NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The Nashville Sounds edged the division-rival Iowa Cubs in a 13-12, slugfest marathon on Sunday night at Greer Stadium to gain sole possession of second place in the PCL American Conference Northern Division.
The 13 runs scored was the highest run-output by the Sounds (35-49) in 2012 and third double-digit scoring output, which have come against all three of the Sounds' divisional opponents. Nashville scored all 13 of its runs in the first five innings, highlighted by an eight-run fifth inning, which was a season-high.
The Cubs scored the final eight unanswered runs to trim the Nashville lead to one before Jim Henderson threw a scoreless ninth inning for his team-leading eighth save.
Shortstop Jeff Bianchi collected three hits for the second straight contest. Outfielder Caleb Gindl also had three hitsto extend his hitting streak to a season-high six games while also matching a team-high with three runs scored.
First baseman Jordan Brown and first baseman outfielder Jay Gibbons added two hits, including his sixth homer of the season.
Every positional player on both teams recorded a hit, excluding Sounds catcher Jason Jaramillo.
Both teams traded runs in the first frame as consecutive two-out doubles from Adrian Cardenas and Josh Vitters gave Iowa a 1-0 lead. Nashville outfielder Jay Gibbons tied it up with a sacrifice fly after Gindl and Bianchi reached on hits.
Iowa scored three more runs in the second for a 4-1 advantage, beginning Dave Sappelt solo homer over the left field wall. The Cubs followed with four more hits in the frame, highlighted by Brett Jackson RBI double and Matt Tolbert RBI single.
Nashville answered by scoring two runs with two-outs to trim the lead to one run at 4-3. Third baseman Edwin Maysonet worked a two-out walk and was followed by a single from pitcher Claudio Vargas. Both runners advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch and scored as outfielder Logan Schafer hit a lazy fly ball to left field, which was dropped by Blake DeWitt.
Gibbons went yard over the right field wall in the next frame to tie the game at 4-4.
Nashville took their first lead of the game in the next inning as second baseman Eric Farris led off with a single. The speedster proceeded to steal second base, moved to third on a groundout, and scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch.
The Sounds opened the flood gates in the fifth, sending 13 batters to the dish to plate eight runs. Gindl had two hits in the inning, who was the first Sound to collect two hits in a frame since Erick Almonte on August 10, 2011 at Reno.
Gindl scored the first run on a wild pitch and was followed by an RBI base hit by Brown to score Gibbons. On the ensuing at-bat when Farris hit a deep fly ball to center, Iowa centerfielder Brett Jackson committed his first error of the season to allow the next run to score.
Third basemen Edwin Maysonet recorded a two-run double and was followed by outfielder Logan Schafer knocking an RBI two-bagger to score Maysonet. Gindl scored the final run of the frame on a throwing error after previously reaching on his second hit of the inning.
Iowa chipped away at the lead, starting by plating two runs in the sixth, as Jackson tripled in the first run and scored the next on a sacrifice fly. The Cubs scored another run in the next inning as Josh Vitters doubled and scored on a Welington Castillo single.
The Cubs batted around to score five more runs to trim the lead to one at 12-13 in the visiting half of the eighth, beginning with two straight doubles from Tolbert and Cardenas. Blake De Witt then drove in Vitters on an infield groundout.
After a walk and hit by pitch by to load the bases, Henderson entered the game and offered up a three-run double on the first pitch to Blake Lalli. Brett Jackson made and last out of the inning.
Vargas scattered eight hits for four runs while striking out five in four innings of work. Reliever Victor Garate backed into the win after giving up two runs in 2 1/3 innings before departing due to an injury.
Amaury Rivas surrendered five runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings. Henderson allowed all three inherited runners to score in his 1 1/3 innings.
Former Sound Frankie De La Cruz (1-4) allowed a season-high nine runs (seven earned) on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings.
The Sounds and Iowa Cubs continue their series at 7:05 pm CT on Monday evening at Greer Stadium. Right-hander Wily Peralta (3-8, 5.94) will take the mound against Iowa left-hander Chris Rusin (6-6, 5.01).