OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Bill Selby hit a two-run homer and David Kelton added a two-run triple to give the Iowa Cubs new life in their best-of-five series with the Oklahoma Redhawks at Bricktown Park Saturday.
The win was Cub starter John Koronka's 13th total of the season, matching a career-high set back in 2002. Koronka (13-9) tied a season-high in hits allowed with 10, but left eight Oklahoma runners on base to prevail.
Peter Zoccolillo singled with two away in the second inning for his third RBI of the series to give Oklahoma an early 1-0 lead. Oklahoma stranded 11 total runners on base in the nine innings.
The 1-0 Redhawks lead would hold up until the fourth when Iowa broke for three runs on four hits, including Kelton's triple and a Gookie Dawkins RBI single against struggling Triple-A rookie John Hudgins. Then in the sixth, with Iowa leading 3-1 and looking for more, Selby provided enough insurance with his 18th homer of the season to make it 5-1.
Oklahoma threatened in the seventh, loading the bases with just one out and the heart of the order coming up. Right-hander Jason Szuminski then got Chad Allen to fly out, scoring shortstop Santiago Perez who singled to open the inning.
Perez tied a season-high with three hits on the afternoon. Meanwhile, Cubs second baseman Russ Johnson, who singled ahead of Selby in the sixth, extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Jermaine Van Buren pitched the ninth for his 24th save of the season, but not before having to work overtime. He came on in relief of left-hander Nate Bland in the eighth after Bland put back-to-back runners on base with one-out walks. Van Buren struck out Zoccolillo looking in the ninth to end it and force a decisive game five Sunday at "The Brick."
With a birth to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series on the west coast hanging in the air, the Cubs will send struggling right-hander Kevin McGlinchy (0-4, 5.45) to the hill in game five while Oklahoma counters with 26-year-old Mike Bacsik (8-6, 4.55).
The Cubs won their 81st game of the year and improved to a flawless 66-0 when leading after eight innings this season.
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