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Nashville Sounds Splits Four-Game Series With Round Rock Express
Nashville, TN – The Round Rock Express plated three runs in the top of the tenth inning to record an 8-5 victory over the Nashville Sounds in a Memorial Day matinee at Greer Stadium.
With the defeat, Nashville (20-30) missed a chance to record its third winning home series in the last four sets at Greer as the teams split their four-game holiday weekend series. The game was the Sounds’ seventh extra-inning contest of the year (4-3), which ties for the most in the PCL.Luis Hernandez led off the Round Rock tenth with a go-ahead solo homer to right on a 3-2 offering from Sounds reliever Jim Henderson (3-2), who suffered the loss after allowing his first runs of the season during his two-plus-inning stint. The right-hander, who was tagged for four runs on the afternoon, had opened the season with 24 1/3 scoreless frames.
Yangervis Solarte followed the homer with a single and quickly moved to third on Ryan Spilborghs’ double off the batter’s eye in center field, which chased Henderson. Victor Garate took over on the hill for Nashville and struck out Brad Nelson before issuing an intentional walk to Joey Butler to load the bases with one out. Michael Bianucci, who plated four runs on the afternoon as part of a 2-for-5 effort, followed with a two-run double into the left field corner that upped the visitors’ lead to three.
Round Rock closer Tanner Scheppers retired the Sounds in order on three flyouts in the bottom of the frame to secure the victory and notch his eighth save of the year.
Former Vanderbilt star Matt Kata, who went 3-for-5 and missed the cycle by a triple, led off the contest with a solo homer to right off Sounds starter Claudio Vargas, who made his first home start of the season for Nashville. The blast was Kata’s fifth of the season.
Solarte, the Round Rock second baseman, cut down the Sounds’ attempt to answer the rally in the bottom of the frame. Eric Farris led off the inning with a double that extended his hitting streak to eight games, moved to third on a groundout, and attempted to score on Corey Patterson’s grounder to second but was thrown out at the plate.
It was a staff pitching effort for Round Rock after scheduled starter Zach Jackson, a former Sounds, was a late scratch due to illness.
Catcher Dayton Buller led off with a single, was sacrifice to second by Farris, and came plateward on an RBI single up the middle off the bat off Jeff Bianchi, who has hit safely in nine of his 12 starts with Nashville. Later in the frame, Sean Halton ripped a go-ahead RBI double into the left field corner for a 2-1 Sounds lead.
Round Rock pulled back ahead with a two-spot of its own in the following half-inning as a pair of two-out walks came back to haunt Vargas. Bianucci put the visitors on top, 4-3, with a bases-loaded, two-run single with two outs in the frame.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom of the fourth when Caleb Gindl clubbed a two-run homer to right off Snyder, the outfielder’s fourth big fly of the year. Jay Gibbons, who joined the Sounds earlier in the day, also scored on the blast after preceding Gindl with his first Triple-A hit of the season.
The Express knotted the score in the fifth on Spilborghs’ two-out RBI single, which chased Vargas from the contest.
Vargas took a no-decision after he allowed four runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings in his third start for Nashville, tossing a season-high 76 pitches in the outing.
Nelson put the Express back in front with a mammoth solo homer in the top of the eighth inning off Henderson, which snapped the right-hander’s season-opening scoreless streak at 24 1/3 innings. The homer, which landed on Chestnut Street well beyond the right field wall, was Nelson’s sixth of the year and gave Round Rock a 5-4 lead.
The see-saw battle was tied once again in the bottom of the eighth as the Sounds etched across the tying run against Express reliever Johan Yan. Halton (2-for-4) led off with a single and moved to third on a Brown single before scoring on Andy Gonzalez’s double-play groundout.
The Sounds embark upon a four-game road trip to Oklahoma City tomorrow. Right-hander Mike Fiers (1-3, 4.42) is scheduled to man the bump for Tuesday’s 7:05pm series opener against the RedHawks (AAA-Astros). Oklahoma City will send southpaw Dallas Keuchel (4-4, 4.52) to the hill.
Round Rock Express (23-29) 8, Nashville Sounds (20-30) 5
TopicsAndy Gonzalez, Brad Nelson, Caleb Gindl, Claudio Vargas, Corey Patterson, Dallas Keuchel, Dayton Buller, Derek Hankins, Eric Farris, Greer Stadium, Jay Gibbons, Jeff Bianchi, Jim Henderson, Luis Hernandez, Matt Kata, Memorial Day, Mike Fiers, Nashville Sounds, Nashville TN, Oklahoma City OK, Oklahoma City RedHawks, PCL, Round Rock Express, Sean Halton, Sounds, Tanner Scheppers, Vanderbilt, Victor Garate, Yangervis Solarte, Zach Jackson
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