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April 21 Game Notes: Iowa Cubs vs. Louisville Bats

11:46 AM EDT

TODAY’S GAME: The Iowa Cubs host the Louisville Bats for the finale of a six-game series today at Principal Park...Iowa will send left-hander Thomas Pannone to the mound vs. Louisville right-hander Brett Kennedy. IN THE STANDINGS: A day after getting swept by Louisville in a doubleheader, the I-Cubs got back

TODAY’S GAME: The Iowa Cubs host the Louisville Bats for the finale of a six-game series today at Principal Park...Iowa will send left-hander Thomas Pannone to the mound vs. Louisville right-hander Brett Kennedy.

IN THE STANDINGS: A day after getting swept by Louisville in a doubleheader, the I-Cubs got back in the win column with a 4-1 victory yesterday...the I-Cubs are still tied for first place in the International League West Division with Omaha...they led the league by just 1.0 game, ahead Toledo...since dropping the first two games of the season at Omaha, Iowa is 12-6 in their last 18 games, including a four-game win streak from April 6-9 vs. Toledo and at St. Paul.

TERRIFIC THOMPSON: Before Saturday’s game against the Bats, Cubs hurler Riley Thompson hadn’t started a game since September 20, 2023, as all six of his appearances in 2024 had been in relief... but Thompson was stellar in his first start of the 2024 season yesterday...he tossed 4.0 innings of no-hit ball, allowing two walks and striking out three...of his 56 pitches, 36 went for strikes...he is the first Cubs starter to throw more than 3.0 hitless innings this season.

FINDING HIS STRIDE: Iowa’s corner infielder BJ Murray Jr. stayed hot in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Louisville at Principal Park...he went 1-for-2 with two walks, an RBI double and two runs scored...after starting the season going 5-for-43 at the plate in his first 11 Triple-A games...Murray Jr. is 8-for-his-last 20 over his last seven games...he has nine RBI, two home runs, eight walks and six runs scored over that span...he is first or second on the I-Cubs roster over that span in nearly every offensive statistic and ranks inside the Top 10 in the International League in batting average (T-7th, .400), RBI (T-4th), OBP (3rd, .552), slugging percentage (T-8th, .750), OPS (5th, 1.302), and walks (T-4th) over that span.

AGAINST LOUISVILLE: Iowa and Louisville began their first series of the season on Tuesday...Iowa took a 3-2 advantage in the series with their win yesterday...the all-time series between the I-Cubs and the Bats sits at 35-30 in favor of Iowa...in games played at Principal Park, Iowa is 23-15 against Louisville...the two clubs faced each other in the last series of 2023 with Iowa winning the first three games and Louisville taking the last four...the I-Cubs went 10-7 vs. the Bats last season and tallied a 7-5 record at Principal Park.

CARL IS CLOSING: MLB veteran and two- time world series champion Carl Edwards Jr., including 2016 with the Cubs, was signed by the Cubs for the third time of his career in early April and has pitched in five games in relief so far this season...his last two have come as save opportunities, and he has converted both times...on April 17 against Louisville Edwards Jr. needed just 26 pitches for the six-out save, allowing one hit and striking out three...yesterday’s outing was a little more eventful...he allowed a hit and a walk in his 1.0 inning of work and brought the tying-run to the plate with 0 outs, but he got the next three batters in order to preserve the 4-1 victory.

REBOUND ON THE MOUND: From the start of the season until April 13, the I-Cubs pitchers had a 3.23 collective ERA, which led all of Triple-A...from April 14 until yesterday’s two losses, that number rose to 4.29, ninth in Triple-A, and over that span, the Cubs pitched to a 7.65 ERA, second-to-last in Triple-A...but Saturday’s 4-1 triumph was the first time the Cubs had allowed less than three runs in a game since April 12, a 6-0 road victory over the St. Paul Saints.

CAISSIE AT BAT: The No. 43 prospect in all of baseball (MLB.com) Owen Caissie has reached base in 17 of his 18 games this season with an at-bat...he is slashing .269/.395/.433 (18-for-67) with one home run and 10 RBI... Caissie has shown off his power capabilities in the past as he went deep 22 times a season ago while playing for Double-A Tennessee... Caissie’s 22 homers during the 2023 season were the most hit on the Tennessee Smokies and tied for the fourth most in the Southern League...the 21-year-old also made quite the first impression at the Triple-A level recording back-to-back three-hit performances against Omaha to open the season in his first career games for Iowa.

OLD FACES IN NEW PLACES: In the current series versus the Louisville Bats, there is a pair of former Iowa Cubs who now play for Louisville in Levi Jordan and P.J. Higgins...Jordan and Higgins were both members of the Iowa Cubs last season and have started games against their former ballclub...Jordan has had success against Iowa this series hitting .500 (5-for-10) but was placed on the injured list Friday...Higgins did not have a hit yesterday but reached base twice with two walks...he is batting .438 (7-for-16) with one home run and three RBI this series.