Round Rock, TX – Catcher Mike Napoli smashed a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to stake the Round Rock Express to a 9-6 victory over the Nashville Sounds on Sunday evening at The Dell Diamond in the finale of a four-game series.
It marked the third straight night that Round Rock scored the game-winning run in its final turn at the plate against Sounds pitching.
The Sounds had rallied from a two-run deficit to tie the score in the top of the ninth inning before Napoli’s blast, which came off Sounds reliever Sean Green, ended the contest.
Nashville (37-46), which was swept in the series, lost all eight of its games in Round Rock this season. The Sounds’ current four-game losing skid immediately follows a five-game win streak, the club’s best of the season.
The red-hot Caleb Gindl, who went 2-for-5 with three RBIs on the night, gave the Sounds a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning when he drilled his third homer of the series to right-center off Round Rock starter and former Sound Zach Jackson.
Eric Farris, who had opened the game with a single, also scored on the two-run blast, Gindl’s 11th roundtripper of the year. Farris’ single extended the infielder’s hit streak to nine games, matching his best effort of the season.
Round Rock halved the Nashville lead to 2-1 in the second when Esteban German and Joey Butler ripped back-to-back two-out doubles off Sounds starter Frankie De La Cruz.
The Sounds extended the lead to 3-1 in the fourth when Erick Almonte (3-for-4) led off with a double to center and later scored on an Andy Gonzalez groundout.
The Express knotted the score at 3-3 in the fifth when Butler drew an inning-opening walk from De La Cruz and Robinzon Diaz singled before both baserunners scored on Julio Borbon’s two-run triple down the first base line, the outfielder’s first of two three-baggers in the contest.
Round Rock took its first lead of the evening in the sixth when Chris Davis led off with a single off De La Cruz, moved to third on a German single, and scored the go-ahead run on a Butler groundout to put the Express in front, 4-3.
Nashville tied the game at 4-4 in the eighth when Brandon Boggs greeted new Round Rock reliever Pedro Strop with a first-and-third fly ball that caromed off the top of the center field wall for an RBI single that plated Taylor Green.
Former Vanderbilt star Matt Kata put the Express back in front in the bottom of the eighth when the infielder smacked a two-out Sean Green offering back up the middle for a two-run, bases-loaded single. The knock staked Round Rock to a 6-4 lead.
The Sounds didn’t go down without a fight, however, rallying to tie the contest at six-all in the top of the ninth. Andy Gonzalez drew a leadoff walk from Strop and later scored on Gindl’s two-out RBI triple to right. Brett Carroll followed with a potential game-ending grounder to third, but German overshot first base with his throw, allowing Gindl to score the tying run.
In the home half of the ninth, Borbon drew an inning-opening walk from Green then Omar Quintanilla dropped a sacrifice bunt attempt up the first base line that was mishandled by Gonzalez, the Sounds’ first baseman, to allow a pair of Express baserunners to reach with no outs. Napoli followed by launching a 2-2 Green offering to left for the walkoff blast, his third homer in the past two nights against Sounds pitching.
Zach Phillips (1-3) earned his first win of the year for Round Rock after striking out the only batter he faced in the top of the ninth.
Green (0-4) took his second loss in the past three nights after surrendering the game-ending longball.
Carroll went 0-for-5 on the night for Nashville to bring an end to his season-best 10-game hitting streak.
The Sounds return to Music City tomorrow to host the cross-state rival Memphis Redbirds (AAA-Cardinals) in a brief three-game homestand. Right-hander Josh Butler (4-5, 5.45) will make the start for Nashville in Monday’s 7:05pm opener. Memphis will counter with right-hander Adam Ottavino (3-5, 3.97).
A special Independence Day fireworks spectacular will light up the sky above Greer Stadium following the game.
Round Rock Express (49-34) 9, Nashville Sounds (37-46) 6
July 3rd, 2011
None out when winning run scored.
|Green, T, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||1||1||.309|
|Gonzalez, A, 1B||3||1||0||1||1||0||4||.286|
|De La Cruz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.071|
|Green, S, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Almonte (6, Jackson, Z).
3B: Gindl (2, Strop).
HR: Gindl (11, 1st inning off Jackson, Z, 1 on, 0 out).
TB: Farris; Gindl 7; Green, T; Almonte 4; Boggs; Nieves 2; Maysonet.
RBI: Gindl 3 (31), Gonzalez, A (1), Boggs (22).
2-out RBI: Gindl.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Farris 2; Nieves.
GIDP: Almonte; Gonzalez, A.
Team RISP: 4-for-13.
Team LOB: 7.FIELDING
Outfield assists: Carroll (Diaz, R at 3rd base).
DP: (Farris-Maysonet-Gonzalez, A).
|Davis, C, LF||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.366|
|Tracy, C, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||3||2||.256|
|Butler, Jy, RF||2||2||1||2||2||0||1||.330|
|Diaz, R, C||4||1||1||0||0||0||5||.346|
|Jackson, Z, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: German (16, De La Cruz), Butler, Jy (17, De La Cruz).
3B: Borbon 2 (3, De La Cruz, James).
HR: Napoli (3, 9th inning off Green, S, 2 on, 0 out).
TB: Borbon 7; Quintanilla; Napoli 4; Davis, C; German 4; Butler, Jy 2; Diaz, R; Kata.
RBI: Butler, Jy 2 (26), Borbon 2 (11), Kata 2 (26), Napoli 3 (9).
2-out RBI: Butler, Jy; Kata 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Diaz, R 2; Napoli 2.
Team RISP: 4-for-13.
Team LOB: 6.FIELDING
E: German 2 (10, throw, throw).
DP: 2 (Jackson, Z-Quintanilla-Tracy, C, Quintanilla-Kata-Tracy, C).
|De La Cruz||6.0||7||4||4||2||8||0||3.94|
|Green, S (L, 0-4)||0.2||3||3||3||2||0||1||4.00|
|Strop (BS, 1)||1.1||2||2||1||1||1||0||4.21|
|Phillips (W, 1-3)||0.1||0||0||0||0||1||0||4.64|
Green, S pitched to 3 batters in the 9th.
WP: Jackson, Z.
IBB: Butler, Jy (by Green, S).
Pitches-strikes: De La Cruz 112-67, James 29-16, Green, S 18-7, Jackson, Z 83-51, McClung 32-21, Strop 27-17, Phillips 6-4.
Groundouts-flyouts: De La Cruz 5-2, James 1-0, Green, S 1-0, Jackson, Z 10-1, McClung 3-0, Strop 2-1, Phillips 0-0.
Batters faced: De La Cruz 26, James 7, Green, S 6, Jackson, Z 24, McClung 8, Strop 7, Phillips 1.
Inherited runners-scored: Green, S 2-1, McClung 1-0, Strop 2-1, Phillips 1-0.
Umpires: HP: Tripp Gibson. 1B: Mike Jarboe. 2B: . 3B: Tyler Funneman.
Weather: 98 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 10 mph, R to L.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media