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May 7, 2007

Pink lumber colors explosive victory for Iowa


Pink may be permanent.

The Iowa Cubs bashed 18 hits Sunday in a 17-7 win over Sacramento at Principal Park.

The Cubs, save for catcher Koyie Hill, used pink bats on Mother's Day as part of an auction to raise money for breast cancer research. The Cubs raised $2,465 and scored the most runs since putting up 17 against Colorado Springs on July 25, 2002.

"I was apprehensive because we've been swinging the bats good, but it didn't slow them down," manager Buddy Bailey said.

Micah Hoffpauir opened the spree with a two-run home run in the first inning that bounced off the top of the wall and caromed around the luxury boxes in left field.

Hoffpauir provided most of the momentum, and a breeze that kept the flags pointing toward the Capitol did the rest.

"I hit it on the barrel, but I didn't think it would get out," Hoffpauir said.

Hoffpauir, who has battled a shoulder injury the past few weeks, was 3-for-6 with three RBIs, but was far from the only standout.

- Eric Patterson was 2-for-4 and hit a home run for the third straight game.

- Felix Pie had three hits, including a triple, and drove in four.

- Hill hit a three-run homer and had four RBIs.

- Mike Fontenot was 4-for-6 and is 22-for-44 in his past 10 games.

"Everybody's been talking about Font (Fontenot), but when you're getting 13, 15, 18 hits, one guy can't get that many; it's everybody," Bailey said.

Hill's shot in the fourth - directly over the center-field fence - pushed the score to 10-1, but the Cubs, who lost 11-8 to Sacramento Saturday night, were unwilling to coast.

"We were talking about that in the dugout - don't quit on these guys," Hoffpauir said.

Iowa added three runs in the fifth and four in the sixth to win for the ninth time in 10 games.

Cubs starting pitcher J.R. Mathes improved to 4-2, giving up six earned runs in six innings.

"When you look at that linescore, you think it's not too good, but when you consider how small this ballpark played today, he did a really good job," Bailey said.

Long games: Fans attending the first two games of the series with Sacramento have gotten their money's worth. The Cubs and River Cats have combined for 43 runs in two games that took a combined 6 hours 18 minutes.

Quick starts: Iowa has outscored opponents 36-11 in the first two innings of its past 10 games.

Original story: Des Moines Register

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