Kennie Steenstra, who has suffered through a tough season, pitched the Iowa Cubs to a second straight complete-game victory over the Buffalo Bisons, 5-1, Tuesday night at Sec Taylor Stadium.
Steenstra (2-6) stopped the Herd on eight hits as he posted only his second victory of the season in his 18th start. It was the second straight complete game for Iowa pitching against the Bisons, who were shut out by Miguel Batista Monday night in the opener of the four-game series.
Buffalo had come here after opening its road trip with three straight victories at Omaha.
Brooks Kieschnick and Brant Brown hit home runs for the I-Cubs, who lead the American Association's Western Division and could wind up facing the Eastern Division-leading Bisons in the playoffs.
Iowa jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning against loser Roland DeLaMaza (7-1), who allowed 11 hits over six innings before giving way to Angel Miranda, who hurled two shutout innings.
League stolen base leader Miguel Cairo got the Cubs started with the first of his three hits, an infield hit in the first. He stole second, the first of his three thefts in the game, then moved to third on a infield out and scored on a wild pitch by DeLaMaza. Then Kieschnick hit an opposite-field home run to left to make it 2-0.
Iowa made it 4-0 in the third with Kieschnick driving home Cairo and Brown with a single.
Brown made it 5-0 with a tremendous home run over the 40-foot high scoreboard in right field.
Buffalo's only run came in the sixth on Richie Sexson's double.
The teams will play an afternoon game today with Marcus Moore (2-0) due to start for the Herd against Dave Swartzbaugh (5-4), who recently joined the I-Cubs from the parent Chicago Cubs. The final regular-season series between the teams here winds up Thursday night.