Des Moines, IA - Barret Loux pitched five scoreless innings, the bullpen didn't allow a hit, and the Iowa Cubs (5-9) blanked the Nashville Sounds (4-9) 5-0 on Friday night at Principal Park. The Cubs took both games from the Sounds in a rain-shortened series and have won four of their last five games.
It took just three pitches for the Sounds to get runners in scoring position as Scooter Gennett and Blake Davis each singled to start the game. Loux was able to get two big strikeouts, and after a double steal to put the runners on second and third, got Stephen Parker to ground out to keep the Sounds off the board.
The Cubs allowed just one more hit the rest of the night.
Loux (2-1) turned in his second winning effort in as many appearances, throwing five shutout innings, giving up just three hits and one walk, while fanning six Sounds batters. Over his last two starts, Loux has allowed only one run on nine hits and struck out 11 over 10 innings.
The I-Cubs were quick to the punch, getting two runs in the first. Logan Watkins jumped on a Johnny Hellweg pitch, singling to center to leadoff the inning. The hard-throwing right-hander struggled with his control early on, hitting Darnell McDonald, and walking three batters in the first, including Brad Nelson and Donnie Murphy with the bases loaded. Nelson and Murphy were each credited with an RBI as the Cubs jumped on top 2-0.
Hellweg was able to get out of the inning without further damage, stranding three runners.
A pair of hot-hitting Cubs were able to manufacture a run in the fourth to extend the lead to 3-0. Brian Bogusevic popped a leadoff double off the left field wall to stretch his hitting streak to five games. J.C. Boscan drove him home in the next at-bat on a single to right. The catcher has now hit safely in seven of the eight games in which he has appeared to start the season.
The Cubs added runs in the fifth and six to round out the scoring. Ian Stewart scored on a bases-loaded passed ball in the fifth and McDonald hit an RBI single to center to plate Tim Torres in the sixth.
Four different Iowa pitchers completed the shutout as Casey Coleman, Zach Putnam, Rafael Dolis, and Blake Parker each pitched a hitless inning in relief of Loux. The four right-handers combined for five strikeouts and were one walk away from a perfect relief performance.
The Cubs travel to Memphis for a four-game series with the Redbirds starting at 6:05 on Saturday night. LH Chris Rusin (1-1, 3.50 ERA) will start for Iowa against Memphis' Nick Additon (0-1, 7.00 ERA). The game will be broadcast live on AM 940 and streamed at iowacubs.com with the pre-game show beginning at 5:45.