Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oklahoma City RedHawks 8 at Iowa Cubs 4 - July 22, 2010

Des Moines is located about halfway between Kansas City and Minneapolis, which makes it a great stopping place when the Iowa Cubs are in town. I had seen a game there the week before to start the trip, but wanted to spend some time in the city as well, so we stopped in to check out the visiting Oklahoma City Red Hawks, Texas' AAA affiliate.

It turned out to be a popular game as Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano was to make an appearance, his first since being suspended for a dugout tirade back in May. It was also Casey Blake bobblehead night (he's a Des Moines native), which ensured a large turnout. There were only 2,000 bobbleheads to be given away and reports said that 3-4,000 people were lined up well before the game. With the temperature in the mid-90s, we waited until later to enter the ballpark and thus did not receive the bobblehead.

I talked about Principal Park last week, so won't rehash that but will add a few pictures to give you an idea of the place.

Des Moines Skyline from left field

The Des Moines River with the sculpture of baseball seams, taken from behind the left field party area

A good view of the seating area

The Game

Sam Fuld grounds out here

Jay Jackson started for the I-Cubs against Guillermo Moscoso, who appeared in 10 games last season with the Rangers. Iowa scored 4 runs in the 3rd, highlighted by a 2-run double from Brad Snyder. But Moscoso was solid otherwise and the RedHawks chipped away off Jackson, who was somewhat wild.

In the 4th, two walks and a hit batsman loaded the bases for Brandon Boggs, who hit a sacrifice fly to score Oklahoma City's first run. With two out in the 6th, Jackson seemed to hit a wall. A single by Mitch Moreland was followed by walks to Jarrod Saltalamacchia (below) and Boggs. A mound visit ensued but it didn't help as Ryan Garko hammered a ball to deep center that scored all 3 runners to tie the game.

In the 7th, Zambrano (below) made his appearance to the delight of the crowd. He only threw 15 pitches, giving up 2 singles and not looking that impressive. When Blake Parker replaced him in the 8th, much of the crowd began to head home. Parker took offense and gave up 3 singles as the RedHawks took a 5-4 lead.

In the 9th, Saltamacchia hit a 2-run homer and Garko added an RBI double to put this one away as the RedHawks won 8-4. Moscoso picked up the win with 7 strong innings and is now 6-3 on the year.

The announced crowd was 12,949, the largest of the season for Iowa. For the records, Monday's Royals game had only 12,968, and there were 18 major leaguers starting in that one.

Next Up

I'm in Chicago and hoping to catch the big league Cubs and Cardinals in two games this weekend. I'm also driving up to Milwaukee for at least one game there with the Nationals visiting. Check back later for updates as the trip winds down.



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