then held their breath as Javier Baez was hit in the hand with a pitch. Baez, top prospect in the Cubs organization according to Baseball America, would take first base and finished the game at shortstop. An RBI groundout by Josh Vitters gave Iowa a 4-0 lead and Chris Coghlan finished the scoring with an RBI single to left, giving Iowa a 5-0 lead.

Brian Schlitter pitched the final two innings, giving up a run and picking up his third save of the season.

The final game of the series and homestand is Tuesday afternoon at Principal Park.

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