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Nashville, TN – The Nashville Sounds plated four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, capped by Mat Gamel’s walkoff two-run homer, to record an exciting 4-3 victory over the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs in front of 8,211 fans on Saturday evening at Greer Stadium in the opener of a four-game series.
Trailing 3-0 entering the game’s final half-inning, all four Sounds batters who came to the plate in the ninth against New Orleans reliever Frank Mata scored as Nashville (34-42) picked up its seventh last at-bat win of the year and its fourth victory in a game it trailed in the eighth inning or later.Edwin Maysonet led off with a soft single to right and moved to third when Brandon Boggs doubled to right. Brett Carroll followed by plating both runners with a two-run single to center that made it a 4-3 contest.
The red-hot Gamel followed by hammering an 0-1 Mata fastball over the home run deck in right-center field for the game-winner, his team-leading 17th home run of the season.
With a 2-for-4 evening, Gamel extended his hitting streak to seven games. He is hitting .423 (11-for-26) over that stretch, the longest active streak by any Sounds player.
The late Sounds heroics wiped out a tremendous start by New Orleans right-hander Elih Villanueva, who turned in his best outing of the season but was left with a no-decision for his efforts. He held the Sounds to four hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out eight in eight scoreless innings of work.
Mata (1-5) failed to retire a batter and took the loss after suffering his third blown save of the year for New Orleans.
Sounds reliever Zack Segovia (3-3) was the beneficiary of the late rally, earning the win after tossing a scoreless inning.
Villanueva opened the scoring and helped his own cause by drilling a one-out solo homer to left off Sounds starter Sam Narron in the top of the third inning.
The roundtripper – the first of Villanueva’s pro career – was the first by an opposing pitcher against Nashville since Chris Narveson, then with Memphis, took Justin Lehr deep on July 4, 2006.
The visitors extended their lead to 3-0 in the fourth when Z’s center fielder Josh Kroeger smashed a hanging Narron curveball deep beyond the wall in right for a two-run homer. The blast, his 11th of the year, also plated Matt Dominguez, who preceded Kroeger with a single.
Narron, who departed on the short end of a 3-0 deficit but ultimately took a no-decision, worked his fifth quality start of the year for the Sounds, allowing three runs on five hits over seven innings.
The teams continue the series with another 6:35pm meeting on Sunday. Right-hander Amaury Rivas (5-7, 4.27) will make the start for the Sounds to face New Orleans right-hander Tom Koehler (5-5, 5.47).
Nashville Sounds (34-42) 4, New Orleans Zephyrs (38-39) 3
June 25th, 2011
None out when winning run scored.
Mata pitched to 4 batters in the 9th.
Pitches-strikes: Villanueva 103-67, Mata 10-10, Narron 93-64, James 11-7, Segovia 6-5.
Groundouts-flyouts: Villanueva 4-4, Mata 0-0, Narron 8-5, James 2-0, Segovia 1-0.
Batters faced: Villanueva 28, Mata 4, Narron 25, James 3, Segovia 3.
Umpires: HP: Darren Budahn. 1B: Chris Segal. 2B: . 3B: Mark Buchanan.
Weather: 88 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 1 mph, In from CF.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsAmaury Rivas, Brandon Boggs, Brett Carroll, Chris Narveson, Edwin Maysonet, Elih Villanueva, Greer Stadium, Josh Kroeger, Mat Gamel, Matt Dominguez, Nashville Sounds, Nashville TN, New Orleans Zephyrs, Sam Narron, Tom Koehler, Zack Segovia
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