Memphis, TN – The Nashville Sounds were swept in a doubleheader by the cross-state rival Memphis Redbirds on Wednesday evening at AutoZone Park.
Memphis won the first contest by a 7-1 margin before handing the Sounds an 11-7 defeat in the nightcap.
In the opener, Memphis right-hander Chuckie Fick turned in a solid start in his Triple-A debut and the Redbirds connected for a pair of three-run homers against Nashville pitching to post a 7-1 victory over the Sounds.
Fick (1-0), called up from Double-A Springfield for the outing, held Nashville to one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings to notch his first win at the Triple-A level.
It was an opening contest filled with missed opportunities for the Sounds, who left seven runners stranded in scoring position over the seven innings.The Sounds had Fick on the ropes early, loading the bases in the first inning before the young hurler struck out team RBI leader Luis Cruz to escape the jam unscathed.
Nashville got on the board in the top of the second against Fick when Adam Stern (2-for-3) and Martin Maldonado opened the frame with back-to-back doubles to net a 1-0 lead.
Maldonado has hit safely in a season-best four straight contests for Nashville, with extra-base knocks in each of his last three tilts, after enduring a team season-high 24 at-bat hitless stretch throughout early June.
Memphis rallied to grab a 3-1 advantage against Sounds starter Sam Narron in the bottom of the second when second baseman Donovan Solano smacked a three-run homer to left, his second longball of the season.
The Redbirds put the game on ice in the sixth against reliever Jeff Bennett, plating four insurance runs to stretch the lead to 7-1. Veteran infielder Ruben Gotay provided the big hit of the frame, a three-run homer that landed on the grass berm beyond the left field wall. Bennett was ejected by home plate umpire Jason Milsap following Gotay’s blast.
Josh Kinney recorded the final four outs for Memphis to notch his third save of the year.
Narron (0-3) took his third loss in three starts for the Sounds after allowing three runs in five innings of work.
The nightcap was a back-and-forth battle with several lead changes in the first few innings.
Allen Craig gave the Redbirds an early lead with a two-run, first-inning homer off Nashville starter Marty McLeary.
The Sounds tied it in the second when Cruz ripped an RBI double, upping his team-leading RBI total to 41 on the year, and Johnny Raburn added a run-scoring groundout.
Memphis surged back in front, 3-2, in the home half of the second on Kevin Howard’s fourth home run of the year, a one-out solo shot to right.
Nashville regained the lead in the third with a three-run frame against Memphis starter Lance Lynn. Trent Oeltjen (3-for-4), Norris Hopper, and Ray Olmedo opened the inning with consecutive singles, the third of which by Olmedo tied the contest at 3-3. After a Brendan Katin sacrifice fly pushed the visitors back in front, Joe Koshansky (2-for-3) singled to right to plate Hopper to make it a 5-3 game.
The Redbirds regained the lead for good in the bottom of the third with a five-run outburst against McLeary (1-6), who drew the loss after surrendering eight runs in just three innings of work on the night. The right-hander’s ERA rose to 12.14 through 11 PCL games this season.
In the Memphis third, Daniel Descalso (single) and Craig (double) had RBI knocks before catcher Bryan Anderson belted a three-run homer, his eighth roundtripper of the year, to extend the lead to 8-3.
The Redbirds tacked on two more runs in the fourth against Nashville reliever Mitch Stetter using back-to-back, two-out homers off the bats of Tyler Greene and Descalso.
Nashville plated its final runs on a Katin RBI groundout in the fifth and Oeltjen’s two-out RBI single in the sixth before Greene tallied the last run of the night with a sixth-inning double for the Redbirds to bring the score to its final 11-7.
Lynn (5-5) squared his record on the year with the nightcap victory for Memphis despite allowing seven runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings of action.
The teams continue the series with a 7:05 matchup on Thursday. Milwaukee Brewers left-hander Doug Davis (0-0, 3.00) will make his second rehab start for the Sounds in the contest. Memphis will counter with right-hander Adam Ottavino (5-3, 3.97).