NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Jimmy Nelson struck out a career-high 11 batters while working his tenth consecutive quality start to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 2-1 victory over the visiting Iowa Cubs in front of 8,381 fans on Saturday evening at Greer Stadium.
The first-place Sounds (31-26) won their fourth straight game overall and have been victorious in 17 of their last 23 games at Greer.
Nelson (6-1) held Iowa to one run on three hits in his season-high 7 2/3 innings of work, lowering his ERA to 1.64 with the effort. His 11 punchouts topped his previous career best of 10, accomplished on three occasions. Nelson has tossed a quality start in each of his 10 outings for Nashville this season.
First baseman Hunter Morris put the Sounds on the board in the second inning when he slugged his team-leading eighth home run of the year, a leadoff solo shot to right off Iowa starter Chris Rusin that bounded onto Chestnut Street.
Iowa tied the score at 1-1 in the seventh against Nelson. Brett Jackson (2-for-3) legged out a stand-up one-out triple and trotted home on a Jonathan Mota sacrifice fly.
Nashville pulled right back in front, 2-1, in the home half of the seventh. Hector Gomez led off with a single and moved to third on an errant pickoff throw by Rusin. Sean Halton followed with a popup down the right field line that was nearly caught by a diving Logan Watkins but ended up as a go-ahead RBI double for the Sounds' right fielder.
Rusin (3-7) was tagged with the loss despite hurling a quality start for the I-Cubs. He allowed two runs on four hits in his seven frames of action.
Donovan Hand worked around a pair of baserunners in the eighth and retired the side in order in the ninth to secure the victory and nail down his league-leading 11th save of the year.
The teams continue the series with a 2:05 p.m. matinee on Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Mike Fiers (6-2, 2.48) will make the start for the Sounds and square off against Iowa southpaw Eric Jokisch (4-4, 3.59).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.