The Iowa Cubs stretched their lead by to 2.5 games over the Omaha Royals by holding off a late rally to beat Omaha 7-6 Thursday night at Rosenblatt Stadium. Omaha falls into third place in the division a game behind Memphis. The Redbirds blanked Round Rock 1-0 to remain a game-and-a-half out.
Jason Dubois put Iowa on top 7-1 in the fifth inning when he connected for a grand slam off Royals starter Matt Herges (7-4), who allowed seven runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings to take the loss. The home run was Dubois 13th of the season and his third against Omaha.
Mike Moustakas belted a two-run homer off Iowa starter and winner Jeff Samardzija (11-2) in the sixth inning to make it 7-3. Trailing 7-4 in the bottom of the ninth, with one out, Moustakas doubled off Justin Berg to drive in his third run of the night and make it a 7-5 game. Berg then hit Ed Lucas with a pitch and was lifted in favor of Jeff Stevens, who had surrendered a walk-off, two-run homer to Scott Thorman in the eleventh inning Wednesday night.
Thorman got the best of Stevens against hitting a 3-0 pitch to left to score Moustakas and cut the Cubs’ lead 7-6. Lucas May drew a walk to load the bases, but Kurt Mertins fouled out and Stevens struck out Jordan Parraz to end the game.