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Gamel, Olmedo Homer As Nashville Knocks Off I-Cubs
Des Moines, IA – The Nashville Sounds gained a series split with a 6-4 victory over the division-leading Iowa Cubs on Tuesday afternoon at Principal Park in the finale of the four-game set.
With the victory, Nashville (68-62) secured a 10-6 win in the season series against the I-Cubs. The Sounds trail Iowa by six games in the PCL American Conference Northern Division with 14 games remaining on their schedule.
Third baseman Mat Gamel (2-for-4) continued his torrid August for the Sounds, putting the visitors on the board with a two-run homer in the top of the first inning. The blast, off Iowa starter Chris Carpenter, was the infielder’s second in two days and 13th of the year. Adam Stern, who preceded Gamel by reaching on a fielder’s choice, also scored on the longball.
Iowa rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the opening frame against Sounds starter Josh Butler. The go-ahead run in the inning scored in unearned fashion following a fielding error by first baseman Joe Koshansky.
The Sounds tied the game at 3-3 with a two-out rally in the top of the second. After the first two batters were retired, Norris Hopper drew a walk from Carpenter, swiped his team-leading 22nd base of the year, and scored on Stern’s opposite-field RBI double to left.
Stern’s double extended the outfielder’s hitting streak to seven games, which is the longest active on the club and matches his best effort of the season. He is hitting .368 (57-for-155) in his last 47 games for the Sounds.
The game remained tied until the fifth, when second baseman Ray Olmedo belted a two-run homer to right off Iowa reliever Hung-Wen Chen, his third roundtripper of the season, to put Nashville on top, 5-3. Luis Cruz, who went 3-for-5 on the afternoon, opened the frame with a single before scoring on Olmedo’s blast.
Iowa right fielder Brad Snyder pulled the Cubs within 5-4 in the bottom of the inning with his 21st home run of the season, a one-out solo shot to right.
Nashville tacked on an insurance run in the ninth when catcher Martin Maldonado (3-for-4) drew a one-out, bases-loaded walk from Cubs reliever Jeff Stevens to force home Joe Koshansky. Stevens minimized the damage, though, as he fanned pinch-hitter Erick Almonte and induced an inning-ending grounder from Norris Hopper.
Butler (4-1) picked up his fourth win in five decisions for the Sounds after he allowed four runs (three earned) on four hits while walking three batters and striking out four in his five innings of work. The right-hander tossed 95 pitches on the afternoon.
The Nashville bullpen did a solid job behind Butler. Mitch Stetter, Carlos Villanueva (who struck out the side in his lone inning), and David Johnson all worked scoreless frames to turn things over to closer Chris Smith in the ninth.
Johnson faced the biggest threat from the Cubs, who put runners on second and third with only one out against the right-hander. However, he recovered to post back-to-back strikeouts of Wellington Castillo and Jim Adduci to escape the jam with the Sounds’ lead intact.
Smith worked around a two-out walk to post a scoreless ninth and nail down his PCL co-leading 23rd save of the year.
Chen (2-3) took the loss for Iowa after giving up two runs on five hits in his four innings of relief work behind Carpenter, who made his career Triple-A debut in the contest and allowed three runs in three frames.
The Sounds return to Nashville this evening and will open their final homestand of the 2010 season on Wednesday night, when they welcome New Orleans (AAA-Marlins) to town. Right-hander Tim Dillard (4-6, 4.69) will take the hill for the Sounds in Wednesday’s 7:05pm opener of a five-game series. The Z’s will counter with left-hander Wes Whisler (2-6, 6.64).
Nashville Sounds (68-62) 6, Iowa Cubs (74-56) 4
August 24th, 2010
HBP: Katin (by Chen, H).
Pitches-strikes: Butler 95-51, Stetter 12-9, Villanueva 21-15, Johnson, D 22-15, Smith, C 16-8, Carpenter, C 84-46, Chen, H 56-38, Schlitter 30-17, Stevens 12-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Butler 8-3, Stetter 0-1, Villanueva 0-0, Johnson, D 0-0, Smith, C 1-2, Carpenter, C 5-0, Chen, H 3-3, Schlitter 3-1, Stevens 1-0.
Batters faced: Butler 23, Stetter 3, Villanueva 3, Johnson, D 5, Smith, C 4, Carpenter, C 19, Chen, H 16, Schlitter 8, Stevens 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Stevens 3-1.
Ejections: Iowa Cubs Manager Ryne Sandberg ejected by HP umpire Mark Buchanan (9th).
Umpires: HP: Mark Buchanan. 1B: Cory Blaser. 2B: . 3B: John Tumpane.
Weather: 74 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 13 mph, L to R.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsAdam Stern, Brad Snyder, Carlos Villanueva, Chris Smith, David Johnson, Erick Almonte, Iowa Cubs, Jim Adduci, Joe Koshansky, Josh Butler, Luis Cruz, Martin Maldonado, Mat Gamel, Mitch Stetter, Nashville Sounds, Norris Hopper, Principal Park, Ray Olmedo, Tim Dillard
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