Des Moines, IA – The Nashville Sounds dropped the series opener to the Iowa Cubs as the offense went quiet in a 3-2 loss Wednesday afternoon at Principal Park.
The Sounds (43-30) managed just five hits and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position against three Iowa (33-36) pitchers.
Starters Chris Jensen for Nashville, and Jake Buchanan for Iowa, each threw quality starts but Buchanan was better by a slim margin. The right-hander limited the Sounds to one run on just three hits over his six innings in a winning effort. Jensen was charged with the loss after he allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings.Jensen and the Sounds held a brief 1-0 lead when they scored in the first half of the second inning. Ryon Healy doubled and Matt Olson walked to put a pair of runners on base.
Buchanan struck out Joey Wendle and Matt McBride, but couldn’t escape the jam before Bruce Maxwell brought in Healy with a run-scoring base hit up the middle.
The lead didn’t last long as Iowa produced their own two-out hitting to jump in front. With two down and runners at first and second, David Freitas sent a single to left-center that chased home Dan Vogelbach with the tying run.
Munenori Kawasaki gave the Cubs the lead when he sent a ball down the left field line and into the corner. Kristopher Negron scored from second to make it 2-1, but the relay throw from shortstop Chad Pinder to the plate cut down Freitas to end the inning.
The Cubs extended their lead to 3-1 in the fifth, and it stayed that way until the seventh.
With Buchanan departed from the game, McBride launched an offering from Felix Pena over the left field wall for a solo home run – his fourth long ball of the season.
That’s as close as Nashville would get, however, as Pena fired a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Joel Peralta followed suit in the ninth to earn the save.
Maxwell and Healy accounted for four of Nashville’s five hits, with the other coming on McBride’s blast. The rest of the lineup went hitless in 21 at bats.
Games two and three of the series are scheduled for Thursday in Des Moines. Right-hander Chris Smith (4-5, 4.43) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Aaron Brooks (0-1, 15.00) in game one of the doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for 5:08pm.
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com