The offense posted big innings early and late while Eric Jokisch recorded another quality start as the Iowa Cubs (65-58) blasted the Oklahoma City RedHawks 10-2 on Sunday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Iowa holds a slim .5 game lead over the Omaha Storm Chasers in the PCL American North division, pending the outcome of Omaha’s game on Sunday.
Five of the first six batters reached base as Iowa plated four runs in the first inning off RedHawks (62-61) starter Asher Wojciechowski. Matt Szczur led off with an infield hit, followed two batters later by a walk to Kris Bryant. Jorge Soler belted the first pitch he saw from Wojciechowski (2-4) deep to center field for a two-run double, to give Iowa a quick 2-0 lead.
Mike Olt followed Soler and continued his torrid hitting pace, blasting his fifth home run deep over the left field wall for a 4-0 Iowa lead. Olt has homered three times in his last two games and five times over his last 10 games to go along with 14 RBI during that stretch.
The Cubs extended the lead from and unexpected power source in the second. Elliot Soto made it 5-0 Iowa when he cracked a rare home run, his first of the season. Soto, in his fifth season of professional baseball, has three total home runs, the other two coming with double-A Tennessee in 2013.
Jokisch (9-8) continued to produce on the mound, picking up his third-straight quality start. In 23 games, Jokisch has 14 quality starts with Iowa. Jokisch didn't walk a batter, allowing two runs on nine hits while striking out five in 6.2 innings to pick up the victory.
The Cubs put the game away when they batted around in the eighth. Logan Watkins doubled and came around to score on a single by Bryant. Soler and Olt followed with walks to load the bases. Rafael Lopez’ two-run single scored Bryant and Soler. Bryant has recorded both a hit and run scored in 13 straight games. RBI singles by Soto and Brett Jackson capped the scoring for Iowa.
Soto went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Watkins added two hits for Iowa on a night when each player in the lineup recorded at least one hit.
Alberto Cabrera picked up his second save of the season, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings in relief for Iowa.
The final game of the five-game series is Monday night.