Despite getting a pair of runs in the ninth inning to cut the gap, the Zephyrs fell to Iowa 6-4 Monday night in the first of a four-game set. Brady Shoemaker and Derek Dietrich each knocked in runs in the with one out in the ninth against Blake Cooper, but the Iowa closer got Miguel Rojas to strike out and Scott Sizemore to line out to first to seal it.
Shoemaker went 2-for-5 to up his team-best batting average to .355 and Dietrich was 2-for-3 with his first RBI in 12 chances with a runner in scoring position all season. Jhonatan Solano and Cole Gillespie picked up the other New Orleans (4-8) RBIs in support of starter Jake Esch, who allowed nine hits and three runs in 5.1 innings.
The right-hander struck out seven – a new high for any Zephyrs pitcher this season – and walked one, while throwing 58 of 90 pitches for strikes. His seven strikeouts were the most since an eight-strikeout performance for Class-A Jupiter against Tampa last May 20.
Grant Dayton got five outs in succession before Salvador Sanchez allowed four hits and three runs in the eighth inning. The reliever has allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 1.1 innings over his last three appearances, after yielding just one hit in 3.2 scoreless frames to open the season.
Taylor Teagarden gave Iowa (6-6) the lead in the fourth with a two-run home run and the catcher doubled home and insurance run in the eighth for the Cubs. Donn Roach turned in his second strong start against the Zephyrs in as many tries, limiting the New Orleans bats to just five hits and a run over six innings. Roach held the Zephyrs to just one hit on April 15, but New Orleans would rally against the Cubs bullpen for a 3-2 victory in 10 innings.
Lefty Adam Conley (1-1, 5.25 ERA) takes the hill on Wednesday afternoon for the Zephyrs, looking to build on his first win of the season in his last start. Conley defeated Omaha on April 17. The Cubs will send southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (0-1, 1.93 ERA) to the mound. First pitch is scheduled for just after noon CT.