Nashville, TN – Right-hander Johnny Hellweg turned in an impressive Triple-A debut, hurling five scoreless frames and combining with a pair of relievers on a four-hit shutout in the Nashville Sounds’ 6-0 victory over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Saturday evening at Greer Stadium.
Hellweg (1-0) allowed only two hits in his five frames, striking out three batters and walking one in his 69-pitch effort. The fireballer retired the first 11 batters in succession before Bryan Petersen doubled with two outs in the top of the fourth inning.
Chris Jakubauskas and Travis Webb followed Hellweg with a pair of scoreless innings apiece to close out the shutout. Both hurlers made their Sounds debuts in the contest.
Offensively, Scooter Gennett continued his strong start to the season with a 3-for-4 effort, Sean Halton also went 3-for-4 and drove in a pair of runs, and Cole Garner went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double to lead a nine-hit attack.
The Sounds struck first, plating an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning against Z’s starter Jacob Turner. Gennett led off the frame with a double to right-center, advanced to third when shortstop Wilson Valdez mishandled a Caleb Gindl grounder, and scored on Halton’s RBI single through the left side of the infield.
Garner doubled the Nashville lead in the second when he led off with his first homer of the year, a blast to left-center on the first offering he saw from Turner.
Nashville stretched the lead to a comfortable 6-0 margin by plating four runs with two outs against Turner in the third.
After Gennett singled and stole second, Halton delivered his second knock in a run-scoring situation, plating the second baseman with a two-out single to left. After Stephen Parker drew a walk, Garner upped the Sounds’ lead to 4-0 with an RBI ground-rule double that hopped over the right-center wall. Blake Davis followed with his first hit of the season, a two-run single to right.
Turner (0-1) absorbed the loss for the Z’s after giving up six runs (five earned) on seven hits over four frames in his season debut.
The Sounds and Zephyrs wrap up their season-opening four-game set with a 2:05 p.m. matinee on Sunday afternoon. Left-hander Zach Kroenke will make his debut for Nashville when he toes the slab to face New Orleans right-hander Mitch Talbot.
The Sounds will don their camouflage jerseys for the first time this season as a salute to all members of the armed forces on Military Sunday presented by Piedmont Natural Gas and Tennessee 811. All fans presenting a military ID card can receive $5.00 off Reserved or General Admission tickets.
New Orleans Zephyrs (1-2)
|New Orleans Zephyrs|
|a- Matt Diaz||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.125|
|b- Gorkys Hernandez||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
2B: Petersen (1, Hellweg).
TB: Brown, J 2; Petersen 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lasater; Diaz; Green; Valdez, W.
Team RISP: 0-for-4.
Team LOB: 7.FIELDING
E: Valdez, W 2 (2, missed catch, throw), Lasater (1, missed catch).
Outfield assists: Petersen (Davis, B at 2nd base).
DP: 3 (Valdez, W-Lasater, Downs, M-Valdez, W-Lasater 2).
|a- Dayton Buller||PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
2B: Gennett (1, Turner), Garner (1, Turner).
HR: Garner (1, 2nd inning off Turner, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Garner 6; Halton 3; Davis, B; Gennett 4.
RBI: Halton 2 (2), Garner 2 (2), Davis, B 2 (2).
2-out RBI: Halton; Garner; Davis, B 2.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Lalli; Morris.
GIDP: Parker, S 2, Gindl.
Team RISP: 4-for-12.
Team LOB: 3.BASERUNNING
SB: Gennett (1, 2nd base off Turner/Jefferies), Halton (1, 2nd base off Turner/Jefferies).
|New Orleans Zephyrs|
|Jacob Turner (L, 0-1)||4.0||7||6||5||1||3||1||11.25|
|Johnny Hellweg (W, 1-0)||5.0||2||0||0||1||3||0||0.00|
Pitches-strikes: Turner 61-38, Smith, J 33-24, Hatcher 10-6, Hellweg 69-39, Jakubauskas 37-23, Webb 30-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Turner 9-0, Smith, J 6-2, Hatcher 1-0, Hellweg 10-2, Jakubauskas 2-1, Webb 2-1.
Batters faced: Turner 20, Smith, J 10, Hatcher 3, Hellweg 18, Jakubauskas 8, Webb 8.
Umpires: HP: Brandon Misun. 1B: Spencer Flynn. 2B: Quinn Wolcott. 3B: D.J. Reyburn.
Weather: 73 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 4 mph, R to L.