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Des Moines, IA – Erick Almonte’s two-run blast in the top of the eighth inning gave the Nashville Sounds an 8-7 victory and four-game series sweep of the division rival Iowa Cubs on Thursday night at Principal Park.
Taylor Green reached base earlier in the frame on a fielding error, followed by Almonte hitting his fifth home run to left field off Iowa reliever John Gaub (3-2).
The sweep was Nashville’s (47-52) second of the season after taking four straight from New Orleans from June 25th-28th at Greer Stadium. Winners of a season-best six consecutive contests, the Sounds have played in a PCL-high 44 one-run games this season, going 20-24 in those contests.Extending his hitting streak to a season-high 10 contests, outfielder Jordan Brown went 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Brown is hitting safely in 11 of his last 12 games at a .429 clip (18-for-42) and has driven in a run in seven of his last eight contests.
Green (2-for-3) gave Nashville a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. After Brown doubled to center field, Green hammered the first pitch he saw from Iowa starter Casey Coleman over the right field wall. The long ball was Green’s 14th of the season.
Cubs shortstop Marwin Gonzalez broke out of an 0-for-17 slump and hit his first Triple-A home run in the bottom of the third to bring the Cubs within one, a solo shot on the first pitch from Narron.
Both clubs exploded for four runs with two outs in the fourth inning, each receiving help from their starting pitcher’s bat.
Nashville’s damage was started by catcher Mike Rivera, who doubled to center and moved to third on a Caleb Gindl groundout. The Cubs then chose to pitch around Brandon Boggs to face Narron, who helped his own cause with an RBI single up the middle. Eric Farris then looped an RBI base hit to center to score Boggs, followed by a two-run double by Brown.
Iowa brought the club back within one run at 6-5 thanks to five hits in the inning, including two triples. Gonzalez added to his RBI total with a two-run single to right field, followed by a two-run triple from pitcher Coleman. The three-bagger was Coleman’s first of his career.
The Cubs were able to get to Narron and knot the contest at 6-6 in the bottom of the seventh inning. DJ LeMahieu lined a one-out double to right and scored as Tyler Colvin singled to right.
Almonte’s two-run homer in the eighth off Gaub gave Nashville the 8-6 advantage.
Mike McClendon had to work for his third save of the season. Third baseman Mat Gamel made a fielding error to allow the leadoff hitter reach, followed by two straight singles to trim the Nashville lead to 8-7. Outfielder Lou Montanez then hit a grounder to Almonte at first, who threw behind McClendon trying to cover the bag. As the ball got away towards home, Iowa catcher Welington Castillo attempted to tie the game and score from third, but was tagged out while sliding into home by Gamel on a controversial call that got Iowa Manager Bill Dancy ejected.
Narron matched a season-high 12 hits allowed for six runs in 6 2/3 innings of work in a no-decision. The start was Narron’s sixth straight of six innings or more.
Zack Segovia (4-3) and Daniel Herrera each tossed 2/3 of a scoreless inning in relief.
Coleman gave up six runs on eight hits while fanning five in seven innings.
The Sounds and Cubs travel back to Music City to begin a new four-game series at 7:05pm CT at Greer Stadium on Friday night, the fifth of eight consecutive games. Right-hander Amaury Rivas (6-9, 4.71) takes the hill for Nashville against former Sounds Dave Bush (0-0, 3.86).
Nashville Sounds (47-52) 8, Iowa Cubs (44-55) 7
July 21st, 2011
Pitches-strikes: Narron 106-68, Segovia 14-6, Herrera 11-6, McClendon 16-10, Coleman, C 93-57, Gaub 30-22, Carpenter 13-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Narron 7-4, Segovia 0-1, Herrera 1-0, McClendon 3-1, Coleman, C 8-5, Gaub 1-1, Carpenter 1-0.
Batters faced: Narron 31, Segovia 3, Herrera 3, McClendon 6, Coleman, C 29, Gaub 6, Carpenter 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Segovia 1-0, Herrera 1-0.
Ejections: Iowa Cubs Manager Bill Dancy ejected by HP umpire Matt Schaufert (9th).
Umpires: HP: Matt Schaufert. 1B: Eric Loveless. 2B: . 3B: Jordan Baker.
Weather: 88 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 8 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsAmaury Rivas, Bill Dancy, Brandon Boggs, Caleb Gindl, Casey Coleman, D. J. LeMahieu, Dave Bush, Des Moines IA, Eric Farris, Greer Stadium, Iowa Cubs, John Gaub, Jordan Brown, Lou Montanez, Marwin Gonzalez, Mat Gamel, Mike McClendon, Mike Rivera, Music City, Nashville Sounds, Principal Park, Taylor Green, Welington Castillo, Zack Segovia
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