Albuquerque, NM - Nick Buss had a double and a homer among four hits in his first triple-A start to lead the Albuquerque Isotopes (4-0) to a 7-3 win over the Iowa Cubs (0-4) at Isotopes Park this afternoon. The Cubs have lost 13 straight games in Albuquerque and have been swept in the season-opening series for the first time since 2010.
Three Isotopes pitchers combined to limit the Cubs to one hit through the first eight innings and just four overall in the game. Ryan Sweeney belted a solo homer off ‘Topes starter Javy Guerra in the top of the second inning for all of the Cubs' early offense. Guerra worked through four innings and combined with Angel Castro to retire 13 consecutive Cubs from the third through the seventh innings.
The Cubs scored two runs off a tiring Castro in the ninth. Brett Jackson singled and went to third on a double by Darnell McDonald. Jackson scored on a passed ball and McDonald scored on a groundout by Brian Bogusevic. With two outs and the bases empty in the ninth, the ‘Topes brought in Steve Smith who gave up a single to Sweeney before getting the final out. Sweeney is 6-for-7 with a walk in his first two games with Iowa. McDonald is the only Cub to have at least one hit in each of the first four games of the season.
On offense, the ‘Topes got another big day from Scott Van Slyke, who had a two-run double in the first inning and added a solo home run off Casey Coleman in the sixth. Buss doubled and scored in the second, had an RBI single in the fourth, and capped his day with a homer off Jensen Lewis in the eighth. Cubs' starter Nick Struck (0-1) allowed four runs on eight hits in five innings and suffered the loss. Coleman was charged with two runs in two innings and Lewis finished the eighth. Castro (1-0) was credited with the win.