NASHVILLE, Tenn. --- The Nashville Sounds could not overcome a few ill-timed mistakes and a solid start from Iowa Cubs pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada in a 4-2 loss Tuesday afternoon at Greer Stadium.
Trailing by three in the ninth, outfielder Kevin Mattison narrowed the deficit to 4-2 when he led off with a solo home run. The blast was his fifth of the season. Later in the inning, the Sounds brought the winning run to the plate following two-out singles from Jeff Bianchi and Hector Gomez, but Iowa reliever Blake Parker struck out Sean Halton to end the game.
Nashville reached base safely in seven of nine innings but could not convert enough opportunities into runs, hitting just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position on the afternoon.
The Sounds' best chances at a rally came in the bottom of the third and fifth innings when they led off both frames with doubles but failed to score either time.
Sounds starter Brad Mills (4-1) grabbed momentum early, retiring the first 12 Cubs batters he faced, bringing his streak of consecutive outs to a team-high 18 dating back to his last start on May 29. Despite taking the loss, Mills finished the homestand with a 1.92 ERA while striking out 22 in 14 innings.
Mills picked up his fifth quality start, which is the team's 28th of the season and their eighth consecutive.
Cubs right fielder Casper Wells became the first Cubs player to reach base on Mills when he led off the bottom of the fifth with a single. He scored two batters later on a Christian Villanueva double.
Iowa added to their lead in the sixth when a Mills throwing error allowed two runs to score. Cubs center fielder Ryan Kalish widened Iowa's lead to 4-0 later in the inning with his RBI single.
The Sounds finally broke through in the bottom of the sixth when Eugenio Velez knocked in Gomez with an RBI infield single. Nashville's rally was halted shortly after, as Wada struck out Mattison to end the inning.
Wada went six innings for Iowa, scattering seven hits while allowing just one run to pick up his fifth win of the season. He struck out five and walked one.
Brewers relief pitcher Tom Gorzelanny turned in his fourth straight scoreless outing while on a rehab assignment, striking out two and allowing a hit in the top of the eighth.
Another golden opportunity for the Sounds to close the gap came in the bottom of the eighth when two runners were on base and only one out; but Iowa relievers Carlos Pimentel and Parker combined to get the last two outs of the inning.
After a league-wide off day Wednesday, the Sounds will begin a brief four-game road trip in Memphis tomorrow at 7:05 p.m. RHP Ariel Pena (4-4, 4.01 ERA) will be on the mound for the Sounds against Redbirds RHP Zach Petrick (2-3, 4.40 ERA). Jeff Hem has the call on 102.5-FM "The GAME".