The Iowa Cubs used a pair of clutch solo home runs to win two one-run ballgames over the Oklahoma City RedHawks and sweep a doubleheader before 4,899 at Principal Park Sunday afternoon.
The I-Cubs (23-25) squeaked out the first game, 2-1, and won game two by a count of 4-3.
The RedHawks (27-23) were swept in a doubleheader for the first time since July 21, 2011 in Albuquerque. They have now lost five-straight games and are 4-8 on their current road trip. After going 12-4 against Iowa in 2012, the RedHawks are now 1-6 versus the Cubs this season.
Like they had in the previous two games of the series, the RedHawks scored first in game one. Marc Krauss led off the second inning with a double, advanced to third on sacrifice bunt by Che-Hsuan Lin, and scored on an RBI groundout by Andy Simunic.
Simunic was actually batting out of order, but the error was not noticed by Iowa or the umpiring crew, so the play stood.
Iowa used almost the exact same formula to tie the game in the third inning. Edwin Maysonet led off with a double, and J.C. Boscan followed with a sac bunt to put Maysonet at third. Logan Watkins then lifted a sac fly to left field to score Maysonet and make it 1-1.
Still tied in the fifth, Maysonet would strike again, hitting a home run to left field to give Iowa the lead. It was the third-straight game against the RedHawks Maysonet homered.
Playing short-handed to due a litany or injuries, the RedHawks could not muster much at the plate after scoring the second inning. After Krauss' double, the RedHawks notched just one hit and put only one runner in scoring position.
They went down in order in the ninth inning against Iowa closer Blake Parker, who recorded his seventh save.
I-Cubs starting pitcher Barret Loux (3-2) earned the win, pitching a season-high six innings while allowing just one run and three hits. He tied also tied a season high with six strikeouts and walked three.
RedHawks pitcher Brett Oberholtzer had a nice outing, but was ultimately done in by Maysonet's home run. Oberholtzer (3-4) allowed two runs and four hits over 5.1 innings. He did not allow a walk and recorded two strikeouts.
In game two, the I-Cubs jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning. Watkins led off the inning with a home run to quickly make it 1-0.
With the bases loaded and one out, Donnie Muphy sent a fly ball into foul territory in shallow right field. Krauss, playing first base, camped under the ball but dropped it. Given another chance at the plate, Murphy was hit by a pitch to bring home a run.
The bases were still loaded with two outs for Maysonet, who was also plunked with a pitch to give Iowa a 3-0 lead.
The last two runs of the inning were unearned against pitcher Philip Humber. Making his first start since joining the RedHawks, Humber bounced back nicely after the first inning, retiring 10 of the last 11 hitters he faced, including the final seven consecutively. He exited after four innings, allowing four hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
The RedHawks were held scoreless and hitless through three, but they changed that in fourth inning. Krauss hit a sac fly to get the RedHawks on the board, but they stranded runners at second and third.
In the fifth, Jonathan Villar knocked an RBI triple with one out to pull the RedHawks within one. Jake Elmore followed and popped out to second base, keeping Villar third. Villar then decided to take matters into his own hands and attempted to steal home, but he was tagged out in front of the plate.
The RedHawks loaded the bases with one out in the sixth inning. They caught a huge break when Marcus Hatley delivered a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score. With runners at second and third with one out and chance to take the lead, Carlos Perez struck out and Jason Jaramillo then flied out to end the inning.
With one away in the bottom of the sixth, Murphy hit a home run off Eric Berger (1-1) to put the I-Cubs in front once again.
Zach Putnam retired all three RedHawks in the ninth, earning his fourth save. In his first appearance with Iowa this season, Hatley (1-0) came away with the win.
The RedHawks totaled just six hits over the two games, recording three in each. Prior to Sunday they had never had less than four hits in a game this season. They went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and are now just 1-for-25 with runners in scoring position this series.
The RedHawks will try and avoid a series sweep when they play their final game at Principal Park in 2013 on a Memorial Day matinee beginning at 1:05 p.m.