Preston Tucker hit two home runs and collected four extra-base hits, as the Oklahoma City RedHawks went into the All-Star Break with a 5-2 win over the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park Sunday afternoon.
Tucker smacked two home runs and added two doubles. It was the third multi-homer game by a RedHawk this season and Tucker’s third multi-homer game of 2014, with the previous two coming with Double-A Corpus Christi. He also became the first RedHawk this season to notch four extra-base hits in one game.
With the win, the RedHawks (50-49) moved back above .500 and pulled within two games of division-leading Iowa (51-46).
The RedHawks got on the board in the second inning when Tucker connected on his first home run. His blast to the bleachers in right-center field gave Oklahoma City a 1-0 lead.
The RedHawks missed out on a chance to add to their lead in the third inning. With runners at the corners and nobody out, the heart of the lineup was unable to bring a run home.
Tucker led off the fourth inning with a double, but again the RedHawks were unable to take advantage of the scoring chance.
The missed opportunities would come back to hurt the RedHawks as Iowa took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring twice without collecting a hit.
A hit batter, a walk, and a wild pitch put runners at second and third with none out. Chris Valaika then tied the game with a sac fly to right field. With two outs, RedHawks pitcher Mike Foltynewicz committed a throwing error, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
The RedHawks retook the lead in the fifth. With none on and two outs, Marc Krauss doubled and Jonathan Villar followed with a two-run homer to make it 3-2.
Tucker led off the sixth inning with his second homer of the game—a line drive over the center field fence to make it 4-2. It was Tucker’s 20th overall home run of season, best among Astros minor leaguers.
By leaving the yard three times, the RedHawks equaled their home run total in July entering play Sunday afternoon.
Tucker would also score the RedHawks final run. He led off the eighth inning with a double off the left-center field fence and eventually scored on a RBI single by Jio Mier to make it 5-2.
The RedHawks pitching staff had a fine day, led by Foltynewicz, who allowed one earned run over six innings. Foltynewicz (7-6) moved into a tie for the team lead with his seventh win after scattering three singles with one walk and five strikeouts.
Jorge De Leon followed Foltynewicz by retiring all six batters he faced over the seventh and eighth innings, including four strikeouts. Kevin Chapman retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his sixth save.
Between Foltynewicz, De Leon, and Chapman, the RedHawks pitching staff retired 15 of the final 16 Iowa batters, including the last nine in a row.
Iowa starter Tsuyoshi Wada allowed four runs and nine hits—including a season-high three home runs—over six innings in the loss. Wada (9-6) struck out five and issued one walk.
The RedHawks will observe the three-day All-Star Break beginning Monday and will return to action to start an eight-game homestand Thursday night against the Nashville Sounds at 7:05 p.m.