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Wada impressive again as I-Cubs defeat Memphis

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Led by another strong start by Tsuyoshi Wada, the Iowa Cubs (5-5) recorded the first shutout of the season on Saturday, whitewashing the Memphis Redbirds 5-0 at Auto Zone Park in Memphis.

Wada (2-0) picked up where he left off in his first start on Monday against Nashville when he gave up only one run over 6.2 innings. On Saturday, Wada improved on those numbers. Once again, Wada pitched 6.2 innings but didn’t allow a run on the night. Wada didn’t allow a runner to reach third base until the seventh inning. Wada finished the evening giving up only four hits, while walking no batters and striking out ten Redbirds.

Iowa’s offense was able to break through against Redbirds (6-4) reliever Nick Greenwood in the sixth. Arismendy Alcantara led off the inning with a single to center. Alcantara would later score on an RBI groundout by Josh Vitters, giving Iowa a 1-0 lead.

Iowa extended the lead to 2-0 in the seventh on an RBI single by Brett Jackson, scoring Logan Watkins.

Matt Szczur would break the game open in the ninth for Iowa. After Watkins led off with a single, Eli Whiteside was hit by a pitch from Memphis pitcher Sam Freeman. After a Freeman wild pitch advanced the runners, Szczur singled up the middle, scoring Watkins and Whiteside increasing the lead to 4-0. Szczur would score the final run of the evening on a sacrifice fly by Alcantara.

Marcus Hatley relieved Wada, pitching 1.1 innings and Brian Schlitter, just down from the Chicago Cubs, pitched the ninth in his first appearance for the I-Cubs in 2014.

In his first two starts, Wada has pitched 13.1 innings, allowing only one run (a home run by Eugenio Velez), seven hits and one walk, while striking out 18 batters.

Game three of the series is Sunday at Auto Zone Park.

NOTES: Chris Rusin was called up to Chicago on Saturday. Rusin appeared in the Cubs loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, pitching 5.1 innings in relief, giving up three hits and one run. Rusin has been told he will be returning to Iowa. Taking Rusin’s spot on the Iowa roster is Brian Schlitter, who was optioned to Iowa.

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