Des Moines, IA – The Nashville Sounds were on the short end of a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Iowa Cubs on Monday evening at Principal Park in the opener of a four-game series.
The loss was Nashville’s third in a row after opening the season with consecutive wins.
Eugenio Velez (2-for-4) continued his strong start to the season for the Sounds, swatting a one-out solo homer off I-Cubs starter Tsuyoshi Wada in the second inning to spot the visitors a 1-0 lead. Velez has hit safely in each of his four contests (7-for-13, .538) after concluding the 2013 campaign with a 22-game hitting streak.
Right-hander Ariel Pena got off to a good start in his Nashville debut, holding Iowa hitless through the first four innings before the I-Cubs broke through in the home half of the fifth. Brett Jackson legged out a triple to right before knotting the contest at 1-1 when he trotted home on Eli Whiteside’s ensuing RBI single up the middle.
Pena took a no-decision in his Sounds debut after striking out eight batters while holding Iowa to one run on a pair of hits in five innings of work. The right-hander threw 77 pitches on the night.
Iowa took a 4-1 lead in the sixth when third baseman Christian Villanueva slugged a three-run homer to right off Sounds reliever Kyle Heckathorn (0-1), who was added to the club’s roster earlier in the day. The right-hander retired the first two batters of the frame before allowing a two-out single and issuing a walk prior to giving up Villanueva’s first longball of the year.
Wada (1-0) earned a win with a quality start for Iowa, limiting the Sounds to one run on three hits while fanning eight in his 6 1/3 innings of action.
Following the Velez homer, Nashville put only one run into scoring position until the ninth, when the Sounds mounted a two-out rally against Blake Parker.
With two down in the top of the ninth, Velez singled to right and moved to third on a double by Hunter Morris (2-for-4) to bring the potential tying run to the plate in the person of pinch-hitter Jeremy Hermida. However, Parker fanned the veteran slugger on four pitches to quell the threat and nail down his first save of the year.
The teams continue the series with another 6:35 p.m. matchup on Tuesday evening. Right-hander Mike Fiers will man the bump for the Sounds to make his season debut. Iowa will counter with left-hander Chris Rusin (0-1, 12.27).
April 7th, 2014
|Morris, H, 1B||4||0||2||0||0||1||1||.368|
|Gomez, H, SS||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.294|
|Pena, A, P||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a-Struck out for Pena, A in the 6th. b-Struck out for Molleken in the 9th.|
2B: Morris, H (3, Parker, B).
HR: Velez (2, 2nd inning off Wada, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Velez 5; Gomez, H; Halton; Morris, H 3.
RBI: Velez (4).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Pagnozzi; Hermida 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 6.FIELDING
E: Falu (1, throw), Velez (1, throw).
|Baez, J, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||1||.071|
|Jackson, B, RF||2||1||2||0||1||0||0||.143|
|Ramirez, N, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Parker, B, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Anderson, La, 1B||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.125|
|a-Struck out for Vitters in the 4th. b-Grounded out for Ramirez, N in the 8th.|
3B: Jackson, B (1, Pena, A).
HR: Villanueva (1, 6th inning off Heckathorn, 2 on, 2 out).
TB: Whiteside; Jackson, B 4; Alcantara; Villanueva 4; Szczur.
RBI: Whiteside (1), Villanueva 3 (3).
2-out RBI: Villanueva 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Vitters; Watkins; Whiteside; Coghlan 2.
Team RISP: 2-for-8.
Team LOB: 8.BASERUNNING
SB: Watkins (1, 2nd base off Pena, A/Pagnozzi), Coghlan (1, 2nd base off Heckathorn/Pagnozzi), Jackson, B (1, 2nd base off Heckathorn/Pagnozzi), Alcantara (1, 2nd base off Heckathorn/Pagnozzi).
|Heckathorn (L, 0-1)||1.2||4||3||3||2||1||1||16.20|
|Wada (W, 1-0)||6.2||3||1||1||1||8||1||1.35|
|Ramirez, N (H, 1)||1.1||1||0||0||0||2||0||15.43|
|Parker, B (S, 1)||1.0||2||0||0||0||2||0||0.00|
HBP: Szczur (by Heckathorn).
Pitches-strikes: Pena, A 77-46, Heckathorn 48-25, Molleken 13-8, Wada 94-64, Ramirez, N 17-12, Parker, B 16-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Pena, A 3-3, Heckathorn 1-1, Molleken 4-0, Wada 6-6, Ramirez, N 2-0, Parker, B 0-0.
Batters faced: Pena, A 19, Heckathorn 12, Molleken 5, Wada 24, Ramirez, N 5, Parker, B 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Molleken 3-0, Ramirez, N 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Brian Hertzog. 1B: Marcus Pattillo. 2B: Shaun Lampe. 3B: Thomas Newsom.
Weather: 63 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 15 mph, L to R.
T: 2:53 (:45 delay).
Venue: Principal Park.
April 7, 2014