Iowa broke lose for seven runs in the sixth inning in winning the first game of a double-header Thursday at Zephyr Field.
The victory gave Iowa (4-3) the series, 2-1. The second game was canceled due to rain and rescheduled for 5 p.m. July 6 as part of a doubleheader.
The Cubs got seven hits in the sixth, including consecutive one-out doubles by pinch-hitter Junior Lake and right-fielder Rubi Silva that touched off the uprising and tied the score at 4. Iowa then greeted Zephyrs reliever Pat Urckfitz (0-1) for five more hits, capped by a towering three-run homer to left by top prospect Kris Bryant for a 10-4 lead.
New Orleans (2-5) had scored three runs in the fourth and led 4-1. Starter Jake Esch allowed two hits in 4.1 innings before Cubs shortstop Addison Russell hit a two-out single off the glove of third baseman Derek Dietrich in the fifth, plating two runs.
Bryant, baseball’s overall No. 1 prospect, likely played his last games with Iowa after he was called by the Chicago Cubs after the game.
He was 1-for-4 Thursday, but left Zephyrs fans with a lasting memory. His homer down the left-field line was so deep, Z’s left fielder Vinny Rottino did not move.
It was the second highlight-reel homer in two seasons against New Orleans. Last season, Bryant homered to deep left against hard-throwing reliever Arquimedes Caminero.
“He hit a 97 miles-per-hour fastball foul over the fence in left, then a 98 miles-per-hour fastball foul over the fence in right before he homered on a 98 miles-per-hour fastball,” Iowa manager Marty Pevey said, chuckling.
Zephyrs manager Andy Haines thought Thursday’s shot went foul, too, but home plate umpire Billy Cunha disagreed.
Bryant also hit an opposite-field fly to the top of the right-field fence that Cole Gillespie leaped and caught.
Bryant was 3-of-8, with no homers and three strikeouts in the series heading into Thursday. He came into the series having gone 5-of-16, with two homers, two doubles, seven RBI and five runs at Memphis.
Rainy home stand
It rained every day of the Pelicans’ season-opening home stand. Yet, they were able to get in all eight games, thanks to a double-header on Thursday that made up for Tuesday’s rainout.
It appears they dodged a bullet.
“That’s one way to look at,” Zephyrs General Manager Mike Schline said Thursday. “We certainly have a responsibility to get the games in. But the threat of rain really hurt us.
“The first home stand, the weather is usually beautiful, and fans really come to the ballpark, particularly on the weekend dates. So, attendance wasn’t what we usually get during this time.”
Paid attendance through Thursday’s first game was 35,029 for seven games, according to the Zephyrs.
Infielder Danny Black was activated from the disabled list, and infielder Blake Barber was sent back to Single-A Jupiter. Pitcher Carter Capps was optioned back to the Z’s from the Marlins. Capps pitched a 1-2-3 inning on Monday with Miami. He was brought up to replace David Phelps, who was on paternity. … The Zephyrs begin an eight-game road trip on Friday against the teams they faced in the home stand. New Orleans plays at two-time defending Triple-A champ Omaha on Friday through Monday, then go Des Moines on Tuesday-Friday before coming home to face the Nashville Sounds.