Jorge Soler homered and drove in three runs while Dallas Beeler notched his 11th quality start of the season in the Iowa Cubs 8-5 victory over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (61-60) on Friday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Pending the outcome of the Omaha Storm Chasers game at Colorado Springs, Iowa (64-57) will either be tied or have a one game lead over the Storm Chasers in the PCL American North division.
Iowa’s offense roughed up RedHawks starter Nick Tropiano (7-5) to the tune of seven runs over Tropiano’s 4.2 innings pitched. Rafael Lopez put Iowa on top with a bases loaded two-run double with two outs in the second.
After Oklahoma City tied the game in the bottom of the second, Iowa quickly reclaimed the lead in the third. With one out, Kris Bryant was hit by a pitch. Soler followed Bryant by belting an 0-2 pitch from Tropiano over the left field wall for his fifth home run with the Cubs, giving Iowa a 4-2 lead.
Iowa added to a slim 4-3 lead with a three-run fifth. Mike Olt’s RBI double scored Logan Watkins who led off with a double. A few batters later, Elliot Soto’s bases loaded single to right scored Soler, giving Iowa a 6-3 lead. Lopez followed Soto and picked up an RBI on a bases loaded walk to increase the lead to 7-3.
The Cubs plated another run in the sixth when Soler doubled to center scoring Bryant who had singled. Soler finished 2-for-3 with a home run, three RBI, three runs scored, and two walks, reaching base in four of five plate appearances.
Beeler (8-5) wasn’t at his sharpest, but was able to make good pitches in important situations to keep the RedHawks offense down. Beeler allowed three runs on nine hits while walking one and striking out two over six innings.
Aramdo Rivero took over for Beeler to begin the seventh and allowed two RedHawks runs in the eighth, cutting the lead to 8-5. Blake Parker, in his first appearance since being optioned back from Chicago, replaced Rivero with two runners on and two outs in the eighth. Parker retired Jiovanni Mier to end the threat in the eighth and pitched a scoreless ninth to collect the save. Parker has a league-leading 22 saves despite four stints with the Chicago Cubs this season.
Bryant went 1-for-4 with two runs scored. Bryant has an 11 game streak in which he has at least one hit and one run scored. Olt, Soto, and Josh Vitters collected two hits each for the Cubs.
Game three of the five-game series is Saturday.
NOTES: On Friday, the Chicago Cubs acquired pitcher Justin Turner from the Miami Marlins. To make room on the 40-man roster, Iowa outfielder Ryan Kalish was designated for assignment.