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Jokisch, Iowa edge past Nashville

Matt Szczur homer proves to be the difference
May 4, 2015

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Eric Jokisch spun his first quality start of the season and Matt Szczur banged out a two-run home run to push the Iowa Cubs (11-13) past the Nashville Sounds (9-15) 2-1 in Pacific Coast League action Monday at First Tennessee Park in Nashville, Tenn.


The Sounds got on the board first in the first inning. Andy Parrino led off the game with a double, then scored two batters later on a Nate Freiman sacrifice fly. However, that would be all Nashville could muster against stout Iowa pitching.


Jokisch (1-0) had his best outing of the year, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing a run on four hits and one walk. He struck out five.


Right-hander Brian Schlitter allowed a hit and struck out one in a scoreless seventh inning. Right-hander Justin Grimm, assigned to Iowa on a major league rehab assignment today, allowed just a walk in a scoreless eighth inning with two strikeouts.


Lefty James Russell nailed down his third save with a scoreless ninth inning. Russell allowed a leadoff single to Anthony Aliotti but got Ryan Roberts to line out and Jason Pridie to ground into a double-play to end the game. He has not allowed a run in 9.2 innings this season.


Down a run in the third, Arismendy Alcantara walked with one out before Szczur drilled a 1-0 breaking pitch to center field for his second home run of the season.


Nashville starting pitcher Arnold Leon (0-1) suffered the loss. The right-hander allowed two runs on six hits and two walks and struck out five in 6.0 innings.


Iowa threatened a big inning in the eighth, loading the bases with two outs against right-hander Fernando Rodriguez, but John Andreoli struck out on five pitches to end the threat.


Szczur paced the Cubs with a homer, two RBI and a pair of walks before being lifted in the eighth inning. Taylor Davis had a pair of hits. Alcantara extended his hitting streak to seven games with a leadoff double. Christian Villanueva's seven-game streak was snapped with a hitless evening.


Parrino led Nashville with a double, a run and a walk.


The I-Cubs will play game two of four-game set on Tuesday evening with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. CT at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Carlos Pimentel (0-2, 7.47) is scheduled to pitch for Iowa against Sounds left-hander Barry Zito (0-2, 5.96). The game can be heard live on AM 940, 104.5 FM, and live-streamed at The On-Deck Circle Pre-game Show will begin 6:40 p.m. CT.