Waters’ Quality Start Leads Nashville To 4th Straight Victory
Nashville, TN — The Nashville Sounds won their fourth straight game on Thursday evening at historic Greer Stadium, posting a 10-3 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs in front of 7,790 fans in the opener of a three-game series.
Left-hander Chris Waters (5-4) turned in his team-leading eighth quality start for the Sounds to snap a seven-start winless stretch. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits over 6 2/3 innings of work. The southpaw lowered his rotation-leading ERA to 3.31 with the victorious effort.
Center fielder Norris Hopper led the offensive charge for Nashville, turning in a 4-for-5 evening with three runs scored and three stolen bases. Johnny Raburn belted a pinch-hit, three-run homer for the Sounds late in the contest.
Nashville (44-36) improved to 5-0 against New Orleans this season and went 8-for-13 with runners in scoring position on the night.
The Sounds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning against New Orleans starter Wes Whisler. Hopper led off with bunt single, stole second, and scored the game’s first run on Mat Gamel’s RBI double to right.
Zephyrs right fielder Scott Cousins powered the visitors to a 2-1 lead in the second when he slugged his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot to right-center off Waters. Brad Davis, who preceded Cousins by drawing a walk, also scored on the blast.
Nashville pulled back into the lead in the third with three unearned runs stemming from a Whisler throwing error. Gamel lifted a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to right to plate Waters, who had reached earlier in the frame when Whisler misfired to first on his sacrifice bunt attempt. Brendan Katin and Joe Koshansky followed with back-to-back RBI singles to left to push the Sounds back in front by a 4-2 count.
The Sounds upped the lead to 6-2 in the fourth. Anderson De La Rosa doubled with one out and scored on Hopper’s single to right. After the swift outfielder stole second and third, he came home on a Ray Olmedo RBI single.
New Orleans got a run back in the fifth when Mark Saccomanno scored on a Logan Morrison groundout.
Nashville wrapped up the evening’s scoring with a four-run eighth inning off former Major Leaguer Armando Benitez. Raburn belted a pinch-hit, two-out, three-run homer in the frame, the infielder’s second roundtripper of the year.
Whisler (0-1) took the loss in his first decision of the year for the Z’s after allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits over four innings of work.
The teams continue the series with another 7:05 p.m. contest on Friday night. Left-hander Chuck Löfgren (7-4, 4.29) will man the bump for the Sounds to face New Orleans southpaw Sean West (3-2, 4.00). A spectacular Firestone Fireworks show will follow the on-field action.