Greg Reinhard (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
DES MOINES -- Right-hander Greg Reinhard made his first start for Class AAA Iowa (17-13) on Monday and allowed no hits and one walk in four solid shutout innings of work in a 6-2 win over first-place Memphis (17-12) at Principal Park. He struck out three batters.
Making only his second start since 2007, Reinhard was perfect through three innings. He gave up a walk to Memphis’ Jon Jay to start the fourth inning before retiring the next batter he faced on a flyout to left field.
Iowa got out of the inning with a double play when Reinhard struck out first baseman Nick Stavinoha and catcher Chris Robinson threw out Jay at second base.
“I was really taking the same approach as coming out of the bullpen,” Reinhard said. “Before I went out there, I told myself to keep it one pitch at a time.”
Reinhard lowered his ERA to 0.40 through 22 1/3 innings Monday. He has 29 strikeouts to six walks on the season, and 15 hits allowed for a .197 average against.
Coming out of the bullpen in his first 10 games, Reinhard had averaged two innings per appearance. Because he was used to throwing multiple innings, Reinhard said he didn’t feel he had to conserve much in Monday’s start.
“I’d thrown three innings before this season,” Reinhard said. “(Iowa pitching coach Mike) Mason made it clear before the game. He said, ‘Just give it what you have and then we’ll make a switch.’”
The Cubs acquired Reinhard along with OF Andrew Lopez from the Tampa Bay Rays in February, 2007, for RHP Jae-Kuk Ryu. He had been a starter in the Rays system for two years and made 15 starts at Class High-A Daytona in his first season with the Cubs. A season ago, he appeared in 44 games in relief between Class AA Tennessee at Iowa.
Reinhard got the start Monday after Jose Ascanio was promoted to Chicago on Sunday. He expects to make another start later in the week at Salt Lake.
“Unless something changes between now and five days from now, I’m probably going to have the next start,” said Reinhard.
Reinhard’s numbers to open the season have been impressive for an Iowa team whose parent club has had a revolving door in the bullpen for much of the season.
That’s bad news for Chicago, but encouraging for pitchers like Reinhard and right-hander Jeff Stevens -- two of Iowa’s most consistent relievers this season.
Reinhard said he wasn’t thinking ahead to a promotion, however.
“It would be awesome, but I don’t think I’ve given it a thought really,” he said. “It’s just because if it happens, it’s completely out of my hands anyway. I’ve really just been focusing on pitching.”
On that note, Reinhard said he’s been working on the development of his splitter and keeping his breaking pitches sharp.
“I don’t think I’ve been trying to do anything special,” Reinhard said. “I’ve been trying to throw as many strikes as possible. I’m pretty happy with the way that things have started, but it’s only a month. There’s a lot of (games left).”
--A new face for Iowa defensively was infielder Kyle Reynolds, who joined the club from Tennessee Monday. Reynolds was 0-4 on the day, but made three impressive plays at third base. RHP Blake Parker also joined the team from Tennessee.
--OF Brad Snyder went 2-for-4 and hit his eighth home run. He also doubled in the bottom of the second and later scored on Jason Dubois’s RBI single. Snyder is batting .318 with 25 RBI and has now hit safely in 20 of his last 21 games.
--RHP Vince Perkins came on in relief of Reinhard in the fifth and yielded only one hit and an unearned run in three innings. He gave up a leadoff walk to Memphis third baseman David Freese, who scored on first baseman Jake Fox’s first fielding error of the season. Perkins (1-0) recorded the win for Iowa.
--Fox was 1-for-3 on the day and in the bottom of the seventh hit a two-run triple off Memphis left-hander Charlie Manning. Fox leads the Cubs’ system in batting average (.388), home runs (12) and RBI (34) through 27 games.
--Memphis starter P.J. Walters recorded the Redbirds’ first hit of the game in the sixth inning with a bloop single to right off Perkins.
--RHP Kevin Hart pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Iowa, giving up one hit and one walk. Hart entered the day having allowed an earned run in his last three outings. He has a 6.91 ERA through 14 1/3 innings.
--LHP Jayson Ruhlman closed things out for Iowa after giving up a ninth-inning home run to Stavinoha. Since being promoted from Tennessee, he has allowed six runs and 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
--Memphis and Iowa currently place first and second in ERA in the Pacific Coast League at 3.66 and 3.89, respectively.
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