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May 28 Games Notes: Iowa Cubs @ Nashville Sounds

May 28, 2023

IOWA CUBS (28-19) @ NASHVILLE SOUNDS (25-24) Sunday, May 28, 2023 • 2:05 PM • First Horizon Park • Nashville, TN RHP Caleb Kilian (3-0, 4.45) vs. RHP Josh Junk (2-4, 3.79)


Sunday, May 28, 2023 • 2:05 PM • First Horizon Park • Nashville, TN

RHP Caleb Kilian (3-0, 4.45) vs. RHP Josh Junk (2-4, 3.79)

TODAY’S GAME: Iowa and Nashville will play the sixth and final game of their series today, with Iowa currently leading the series three games to two looking for the series victory. It will be a pitching rematch of the first game of the series from Tuesday night, with Caleb Kilian facing off against Josh Junk. Kilian enters the game with a 3-0 record and a 4.45 ERA, allowing just one earned run on three hits and two walks compared to six strikeouts over his 5.0 innings on Tuesday. Junk enters the finale with a 2-4 record and a 3.79 ERA after suffering the loss in Tuesday’s series opener. The righty allowed just two earned runs on five hits and two walks over 5.1 innings, striking out four batters along the way.

MADRIGAL DEBUT: The Iowa Cubs had another new face join its roster this week with infielder Nick Madrigal after he was optioned by Chicago on May 25. Madrigal had spent the entire 2023 season up in the big leagues with Chicago until his Triple-A season debut last night and played in 34 games for the Cubs. In those 34 games with Chicago, Madrigal hit at a clip of .247 with 13 runs scored, nine RBI, and two stolen bases. The fourth overall pick from the 2018 draft sure added a spark to the Iowa lineup in his first game with the I-Cubs last night. Hitting second in the batting order, Madrigal broke the game open after he laced a two-run single into right field in the fourth inning to put Iowa ahead, 4-0. Madrigal paced the Iowa offense last night going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a walk to help Iowa secure the 5-1 victory and regain the series lead over Nashville. He was the only I-Cub to record multiple hits last night as well. Madrigal has spent time with Iowa previously as the 26-year-old logged 12 games for the I-Cubs in 2022. In those 12 games for Iowa last season, Madrigal hit .308 (12-for-39) with one double and five RBI.

BIG BEN BROWN: Iowa’s starting pitcher for last night’s contest against Nashville was 23-year-old Ben Brown. The hard-throwing right-hander is currently the highest ranked prospect at No. 6 in the Cubs’ organization on Iowa’s roster and arguably had his best outing of the season with his performance last night. Brown had his stuff working from the get-go against the Sounds and held the Nashville offense to just one run on four hits over 5.1 innings of work. The East Setauket, New York native also set a new season-high for strikeouts by an Iowa pitcher as he fanned 11 Nashville batters. Brown surpassed himself for the new season-high in strikeouts when he had a 10-strikeout performance over five innings of work in his Principal Park debut versus Toledo on May 10. Brown’s performance put him back in the win column as well after he had suffered losses in his previous two outings against Indianapolis on May 16 and May 21.

TEAM EFFORT: It wasn’t just a one-man show from the Iowa pitching staff last night as the I-Cubs had three relievers, Anthony Kay, Codi Heuer, and Cam Sanders, spin scoreless, hitless innings on the way to the 5-1 victory. Following on the heels of Ben Brown’s 11 strikeout performance, Kay was called out of the bullpen first and allowed one walk and struck out one over 1.1 innings. Heuer was up next and continued to look good in his Major League Rehab assignment with two strikeouts against his four batters faced in 1.1 innings. Sanders put on the finishing touches and recorded a 1-2-3 ninth inning with one strikeout to close out the contest. In total, the three relievers combined to throw 3.2 shutout innings with four strikeouts and just one walk allowed.

ROUND TWO: Iowa will hand the ball back to starting pitcher Caleb Kilian today to try and secure the series win over the Sounds. Kilian opened the series versus Nashville on Tuesday and earned the win in his outing tossing 5.0 innings and allowing just one run on three hits and two walks to go along with six strikeouts. Kilian’s six strikeouts on Tuesday night set a new season-high for the 25-year-old. The No. 17 ranked prospect in the Cubs’ system improved his Triple-A record to 3-0 and now has an ERA of 4.45 after his performance earlier this week. Since being optioned back to Iowa after making a start against Miami up in the big leagues with Chicago on April 29, Kilian has gone 2-0 with a 2.84 ERA with 19 strikeouts compared to seven walks.

AGAINST NASHVILLE: Iowa will look for their third road series win of the year and sixth series win overall today, leading the series three games to two going into the finale this afternoon. With their four-run win last night the series scoring is exactly even, at 27-27. Iowa’s victory in game five of the series last night moved their all-time road record against Nashville to 76-105 and their overall all-time record to 166-192.

SHORT HOPS: Last night’s win marked Iowa’s 10th win this year against a National League affiliated team, moving to 10-7 on the year against NL affiliates…Iowa moved to 2-2 in specialty uniforms this year with their win last night… Ben Brown struck out a season-high 11 batters last night, surpassing his previous high of 10; the right-hander also has the most strikeouts in a single-game for any I-Cubs pitcher with his 11 punch outs.