This Triple-A slugfest included 34 runs, 42 hits and 9 homers

Reds' De La Cruz, Encarnacion-Strand and Cubs' Mervis come up big

April 28th, 2023

The Louisville Bats and Iowa Cubs didn't get together and play a game of Madden on Thursday. The clubs played nine innings of baseball, and when it was over the scoreboard showed I-Cubs 18 - Bats 16.

The offenses combined for 34 runs and 80 total bases on 42 hits -- including nine long balls, a triple and nine doubles. There were 12 pitchers used, 408 pitches thrown and 245 of those were strikes.

The nine home runs ties the Minor League high this year, while the 42 hits is the most since Triple-A Sugar Land and El Paso combined for 43 knocks on June 20, 2021. The only other Minor League game with more hits over the past five seasons was between Triple-A Lehigh Valley and Rochester on April 13, 2019, that also finished with 43.

The 80 total bases is also the most in the Minors since that 2021 game between the Space Cowboys and the Chihuahuas, and only 10 Minor League games since at least 2005 have had more combined total bases. The most total bases recorded in a game since 2005 was 112 in a game on June 28, 2009.

But, there was still plenty of action at Principal Park as every inning saw a run scored. Both teams batted around in the second inning and one other time -- the Bats in the sixth, and the Cubs in the fourth. In that fourth frame, Iowa recorded six hits, and all of them went for extra bases, including four home runs. Jake Slaughter, Jared Young and Sergio Alcántara went back-to-back-to-back in the frame.

The Reds' Nos. 1, 5 and 6 prospects -- , and -- combined to go 11-for-16 with 22 total bases and 11 RBIs. Cincinnati's top prospect De La Cruz finished 4-for-6 with a triple, a double, three RBIs, three runs scored and a stolen base. MLB's No. 8 overall prospect had gotten off to a slow start after missing the start of the season with a hamstring injuring, collecting just one hit in his first 21 at-bats.

Sixth-ranked Reds prospect Encarnacion-Strand crushed a pair of home runs and added a double as part of a five-hit, six-RBI performance. The 23-year-old missed the first three weeks of the season with a slight herniation in his back but has three dingers over his past two games after making his season debut on Sunday.

McLain (No. 5) went 2-for-4 with a double, a pair of walks, four runs scored and two RBIs.

Cubs No. 6 prospect connected on his sixth tater of the year and finished with a pair of knocks, two RBIs, two runs and a walk. Young and Christopher Morel clubbed a pair of jacks each. Morel, who is tied for the MiLB lead in homers with 10, finished with four hits and four runs scored.