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Albuquerque Outfielder Jerry Sands Ties PCL Record With Two Grand Slams In Nightcap
Nashville, TN – Albuquerque outfielder Jerry Sands belted a pair of grand slams and drove in 10 runs on the night to power the Isotopes to a doubleheader sweep of the Nashville Sounds on Sunday evening at Greer Stadium.
Sands delivered a game-winning two-run double to lift the ‘Topes to a 4-2, extra-inning win in the opener before capping his night by tying a PCL record with two grand slams off Seth McClung in the nightcap.In the nightcap, Albuquerque cruised to an 11-0 win with Sands’ two slams leading the way.
The defeat was the eighth shutout loss suffered by Nashville (48-61), which dropped its fourth straight contest.
Prior to the nightcap, the Sounds had allowed only one grand slam through the first 108 games. Sands crushed two bases-loaded blasts in the first four innings.
Former Sound Trent Oeltjen led off the game with a bunt single and McClung proceeded to walk the next two batters to load the bases, two of the Sounds season-high and personal career-high eight free passes issued by the big right-hander on the night. Sands followed with his first grand slam of the evening to give the visitors a 4-0 lead.
After McClung had already walked in one run in the top of the fourth, Sands struck again, sending a 1-0 offering over the top of the guitar-shaped scoreboard in left-center. His second slam made it a 9-0 contest and sent the Nashville starter to the showers.
McClung (2-13) suffered his PCL-leading 13th loss of the season after surrendering nine runs on six hits, including the two Sands slams, while walking eight and striking out three in his 3 1/3 frames.
Tim Dillard took over for the Sounds and gave up another Albuquerque longball later in the frame when Tyler Henson touched him for a two-out solo homer, his fifth of the year.
Albuquerque tacked on their final tally in the fifth when Oeltjen tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly to up the lead to 11-0.
Lost in the shuffle of the Albuquerque offensive explosion was a solid performance by Isotopes starter Blake Johnson (3-0), who allowed two hits over five scoreless innings to pick up the nightcap win.
Ramon Troncoso and Angel Guzman each worked a scoreless frame for the Isotopes to close out the three-hit shutout.
In the opener, Sands ripped an opposite-field two-run double in the top of the eighth inning to power the Isotopes to a 4-2 victory over the Sounds.
It marked the tenth extra-inning contest of the year for the Sounds, who fell to 4-6 in extra frames.
In the top of the eighth, the visitors loaded the bases against a pair of Nashville relievers. Mitch Stetter (0-1) hit consecutive batters to start the inning and was relieved by Jesus Sanchez. After Alex Castellanos popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt, Scott Van Slyke drew a walk from Sanchez to load the bags for Sands, who ripped his go-ahead two-bagger over the head of right fielder Jordan Brown.
Nashville didn’t go down without a fight in the home half of the eighth against Isotopes closer Josh Wall.
The Sounds returned the favor from the top of the inning, loading the bases using a throwing error by the pitcher followed by a pair of walks. Jordan Brown followed with a flare to shallow center, which was gloved on an outstanding sliding play by Albuquerque shortstop Elian Herrera with his back to the infield. Wall recovered to strike out Juan Sanchez and Corey Patterson in succession to quell the threat and notch his league-leading 19th save of the year.
Erick Threets (5-2) was the beneficiary of Sands’ heroics, picking up the win after working one scoreless frame for Albuquerque.
Newly-added catcher Humberto Quintero enjoyed a solid Sounds debut, going 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBIs to pace the Nashville offense. Brown continued his hot hitting for Nashville, extending his hitting streak to seven games with a 3-for-4 effort.
Neither starting pitcher factored in the decision despite a pair of outstanding efforts.
Nashville starter Hiram Burgos — who entered the game as the minor league ERA leader — made his Triple-A debut and tossed a quality start, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings. The right-hander, who took a no-decision, walked one batter and struck out five during his 89-pitch effort.
Albuquerque left-hander Derrick Loop matched Burgos’ quality-start effort with one of his own, holding the Sounds to two runs on eight hits over six frames. He also took a no-decision.
Burgos got off to a rough start for Nashville, as he was touched for a pair of first-inning runs courtesy of a two-run Scott Van Slyke homer to left-center, the slugger’s 12th longball of the year.
The Sounds got a run back in the second when Quintero lined a two-out RBI single to right off Loop in his first Nashville at-bat. Andy Gonzalez, who drew an inning-opening walk, scored on the knock to make it a 2-1 game.
Oeltjen attempted to add to the visitors lead with overzealous base running in the top of the fifth. The outfielder drilled a two-out triple off the center field wall then ran through ‘Topes skipper Lorenzo Bundy’s stop sign as he rounded third and was thrown out at the plate on a strong relay from Brown to Jeff Bianchi to Quintero.
Quintero struck again for the Sounds in the home half of the fifth when he led off the frame with his first homer of the year, a game-tying solo shot to left off Loop.
The teams continue the series with a 7:05pm meeting on Monday night. Right-hander Claudio Vargas (4-1, 4.29) will toe the rubber for the Sounds to face Albuquerque right-hander Fernando Nieve (5-6, 5.68).
Box Score – Game 1
Albuquerque Isotopes (63-45) 4, Nashville Sounds (48-60) 2
Stetter pitched to 2 batters in the 8th. Balk: Burgos.
Box Score – Game 2
Albuquerque Isotopes (64-45) 11, Nashville Sounds (48-61) 0
TopicsAlbuquerque Isotopes, Alex Castellanos, Andy Gonzalez, Angel Guzman, Blake Johnson, Claudio Vargas, Corey Patterson, Derrick Loop, Elian Herrera, Erick Threets, Fernando Nieve, Grand Slam, Greer Stadium, Hiram Burgos, Humberto Quintero, Jeff Bianchi, Jerry Sands, Jesus Sanchez, Jordan Brown, Josh Wall, Juan Sanchez, Lorenzo Bundy, Mitch Stetter, Nashville Sounds, Nashville TN, Pacific Coast League, PCL, Ramon Troncoso, Scott Van Slyke, Seth Mcclung, Sounds, Tim Dillard, Trent Oeltjen, Tyler Henson
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