Saturday, Aug. 14, 2010
Posted: 8:30 a.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
The I-Cubs began their critical eight-game West Coast road trip in brilliant fashion Friday night with a 5-0 victory over Fresno at Chukchansi Park. The win, over the Pacific South leading Grizzlies, allowed Iowa to maintain its 2.5-game lead over Omaha in the American North Division.
Iowa has three more games at Fresno before playing four games at second-place Sacramento next week.
Austin Bibens-Dirkx put on yet another show in what has become a common occurrence by Chicago pitching prospects in recent weeks. Bibens-Dirkx scattered three hits over seven innings in winning his third consecutive start. He improved to 5-0 overall since joining Iowa at the beginning of July and has fashioned a 1.97 ERA in 32 innings.
The right-hander also withstood a 41-minute delay in the fourth inning when a pipe burst and water began flooding the warning track in the left-field corner. Play was eventually resumed and Bibens-Dirkx proved to be dominant.
He would get all the help he would need in the second inning when Bobby Scales connected for a two-run homer. Micah Hoffpauir returned to the I-Cubs from Chicago and went 2-for-4 with three runs scored, extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Hes batting .418 33-for-79 during the streak with eight homers and 24 RBIs. Hoffpauir is also two games shy of equaling the longest hitting streak in the PCL this season. Catcher Robinson Chirinos made his Iowa debut after moving up from Tennessee this week and went 2-for-4.
In other action, the AZL Cubs dropped a 5-3 decision to the AZL Mariners despite banging out 13 hits. Dustin Geiger was 3-for-3. Boise dropped a 4-1 decision to Tri-City at Memorial Stadium. In White Sox action, Great Falls was blanked at Billings, 3-0. Mike Blanke had a pair of hits, pushing his average to .344, seventh best in the Pioneer League.
Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at email@example.com.