Iowa right fielder Juan Perez smashed a grand slam and drove in five RBI, while starter Rob Zastryzny tossed five perfect innings as the Cubs topped the Omaha Storm Chasers 13-0 on Monday evening at Werner Park.
Zastryzny (5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 SO) combined with three other I-Cubs relievers for a team-high 17 strikeouts in the shutout victory. The southpaw retired all 15 batters faced, with Iowa’s perfect game bid spoiled in the sixth when 2B Ramon Torres reached base on an infield single.
The left-hander earned the win and combined with Miguel Meijia (2.0 IP, 2 H, 5 SO), Corey Black (1.0 IP, SO) and Justin Grimm (1.0 IP, H, 3 SO) for 17 punchouts, the most by an opponent versus Omaha this season. Storm Chasers starter Jonathan Dziedzic (6.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, BB, 3 SO) suffered the defeat, while 3B Dusty Coleman fired a scoreless eighth inning before smacking a double off the center field wall in the ninth. Coleman became the first Omaha pitcher to record a hit since Heath Phillips on July 9, 2009.
Heading into the seventh with a 3-0 lead, the I-Cubs blew the game open with a six-run scoring spurt. Following CF John Andreoli’s RBI single and SS Kristopher Negron’s bases-loaded walk, Perez smashed a grand slam to boost Iowa ahead 9-0. The Cubs would cap their scoring with four additional tallies in the eighth courtesy of 3B Jeimer Candelario’s solo shot and Negron’s three-run blast.
Perez (3-5, R, 2B, HR, 5 RBI), Andreoli (3-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB) and DH Taylor Davis (3-5, 2 R) each collected a trio of knocks, while Candelario (2-5, R, HR, 2 RBI) and 1B Cael Brockmeyer (2-5, 2 R, 2 2B) also recorded multi-hit efforts. The 13 runs scored by Iowa also matched a season-high for an opponent against the Storm Chasers, a task accomplished on four other occasions.
The Storm Chasers will look to salvage a series split in their series finale with Iowa in a Tuesday matinee at Werner Park. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. CT, with LHP Mike Minor (0-2, 7.94) anticipated to start for Omaha as part of his Major League Rehab Assignment. The Cubs are expected to counter with RHP Trevor Cahill (0-2, 6.10).