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Nashville Falls 7 Games Behind Division-Leading I-Cubs
Des Moines, IA – The Iowa Cubs scored four unanswered runs to hang a 4-3 defeat on the Nashville Sounds on Saturday evening at Principal Park in the opener of a four-game series.
With the win, the first-place I-Cubs stretched their lead over Nashville (66-61) to seven games in the PCL American Conference Northern Division, matching the Sounds’ largest deficit of the season.
The Nashville bullpen was unable to protect a 3-0 lead for Sounds starter Chase Wright, who took a no-decision and has notched just one victory in his last 11 trips to the hill.
Sounds first baseman Joe Koshansky gave the visitors a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when he slugged his team-leading 21st home run of the season, a one-out shot to left-center off Iowa starter Jeff Samardzija.
Nashville doubled its advantage in the fifth when shortstop Luis Cruz doubled with one out and later scored on a Martin Maldonado groundout to make it a 2-0 contest.
The lead increased to 3-0 in the sixth as the Sounds manufactured a run. Adam Stern led off with a walk and Eric Farris singled before Ray Olmedo laid down his team-leading 13th sacrifice bunt of the year to advance the runners a base. Brendan Katin then lifted a sacrifice fly to right to plate Stern.
The Sounds’ lead evaporated with one Mitch Stetter pitch in the bottom of the sixth inning as Cubs third baseman Marquez Smith greeted the southpaw reliever by tattooing a three-run homer to left-center, his 13th longball of the year. James Adduci and Ty Wright opened the frame with consecutive singles off Nashville starter Chase Wright before Stetter was summoned from the bullpen to face Smith.
Iowa took its first lead of the night in the eighth against Sounds reliever Chuck Löfgren when Micah Hoffpauir drew a one-out walk and later scampered home to score the game-winning run on a two-out wild pitch by the left-hander.
The Sounds didn’t go down without a fight, however.
Maldonado led off the Nashville ninth with a double off Brian Schlitter. The Cubs reliever recovered to retire pinch-hitter Erick Almonte on a flyout before walking Stern and allowing a single to Farris to load the bases with one out. Olmedo followed with a grounder to first that resulted in a forceout at the plate for the second out of the frame.
Schlitter struck Katin out swinging to leave the bags full and preserve the Cubs’ victory, earning his 13th save of the year.
The late Cubs run made a winner out of reliever Scott Maine (3-1), who tossed a scoreless inning.
Löfgren (7-8) was saddled with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in his lone frame of action.
The teams continue the series with a 1:05pm matinee on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Marty McLeary (6-7, 6.98) will man the bump for the Sounds to face Iowa right-hander Jay Jackson (9-8, 4.29).
Iowa Cubs (73-54) 4, Nashville Sounds (66-61) 3
August 21st, 2010
Wright, C pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.
WP: Johnson, D, Lofgren.
IBB: Scales (by Lofgren), Koshansky (by Samardzija).
HBP: Hoffpauir, M (by Stetter), Maldonado, M (by Muyco).
Pitches-strikes: Wright, C 89-54, Stetter 13-8, Johnson, D 21-13, Lofgren 43-25, Samardzija 95-53, Muyco 13-9, Maine 11-8, Schlitter 26-14.
Groundouts-flyouts: Wright, C 11-1, Stetter 0-0, Johnson, D 1-1, Lofgren 1-2, Samardzija 6-8, Muyco 2-1, Maine 2-0, Schlitter 1-1.
Batters faced: Wright, C 19, Stetter 3, Johnson, D 4, Lofgren 10, Samardzija 25, Muyco 5, Maine 4, Schlitter 6.
Inherited runners-scored: Stetter 2-2, Johnson, D 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Mark Buchanan. 1B: John Tumpane. 2B: . 3B: Joe Nelson.
Weather: 92 degrees, clear.
Wind: 6 mph, In from LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsAdam Stern, Brendan Katin, Brian Schlitter, Chase Wright, Chuck Lofgren, Eric Farris, Erick Almonte, Iowa Cubs, Jay Jackson, Joe Koshansky, Luis Cruz, Martin Maldonado, marty McLeary, Mitch Stetter, Nashville Sounds, Principal Park, Ray Olmedo
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