Dan Straily was dominant on the mound and the offense provided just enough as the Iowa Cubs (66-58) took a 3-0 shutout victory over the Oklahoma City RedHawks (62-62) on Monday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The shutout was the 13th for Iowa this season, tying a franchise record for shutouts in a season. With the win, Iowa completed its’ longest road trip of the season with a 9-5 record. Iowa will maintain at least a share of the PCL American North division lead and could hold the lead outright pending the outcome of the Omaha Storm Chasers’ game at Colorado Springs.
Straily (7-6) and a trio of relievers held the RedHawks’ offense in check all night, not even allowing a runner to reach third base. Straily, acquired from Oakland in early July, picked up his third consecutive quality start in his seventh overall start for Iowa, allowing only two hits and three walks with four strikeouts over six innings before giving way to Zac Rosscup.
Rosscup and Armando Rivero each tossed scoreless innings before giving way to Blake Parker to pitch the ninth. Parker allowed a hit and struck out one in recording the save. Parker leads the PCL with 23 saves to go along with a sparkling 1.19 ERA.
Iowa was able to post two runs early against Oklahoma City starter Alex White (2-5). Matt Szczur led off the game with a single to center. Szczur proceeded to steal both second and third base, giving him a team-high 28 steals on the season. Szczur also ranks in the top five in the PCL in steals.
Logan Watkins drove in Szczur with a single to center to give Iowa the early lead. Two batters later, Jorge Soler doubled to deep center field scoring Watkins, giving Iowa a two-run lead. In 19 games with Iowa, Soler is batting .305 with five home runs and 18 RBI.
The Cubs added an insurance run in the ninth when Szczur singled to left scoring Josh Vitters. Eli Whiteside also tried to score on the play but was cut down at home on a strong throw by RedHawks left fielder Ruben Sosa.
Szczur and Vitters each recorded two hits for Iowa in the victory. Kris Bryant went 0-for-4, snapping his 13-game streak of recording at least one hit and one run scored.
Iowa opens up an eight-game home stand on Tuesday night at Principal Park with four games against the Las Vegas 51’s, triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets, followed by four against the Salt Lake Bees, triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.