Trailing all game, the Sounds battled back to within two runs of Iowa in the eighth inning, but a seven-run outpouring from Cubs’ hitters in the ninth sealed Nashville’s fate.
Sounds right-handed pitcher Mike Fiers (5-1) entered the game on a streak of five consecutive quality-start victories, but had an uncharacteristic outing, allowing the I-Cubs five runs on six hits over five innings of work.
Shortstop Chris Valaika touched Fiers for a wind-aided home run in the first inning to score three for Iowa, while outfielder Josh Vitters followed in the third inning with a two-run homer.
Fiers, the Pacific Coast League’s strikeout leader, fanned four Cubs in the contest and walked two. He was charged the loss, his first, while Iowa’s Dallas Beeler (1-0) recorded the win, holding Nashville batters to one run on six hits over six innings.
Outfielder Sean Halton, 2-for-3, drove in two of Nashville’s three runs with an infield single in the fourth and sacrifice-fly in the eighth. Over the last two games, Halton is hitting .714 (5-for-7) with four RBIs.
Jeremy Hermida’s RBI-double scored Hunter Morris, who finished with a pair of doubles, and made it a 5-3 ballgame before the big ninth inning, which saw the I-Cubs bat around for seven runs on seven hits.
Reliever Kyle Heckathorn, who had worked an effective 1-2-3 eighth inning, allowed six consecutive hits to begin the frame and was charged with six runs. Dustin Molleken took over to finish the inning, but not before allowing a run of his own.
Brett Jackson recorded Iowa’s sixth run of the ballgame leading off the ninth inning with a solo home run and returned to the plate later in the frame to drive in the team’s final run on a groundout.
Iowa’s 12 runs are the most allowed in a single game by Sounds pitchers this season and the seven runs in the ninth are the most allowed in a single inning. Today’s outing marks only the second time this season that Sounds pitchers have allowed multiple home runs.
Reliever Jeremy Jeffress logged two scoreless innings for Nashville.
The Sounds begin their third road trip of the season on Tuesday as the team heads to Colorado Springs for a four-game set with the Sky Sox (AAA-Rockies). Right-handed pitcher Alfredo Figaro (0-0, 3.21) will make the start for Nashville, opposite Colorado Springs’ lefty Yohan Flande (0-5, 5.73). Broadcaster Jeff Hem has the call on 102.5 The Game.