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Cubs Minor League News: I-Cubs lose to Bats, end their eight-game winning streak
Jayne Kamin Oncea - USA Today Sports

Cubs Minor League News: I-Cubs lose to Bats, end their eight-game winning streak


by - Senior Writer -

It has been a week since the Cubs minor league system lost a game, and even longer than that if you are Iowa. Well, all things must end, and both of those streaks ended on Friday as the Iowa Cubs were the lone team on the diamond Friday night and saw their eight-game winning streak end against Louisville. The good news is that Iowa can still claim this series with one more win and can head into the offseason with some positive vibes.

LOUISVILLE BATS 9 - IOWA CUBS 1

A big reason for the Cubs sudden hot stretch these final two weeks has been a vastly improved starting rotation that has primarily been just Caleb Kilian and Riley Thompson. The rest of the starts have been covered by the bullpen, and one that has done a great job.

Looking to give the bullpen some much-needed rest, Kilian made his final start of 2023 and was hoping to finish on a high note. Instead, he went on to pitch his worst game since earlier in the month as he surrendered six runs in 5 1/3, with five of those runs counting as earned runs. Kilian walked one and struck out eight, his highest strikeout total in roughly two months. His performance sees him end the season with an 8-5 record, but with a 4.58 ERA, he will now hit the offseason with a ton of questions.

Opposing Kilian was Michael Mariot, who not only matched Kilian innings-wise with five, but he only allowed one run as his effort helped set the tone. Throughout the duration of this series, it has been the Cubs scoring first, but on this day, Matt Reynolds put the Bats in front 1-0 with a solo shot in the second. Whether you are superstitious or not, scoring first has been a big deal in this series, and the Bats were hoping that would continue for another day.

Immediately allowing that homer, the Cubs offense responded as the PJ Higgins grounder in the third brought home a run to tie things up 1-1. Little did they know that run would be all for them in this one, as the Bats ended the game with eight unanswered runs. Three came in the bottom of the third as Jacob Hurtubise drove him the winning run with an RBI single to make things 2-1, with Reynolds tacking on another single to push the lead to 4-1.

A Jose Barrero sacrifice fly in the fifth put the Cubs in a 5-1 hole, with Chuckie Robinson adding to that with his two-run shot in the sixth. The long ball continued to play a role for the Bats late in the game, with Barrero tacking on in the seventh with his two-run shot, which capped off the scoring in what was an easy 9-1 win for the Bats.

Even with the loss, the Cubs are still sporting an 82-63 record and are in second place in the International League West division. Had it not been for the new AAA playoff format this season, the Cubs would be in a position to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2019, but will have to sit at home next week.

With four hits, there wasn't much excitement, which could be why only one run scored. Darius Hill, Higgins, Cole Roederer, and Levi Jordan had the hits for the Cubs in the loss. Following the outing by Kilian, the Cubs saw Brandon Hughes, Jeremiah Estrada, and Cam Sanders take the mound, but it was Sanders who was the most impressive as he struck out the side in his inning of work.

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