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Nashville, TN – Luis Cruz sent the Sounds home happy with a walk-off home run that gave Nashville a 7-6 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in the doubleheader finale on Thursday evening at Greer Stadium. The Sounds 18th last at-bat win this season gave the two teams a split in the doubleheader after Nashville dropped the first game, 6-1.
Cruz went 3-for 4 three RBIs and two runs scored in the second game, while Adam Stern added three hits.
Brendan Katin crushed a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning of the nightcap, a tape-measure shot over the stadium lights in left field. Katin’s 18th home run of the year gave the Sounds the early 1-0 lead.
Colorado Springs scored two runs in the top of the third inning to take a 2-1 lead. Sky Sox second baseman Kaz Matsui drew a two-out walk from Josh Butler and proceeded to steal second base. Centerfielder Chris Frey then looped a lazy single on the left field line for the first run, followed by right fielder Matt Miller painting the right field line to score Frey for the go-ahead run.
The Sky Sox added another run in the next frame for a 3-1 advantage, as the inning began with a Ray Olmedo fielding error. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, third baseman Travis Metcalf grounded into a double play that brought home Brad Eldred for the unearned run.
Nashville knotted the score at 3-3 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. After Joe Koshansky singled, Cruz smacked an RBI double to score the first baseman from first, with Cruz advancing to third on a throwing error. In the next at-bat, Johnny Raburn tied the game at three with a sacrifice fly with Cruz coming home and sliding under the tag.
The Sounds tacked on four more runs in the next inning to take a 7-3 lead. Adam Stern singled and scored on Olmedo’s fifth triple of the season. Mat Gamel then followed with a lazy fly ball single over the shortstop in shallow left center that scored Olmedo for the club’s second run. Left-hander Scott Rice came into the game to relieve starter Alan Johnson and allowed an RBI single by Cruz, and then surrendered a five-pitch base loaded walk to Raburn to plate the final run of the inning.
The Sky Sox scored a run on right-handed reliever Donovan Hand to cut the Sounds’ lead to three runs. Miller singled to begin the inning, advanced to third on a Chris Nelson base hit, and scored on a Hand wild pitch.
Colorado Springs plated three runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie game, as Sounds reliever Brandon Kintzler blew his fourth Triple-A save in seven chances this year. Cole Garner hit a leadoff double and scored the first run on a one-out RBI single by Miller. Brad Eldred followed with a double over the head of centerfielder Carlos Gomez, with Nelson grounding into the shortstop to bring home the tying run from third.
Butler threw five innings in his fifth start for Nashville this season, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with three strikeouts. It was the third time in five Triple-A starts that Butler gave up just two runs.
Hand allowed one unearned run on two hits in one inning thrown. Kintzler (3-0) backed into the win after snapping an eight-game scoreless outing streak. The right-hander gave up three runs on three hits in the top of the seventh inning.
Colorado Springs starter Alan Johnson took the loss after allowing seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings pitched. Edgmer Escalona (2-5) took the loss after giving up the home run to Cruz.
Colorado Springs left fielder Cole Garner belted a pair of home runs to power the Sky Sox to a 6-1 victory in the opener.
The Sky Sox grabbed an early lead in the opener, plating a first-inning run against Sounds starter Sam Narron when Jay Payton and Matt Miller posted back-to-back two-out doubles off the outfield wall.
Third baseman Mat Gamel continued his torrid August in the bottom of the opening frame, tying the contest at 1-1 with a two-out solo homer to right off Colorado Springs starter Kurt Birkins. The blast, which came on a 2-1 offering, was his 11th of the year.
Colorado Springs jumped back in front in the third on the strength of back-to-back homers against Narron. Garner put the visitors back on top with a mammoth one-out solo homer to left-center that careened off the guitar-shaped scoreboard. Payton followed with a big fly to right-center off the top of the clubhouse building. The roundtrippers were their 11th and fourth of the year, respectively.
Garner upped the Sky Sox advantage to 5-1 in the fourth with his second home run of the opener, a two-run bomb off the scoreboard in left-center. Kaz Matsui, who preceded Garner by drawing a two-out walk from Narron, also scored on the outfielder’s 12th blast of the year.
Payton – who finished 3-for-4 missed the cycle by a triple – tacked on the final Colorado Springs run of the opener in the seventh with a one-out RBI single to right off Sounds reliever Carlos Villanueva, who allowed a run for the third straight appearance.
Birkins (5-7) picked up the victory for the visitors after holding the Sounds to one run on four hits over his 5 2/3 frames of action. The win snapped a personal three-game skid for the southpaw.
Andy Graham recorded the final four outs for the Sky Sox to nail down his first save of the season.
Narron (7-7) drew the loss after struggling for his third straight outing. The left-hander surrendered five runs on six hits (five for extra bases) over his six innings of work. Narron has dropped four of his last five starts (1-4, 5.79 ERA, 18er/28.0ip) after winning five straight outings from June 28 to July 3.
The teams wrap up the series with a 7:05pm finale on Friday evening. Right-hander Tim Dillard (3-6, 5.04) will man the bump for the Sounds to face off against Colorado Springs left-hander Josh Muecke (5-6, 5.33)
Colorado Springs Sky Sox (56-68) 6, Nashville Sounds (64-60) 1
August 19th, 2010
Pitches-strikes: Birkins 76-49, Graham, A 18-11, Narron 105-69, Villanueva 23-14.
Groundouts-flyouts: Birkins 2-7, Graham, A 2-2, Narron 7-5, Villanueva 3-0.
Batters faced: Birkins 21, Graham, A 5, Narron 27, Villanueva 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Graham, A 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Darren Budahn. 1B: Jason Arends. 2B: . 3B: Jeff Latter.
Weather: 91 degrees, clear.
Wind: 3 mph, R to L.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
Nashville Sounds (65-60) 8, Colorado Springs Sky Sox (56-69) 7
August 19th, 2010
IBB: Paulk (by Kintzler).
Pitches-strikes: Johnson, A 82-58, Rice, S 16-5, Morales, F 17-10, Escalona 10-7, Butler 78-50, Hand 22-12, Kintzler 22-12.
Groundouts-flyouts: Johnson, A 8-1, Rice, S 2-0, Morales, F 0-1, Escalona 0-1, Butler 5-6, Hand 2-0, Kintzler 2-0.
Batters faced: Johnson, A 22, Rice, S 4, Morales, F 4, Escalona 3, Butler 20, Hand 6, Kintzler 8.
Inherited runners-scored: Rice, S 2-2.
Umpires: HP: Jason Arends. 1B: Jeff Latter. 2B: . 3B: Darren Budahn.
Weather: 81 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 2 mph, L to R.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsAdam Stern, Alan Johnson, Andy Graham, Brad Eldred, Brandon Kintzler, Brendan Katin, Carlos Gomez, Carlos Villanueva, Chris Frey, Chris Nelson, Cole Garner, Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Donovan Hand, Doubleheader, Edgmer Escalona, Greer Stadium, Jay Payton, Joe Koshansky, Johnny Raburn, Josh Butler, Josh Muecke, Kaz Matsui, Kurt Birkins, Mat Gamel, Matt Miler, Matt Miller, Nashville Sounds, Ray Olmedo, Sam Narron, Scott Rice, Tim Dillard, Travis Metcalf
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