The Omaha Royals outslugged the Iowa Cubs, managed by Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg, 11-7 in a game that was shortened to five-and-a-half innings by heavy rain. If you get a chance to watch Ryno the next time through, take advantage of it, because I think by 2012, maybe even 2011, Sandberg could be managing the Chicago Cubs.
The Royals erased a 1-0 Iowa lead by batting around in the bottom of the first, sending nine men to the plate and scoring five runs. Kila Ka’aihue launched a three-run homer to right-center in the second inning off Iowa starter Mike Parisi (0-2) to put Omaha on top 8-1. It was Ka’aihue’s team-leading sixth home run and gave the former University of Nebraska recruit a club-best 18 RBI. He would knock in his 19th run in this, his19th game of the season with a fourth inning double in the midst of a three-run outburst that made it an 11-1 score.
Iowa battled back in the fifth, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring five runs to cut the lead to 11-6. Brad Snyder, who had tripled and singled earlier, smacked a two-run homer off Omaha starter Gaby Hernandez who left giving up four runs in four-and-a-third innings and settling for a no-decision. Bobby Scales greeted Carlos Rosa with a two-run shot in the fifth frame, but Rosa (2-1) wound up getting credit for the win despite surrendering three runs on five hits in one-and-two-thirds.
Omaha (9-11) finishes the home stand with a 2-2 record. Iowa (9-11) will host the Royals in the final three games of the series at Principal Park in Des Moines, beginning Friday at 6:35 p.m. Right-hander Luis Mendoza (NR) will make his O-Royals debut, facing Iowa lefty J.R. Mathes (2-2, 5.63).