Papillion, NE – The Nashville Sounds scored four runs in the top of the first inning and later turned their second triple play of the season en route to a 4-1 victory over the division-leading Omaha Storm Chasers on Saturday evening at Werner Park in the opener of a four-game series.
The win was the Sounds’ tenth straight victory in a series opener and pulled Nashville (65-63) back within 6 ½ games of the Storm Chasers in the PCL American Conference Northern Division race.
Right-hander Josh Butler (8-7) took over sole possession of the Sounds’ victories lead as he finally defeated Omaha after dropping his first three starts against them earlier this season. Butler authored a quality start, allowing one run on six hits over six innings of work, to pick up the win, his team-best eighth of the year.The Sounds jumped out to a quick lead with four first-inning runs against Omaha left-hander Mike Montgomery.
Eric Farris reached on a one-out single and came around to score when Taylor Green followed with an RBI double to left. After Erick Almonte singled to put runners on the corners, Mat Gamel lifted a sacrifice fly to center to plate Green for a 2-0 advantage. Martin Maldonado then singled before he and Almonte scored on Caleb Gindl’s two-out, two-run double to left.
In the inning, Almonte and Maldonado extended their longest hitting streaks of the season to 10 and eight games, respectively.
Following the four-run first frame, Nashville didn’t advance a run to second base again until the ninth.
Omaha scored its lone run in the home half of the second. Cody Clark grounded a one-out double to left off Butler and scored when Lance Zawadzki followed with an RBI single to right, which made it a 4-1 contest.
In the bottom of the third inning, the Sounds turned their second triple play of the season. With runners on first and second, Clint Robinson hit a scorching liner to center that tipped off Logan Schafer’s glove then bounced off the outfielder’s head before finally being caught. The runners, Irving Falu and Lorenzo Cain, had already advanced to their next base on the play and were easily put out as Schafer threw to second baseman Eric Farris, who stepped on second then tossed to first baseman Mat Gamel for the third and final out.
Nashville, which is the only Pacific Coast League club to turn a triple play this season, has turned three twice in the same year for the first time in franchise history. The Sounds’ previous triple-killing of 2011 came on June 3rd against Iowa at Greer Stadium.
Butler worked into and out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fourth, keeping the Sounds’ 4-1 lead intact. After a Yamaico Navarro single sandwiched by a pair of walks filled the bags, the Nashville right-hander induced an infield fly pop-up from Joaquin Arias and an inning-ending groundout from Jarrod Dyson.
Omaha left the bases loaded again in the eighth, this time against Sounds reliever Daniel Herrera. Arias was the victim once again as the Nashville southpaw struck him out to end the frame and leave the bags full of Storm Chasers.
Herrera worked the final three innings in scoreless fashion for Nashville to close out the win and notch his first save of the year. He struck out a season-high five batters.
Montgomery (5-8) took the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits over his seven frames of action.
The division rivals continue their series with a 2:05pm matinee on Sunday afternoon, when fans will be treated to an excellent pitching matchup. Right-hander Mike Fiers (5-0, 1.64), a winner in five of his six Triple-A starts, will man the bump for the Sounds to face the PCL’s ERA leader – Omaha right-hander Luis Mendoza (9-5, 2.30).
Nashville Sounds (65-63) 4, Omaha Storm Chasers (71-56) 1
August 20th, 2011
Pitches-strikes: Butler, Js 94-51, Herrera 47-33, Montgomery 109-74, Sisk 28-15, Tejeda 3-2.
Groundouts-flyouts: Butler, Js 9-4, Herrera 4-0, Montgomery 4-7, Sisk 3-2, Tejeda 0-1.
Batters faced: Butler, Js 26, Herrera 14, Montgomery 29, Sisk 8, Tejeda 1.
Inherited runners-scored: Tejeda 2-0.
Umpires: HP: Jordan Baker. 1B: Matt Schaufert. 2B: . 3B: Eric Loveless.
Weather: 79 degrees, cloudy.
Wind: 12 mph, L to R.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media
TopicsCaleb Gindl, Clint Robinson, Cody Clark, Daniel Herrera, Eric Farris, Erick Almonte, Greer Stadium, Iowa Cubs, Irving Falu, Jarrod Dyson, Josh Butler, Lance Zawadzki, Logan Schafer, Lorenzo Cain, Luis Mendoza, Martin Maldonado, Mat Gamel, Mike Fiers, Mike Montgomery, Nashville Sounds, Omaha Storm Chasers, Papillion NE, Taylor Green, Werner Park
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