Nashville, TN – The Nashville Sounds cracked a pair of home runs and got a bright pitching performance from Ben Bracewell in a 7-0 win over the Iowa Cubs in front of 8,119 fans at First Tennessee Park Monday afternoon.
Joey Wendle started the scoring early when he launched a three-run homer into The Band Box in the bottom of the first inning. It was Wendle’s eighth home run of the season and snapped a Sounds skid of 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Nashville added a run in the second when Melvin Mercedes singled up the middle and Jaff Decker perfectly placed a double down the left field line to bring in Mercedes and make it 4-0.
The early offense was more than enough for Bracewell who notched his fourth win of the season. He scattered four hits and shut out the Cubs over six innings. The right-hander didn’t issue any walks and struck out five.
Iowa threatened in the fourth when Mike Freeman and Bijan Rademacher collected singles, but Bracewell buckled down and struck out Jacob Hannemann to end the inning.
Nashville sent nine to the plate in a three-run sixth inning. Renato Nunez got it going when lined a pitch into left-center and hustled into second with a leadoff double. After a walk and a wild pitch, Nunez raced home on a sacrifice fly by Yairo Munoz.
Matt McBride followed Munoz with a two-run rocket down the left-field line that found the seats in the Hyundai Deck. McBride’s 10th home run of the season gave Nashville a comfortable 7-0 lead.
A trio of Nashville relievers kept the Cubs off the board the rest of the way. Felix Doubront worked around a pair of hits in the seventh, Josh Smith struck out two in a scoreless eighth, and Lou Trivino worked a perfect ninth to secure the win.
Franklin Barreto went 3-for-5 in the win while Decker and Nunez added two hits apiece. The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 8-for-14 for Nashville.
The series finale between Nashville and Iowa is scheduled for Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Daniel Gossett (4-4, 3.66) starts for the Sounds against left-hander Rob Zastryzny (1-2, 6.57) for the Cubs. First pitch is set for 7:05pm.
The 2017 season is the Sounds’ 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com