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Nashville Sounds Drop Season Opener to the New Orleans Zephyrs 6-2

 

Top Prospect Wily Peralta Hurls Quality Start, Sean Halton Goes 4-for-4 With Homer For Nashville

Nashville SoundsMetairie, LA – The New Orleans Zephyrs scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, highlighted by a grand slam off the bat of first baseman Ben Lasater, to hang a 6-2 defeat on the Nashville Sounds on Thursday evening at Zephyr Field in the first game of each clubs’ season.

With the score tied at 1-1, the Z’s erupted for five runs against the Nashville bullpen in the eighth. Four of the scores came against Sounds left-hander Victor Garate (0-1), who spent the 2011 season with New Orleans.

Nashville Sounds. (Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Nashville Sounds. (Mike Strasinger / Nashville Sounds)

Cole Armstrong led off the home half of the eighth with a single, was sacrificed to second, and came plateward with the go-ahead run for a 2-1 Z’s lead on a Scott Cousins RBI single back up the middle. After Bryan Petersen singled to load the bases with one out, Garate retired Gil Velazquez on a check-swing strikeout for the second out and was replaced on the mound by Vinnie Chulk, who was greeted by a grand slam off the bat of Lasater (2-for-5) that extended the advantage to 6-1.

The late heroics made a winner out of right-hander Gary Glover (1-0), a former Sound who returned to North American soil after spending the past three years pitching in Korea. The 19-year veteran allowed one run over two innings of relief work.

Nashville first baseman Sean Halton enjoyed an outstanding evening at the plate in his Triple-A debut, going 4-for-4 including his first home run of the year, a ninth-inning solo shot off Glover that closed out the night’s scoring.

Sounds starting pitcher Wily Peralta also authored a solid season debut, working a quality start while taking a no-decision. The fireballer allowed one run on four hits while tallying four strikeouts over his six frames of action. He threw 79 pitches, 53 for strikes.

New Orleans struck first in the season’s first contest, plating a run off Peralta in the bottom of the second inning.

Nick Green led off with a line drive double over the head of left fielder Corey Patterson and scored when Lasater worked a full count against the Brewers’ top prospect before slamming an RBI double off the base of the center field wall to make it a 1-0 game.

Peralta calmed down after allowing the run in the second, retiring 15 of the final 16 Zephyrs batters he faced in his quality-start no-decision.

Sounds right fielder Caleb Gindl (2-for-4) evened the contest at 1-1 in the fourth with a one-out RBI double to right-center off Sana bia, which scored Eric Farris from first base. Farris, who was running on the play, preceded Gindl with a single to left. Gindl later made the third out of the frame when he was struck on the foot by a groundball off the bat of Halton while running between second and third.

Gindl’s bad luck on the basepaths continued in the top of the sixth. With a pair of runners on and two down, Halton again grounded a ball to the left side of the infield that struck Gindl in the foot for the final out of the frame.

The Sounds will look to get into the winning column on Friday night, when the teams continue the series with another 7:00pm matchup. Right-hander Mike Fiers, who led the minors with a 1.86 ERA last season, makes his season debut when he mans the bump for the Sounds. He will face New Orleans right-hander Brad Hand.


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