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Almonte Ties Club Record With 7 RBIs
Metairie, LA – First baseman Erick Almonte went 5-for-6 with a franchise-record-tying seven RBIs to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 19-1 blowout of the New Orleans Zephyrs on Monday evening at Zephyr Field.
The win – which extended Nashville’s longest winning streak of the season to five games – featured the Sounds’ largest margin of victory in the Pacific Coast League era, which dates back to 1998. The 18-run defeat was the worst in Zephyrs team history.Nashville, which came within a run of tying the team’s single-game scoring record, used four home runs (including two by catcher George Kottaras), three six-run innings, and a solid start from Frankie De La Cruz to post the blowout victory.
Nine of the Sounds’ 18 hits on the night went for extra bases and the club finished 10-for-15 with runners in scoring position.
The lopsided victory also continued the Sounds’ recent dominance in New Orleans. Nashville (26-31) has won 17 of its last 23 games played at Zephyr Field. In the first three games of this series, the Sounds have outscored the Zephyrs, 32-3.
The outstanding effort by De La Cruz (1-4), who finally picked up his first victory of the 2011 season in his 11th start, was somewhat overshadowed by the offensive explosion.
The hard-throwing right-hander tossed seven innings of scoreless, three-hit ball, striking out five during his 101-pitch effort. After receiving only 14 combined runs of support during his time on the hill during his first ten starts, he was backed by 13 on this night alone.
The Sounds got off to a quick start again against the Z’s, putting up a six-spot in the top of the first inning for the second straight night.
Almonte, who missed the cycle by a triple, gave the visitors a 2-0 lead when he chopped a two-run single through the left side of the infield. Brandon Boggs and Eric Farris each scored on the knock after opening the contest by drawing consecutive walks from New Orleans starter Sean West.
After Kottaras drew a walk, Caleb Gindl delivered an RBI single to center to plate Almonte before third baseman Zelous Wheeler, making his first Triple-A start since the second game of the season, blasted a three-run homer to left-center to extend the Nashville advantage to 6-0. It was his first big fly of the year.
Gindl, who went 3-for-5 on the night to extend his longest hit streak of the year to seven games, tacked on another run for Nashville in the fifth with a two-out RBI single off West that plated Almonte.
Nashville turned a lopsided affair into a laugher in the sixth as it plated six more runs to up the lead to 13-0. After a Boggs RBI double (his third two-bagger in three games this series) chased West, the Sounds’ offense kicked it into another gear against Z’s reliever Garrett Parcell, tallying five more scores on a Farris single, an Almonte three-run jack, and a solo shot by Kottaras, the red-hot backstop’s second roundtripper of the year.
Kottaras continued his hot hitting with a 3-for-5 night and has hit safely in 16 of his last 19 tilts at a .382 clip (26-for-68).
New Orleans broke up the Sounds’ shutout bid in the eighth, touching Sounds reliever Chase Wright for a run in his first inning of work on the night on Matt Dominguez’s one-out RBI double. Wright successfully worked out of a bases-loaded jam later in the frame by catching PCL veteran Ruben Gotay looking at a called third strike to escape further damage.
The Sounds closed out the night’s scoring in the ninth with their third six-spot of the night, this one coming against New Orleans reliever Dustin Richardson. Edwin Maysonet lined a one-out RBI double into the left field corner to bring in Jordan Brown, who had opened the frame with a pinch-hit double. Almonte followed with a two-run double to cap off his seven-RBI night before Kottaras brought the score to its final 19-1 standing by crushing his second home run of the evening, a massive three-run shot to right.
West (0-3) remained winless on the year for New Orleans as he absorbed the loss after surrendering nine runs on seven hits over his five frames.
Sounds first baseman Mat Gamel had the night off for the first time all season. He was the lone Nashville player to appear in each of the club’s first 56 contests.
The Sounds will attempt to complete a four-game sweep when the teams wrap up the series with an 11:30am matinee finale on Tuesday morning. Right-hander Josh Butler (3-3, 4.99) will toe the rubber for Nashville and face New Orleans right-hander Chris Sampson (2-0, 3.50).
Nashville Sounds (26-31) 19, New Orleans Zephyrs (30-29) 1
June 6th, 2011
West pitched to 2 batters in the 6th.
HBP: Farris (by West).
Pitches-strikes: De La Cruz 101-65, Wright, C 25-13, Green, S 13-11, West 94-56, Parcell 49-35, Richardson, D 34-20, Cervenak 12-6.
Groundouts-flyouts: De La Cruz 10-4, Wright, C 1-0, Green, S 2-0, West 6-6, Parcell 4-0, Richardson, D 0-0, Cervenak 0-1.
Batters faced: De La Cruz 26, Wright, C 7, Green, S 5, West 28, Parcell 16, Richardson, D 7, Cervenak 3.
Inherited runners-scored: Parcell 1-1.
Ejections: New Orleans Zephyrs catcher Brad Davis ejected by HP umpire Stephen Barga (7th).
Umpires: HP: Stephen Barga. 1B: Clint Fagan. 2B: . 3B: Dixon Stureman.
Weather: 82 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 10 mph, Out to LF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsBrandon Boggs, Caleb Gindl, Chris Sampson, Edwin Maysonet, Eric Farris, Erick Almonte, Frankie De La Cruz, George Kottaras, Mat Gamel, Matt Dominguez, Metairie LA, Nashville Sounds, New Orleans Zephyrs, Pacific Coast League, Ruben Gotay, Sean West, Zelous Wheeler, Zephyr Field
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