DES MOINES, Iowa - The Nashville Sounds opened their season-ending road trip with an 8-5 loss, as the division-rival Iowa Cubs scored five runs in the seventh inning to come back and win on Monday evening at Principal Park.
It was the 22nd loss on the road after leading this season, as Nashville (68-69) entered the bottom of the seventh inning with a 5-3 lead.
Right fielder Caleb Gindl had three hits while right fielder Brandon Boggs and catcher Martin Maldonado each hit two-run home runs in the loss.
Boggs gave the Sounds a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning. After Gindl hit a two-out infield single, Boggs crushed a two-run homer over the left field wall, his ninth of the season.
Iowa scored its first run in the next frame as Bryan LaHair singled home Lou Montanez, who bunted for a single and moved to third on a May Gamel throwing error earlier in the frame.
The Cubs scored two more runs in the next inning to go ahead, 3-2. Chris Robinson singled and moved to second as Brett Jackson was issued a two-out walk. Montanez then singled to right field to bring home Robinson from second while Jackson advanced to third and also scored as right fielder Caleb Gindl committed a throwing error.
Maldonado put Nashville back in front at 4-3 with a two-run homer in the sixth inning. After Gamel walked with one out, Maldonado lined his seventh home run over the left field wall, his seventh of the season
Nashville tacked on another two-run run in top of the seventh inning for a 5-3 advantage. Shortstop Edwin Maysonet was hit by Iowa starter Chris Rusin while trying to bunt. Second baseman Eric Farris then looped a double to center that allowed Maysonet to score from first base.
Iowa quickly jumped back ahead at 8-5 for good in the bottom of the seventh, as the first five batters reached base against reliever Mike McClendon and hit for the cycle as a team. Former Vanderbilt star Ryan Flaherty led off with a pinch hit single on the first pitch and moved to third as Jackson doubled. Both runners scored as Montanez tripled to right field on the first pitch. Brad Snyder then singled on the first pitch to score Montanez for the tying run. After a mound visit from pitching coach Bill Castro, Bryan LaHair crushed the first pitch over the center field wall.
Both starters recorded no-decisions on the evening. Nashville starter Amaury Rivas allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits with three strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings for a no-decision. Rusin scattered nine hits for five runs in 6 2/3 innings.
After stranding both inherited runners in the sixth inning, McClendon (5-5) surrendered five runs on five hits in the seventh for the loss. Sean Green worked one perfect inning in relief.
Iowa reliever Hung-Wen Chen picked up his first win with 1/3 of an inning pitched. Blake Parker struck out three over two innings to convert his fourth save.
The Sounds and I-Cubs continue their series at 6:35 pm CT on Tuesday night at Principal Park. Nashville right-hander Josh Butler (8-7, 5.12) will take the mound against Iowa righty Nick Struck (2-3, 4.85).