Sounds Split Doubleheader in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa - The Nashville Sounds split a doubleheader with the division-rival Iowa Cubs on Wednesday evening at Principal Park. Each team recorded a one-run victory in the twinbill as Nashville captured the opener, 5-4, before dropping the nightcap, 1-0.
In the opener, Chris Narveson (1-2) made his fifth rehab start for the Sounds and held the I-Cubs to two runs on four hits over five-plus innings of work, tossing 80 pitches to earn the victory. He walked one batters and struck out two.
The Sounds got off to a quick start against Iowa left-hander Brooks Raley (5-5), plating two runs in the top of the first inning.
Nashville loaded the bases with no outs on a pair of walks followed by an opposite-field Blake Lalli single to left. Sean Halton was subsequently hit by a Raley pitch to drive home the first run of the contest. Hunter Morris followed and grounded into a double play, with Khris Davis (2-for-2) scoring from third on the play to make it a 2-0 contest.
The I-Cubs responded in the home half of the opening frame. Logan Watkins led off with a triple to right off Narveson and scored on a Donnie Murphy groundout to cut the Sounds' lead to 2-1.
The Sounds increased their lead to 5-1 in the third with three two-out runs off Raley. After Nashville loaded the bases on a Khris Davis double and a pair of walks, Cole Garner plated a pair of runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single up the middle. Stephen Parker (2-for-3) followed with a first-pitch RBI single to center.
Iowa rallied in the bottom of the sixth inning against Kyle Heckathorn, plating a pair of runs before leaving the bags full in making it a 5-3 contest.
The I-Cubs loaded the bases with no outs as a result of a single, walk, and throwing error by Parker before former Sound Brad Nelson cut the Nashville lead to 5-2 with a sacrifice fly. Junior Lake followed with an RBI single and Brett Jackson drew a walk to re-load the bags with one out. Heckathorn recovered to retire the next two hitters to escape the inning and protect the two-run lead.
Closer Rob Wooten took over for the Sounds in the seventh. Watkins greeted the right-hander with his second triple of the night and pulled the Cubs within a run at 5-4 when he scored on a Murphy groundout. Wooten retired the next two batters in succession to close out the win and record his 14th save of the year.
Iowa rebounded with a 1-0 victory in the evening's second game. Three I-Cubs pitchers held the Sounds to only one hit -- an Anderson De La Rosa single -- in the seven-inning contest.
The game featured a pitchers' duel between Tyler Thornburg and Barret Loux as neither team scored over the first five innings of action.
Thornburg (0-9) took another in a series of recent hard-luck losses for Nashville, allowing one unearned run on five hits while striking out seven batters over six innings. The game's only run scored as a result of his own throwing error. Thornburg threw 91 pitches and received credit for a complete game.
With the clubs locked in a scoreless deadlock, Iowa finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth, plating an unearned run follow a throwing error on the Sounds hurler.
Logan Watkins led off the inning with a single. Later, Steve Clevenger hit a one-out comebacker to the mound which should have been an inning-ending double play but Thornburg misfired to second, leaving runners on first and second. Former Sound Brad Nelson drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases for Brent Lillibridge, who fanned for the second out. With pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy at the plate, Thornburg uncorked a wild pitch to allow Watkins to race home with the game's only run.
Brian Schlitter came on for the bottom of the seventh and retired the Sounds' 2-3-4 hitters in order to secure his fourth save of the year.
Hisanori Takahashi (1-0) worked one scoreless inning of relief to pick up his first win of the year for Iowa.
The teams continue the series with a 7:05 p.m. meeting on Thursday. Right-hander Frankie De La Cruz (1-6, 7.77) will toe the slab for the Sounds. Iowa will counter with right-hander Yoanner Negrin (1-2, 3.67).
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