Thursday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, the Oklahoma City RedHawks (61-59) offense pummeled Iowa Cubs (63-57) pitching to the tune of 19 hits en route to a 16-4 blowout victory. The 16 runs and 19 hits allowed by the Cubs are both season-highs.
The RedHawks wasted no time getting out to a big lead, plating five runs in the first inning off Cubs starter Carlos Pimentel. The first six batters of the inning reached base against Pimentel including an RBI double by Joe Sciafani and a two-run double from Andrew Aplin.
Down 7-0 in the in the fourth, Iowa put its first two runs on the board. Kris Bryant led off the inning reaching base via walk. Jorge Soler followed with a single to left, sending Bryant to third. Mike Olt followed with a line drive to center fielder Aplin who cut down Bryant trying to score at home plate. Fresh off the disabled list, Manny Ramirez then blasted a two-run home run, his second, off RedHawks starter Rudy Owens (6-5) to cut the lead to 7-2.
Iowa would score its final two runs of the game in the sixth. After Brett Jackson singled to start the inning, Bryant belted his 15th home run in an Iowa uniform, cutting the deficit to 9-4. Bryant has recorded at least one hit and scored a run in ten straight games. In 115 games between Iowa and double-A Tennessee, Bryant has 37 home runs and 96 RBI. Bryant’s 37 home runs ties him with double-A Frisco’s Joey Gallo for the lead in minor league baseball.
The RedHawks relentless offense never let up, scoring seven runs against the Iowa bullpen the final three innings. Yoanner Negrin and Marcos Mateo each gave up three runs in one inning while Marcus Hately gave up one run in one inning. Pimentel (3-8) allowed nine runs on 14 hits with two walks and one strikeout over five innings.
Former Chicago Cubs farmhand Ronald Torreyes led Oklahoma City going 4-for-5 with four runs scored and an RBI. Preston Tucker went 3-for-5, driving in four runs and cracking his sixth home run of the season.
For Iowa, Matt Szczur and Mike Olt both saw 10-game hitting streaks snapped, each going 0-for-4, while Rafael Lopez saw his season-high seven game hit streak snapped.
Game two of the five-game series is Friday night.