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Nashville, TN – The Nashville Sounds dropped two games in Sunday afternoon’s twin billing at Greer Stadium, allowing the Memphis Redbirds to tie the four-game series 2-2, losing 1-0 in the opener and 2-1 in the nightcap.
After 13 innings without a run, Nashville finally pushed one across the plate in the seventh inning of game two, when Redbirds pitcher Eric Fornataro balked with Joey Paciorek on third, who was pinch running for catcher Dayton Buller.
The run made it 2-1 and was the second-consecutive Sounds run scored on a balk from a Memphis pitcher, stretching back to Friday night’s balk-off win.
The Redbirds scored first in the third inning, when right fielder Justin Christian slapped a single into left field to score Travis Tartamella from second, who reach base on a catcher’s interference call charged to Buller.
The run was unearned, keeping starter Zach Kroenke’s (0-3) line clean through four innings of work, but pinned the lefty with his third loss of the season. Kroenke limited Memphis to three hits, fanning three and walking one before reliever Johnnie Lowe entered the game in the fifth.
Lowe and Travis Webb each worked one scoreless frame for Nashville, before Jesus Sanchez allowed Memphis’ final run: a solo jack off the guitar scoreboard by Chad Huffman. The homer was the first earned run of the season allowed by Sanchez, after starting the year with 10 scoreless innings over seven appearances.
Second baseman Scooter Gennett went two-for-four in the nightcap, extending his hitting streak to nine games, the most by a Sound this season, with a broken-bat single into centerfield and an infield hit in seventh.
Getting the win for Memphis was reliever Sam Freeman (1-0), who worked two scoreless innings, before Fornataro picked up his first save.
In the opener, Memphis left-hander John Gast continued his early-season dominance of PCL hitters, hurling five scoreless innings, and Oscar Taveras belted a homer to lead the Redbirds to a 1-0 victory over the Sounds.
With the outing, Gast (3-0) extended his PCL-best season-opening scoreless streak to 29 2/3 innings. The southpaw, who fanned seven and allowed only two hits in his five innings, earned his third victory in five starts for Memphis.
Victor Marte worked the final two innings in scoreless fashion for Memphis to nail down his fifth save of the year. The loss was Nashville’s third shutout defeat of the young season.
Mike Fiers (0-1) took a complete-game loss for the Sounds after working all seven innings. He allowed one run on six hits, walked three batters, and struck out three in his 84-pitch effort.
Taveras put the visitors on the board in the top of the third inning with a two-out solo homer to right-center off Fiers. The blast was the infielder’s second big fly of the year.
Fiers kept it a one-run deficit in the fourth when he worked into and out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam, getting Gast to pop up to left and escaping the frame unscathed by inducing an inning-ending grounder from Adron Chambers.
Nashville threatened again in the ninth. Caleb Gindl led off with a single against Marte to extend his longest hitting streak of the year to six games and advanced to second on a one-out wild pitch. The Redbirds’ closer recovered to strike out Parker then broke Anderson De La Rosa’s bat on a game-ending popup to short.
Rehabbing infielder Jeff Bianchi went 1-for-3 in the opener and is hitting .241 (7-for-29) in his seven contests with the Sounds.
The Sounds embark on an eight-game road trip on Monday that includes four-game stops in Oklahoma City (AAA-Astros) and Round Rock (AAA-Rangers). Right-hander Frankie De La Cruz (1-2, 4.20) will man the bump in Monday’s 7:05pm series opener in Oklahoma City. The RedHawks will counter with right-hander Ross Seaton (0-1, 8.03). Baseball returns to Greer Stadium on Tuesday, May 7th, as the Sounds host the Fresno Grizzlies (AAA-Giants).
Box Score – Game 1
Memphis Redbirds (13-9) 2, Nashville Sounds (7-14) 1
April 28th, 2013
HR: Taveras, O (2, 3rd inning off Fiers, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Jackson, R 3; Taveras, O 5; Christian.
RBI: Taveras, O (7).
2-out RBI: Taveras, O.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gast; Chambers 2.
GIDP: Peterson, Johnson, Ro.
Team RISP: 0-for-4.
Team LOB: 6.
2B: Halton (8, Gast).
TB: Halton 2; Gindl; Bianchi.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Gindl; Parker, S; De La Rosa, A.
SAC: Chavez, O.
Team RISP: 0-for-7.
Team LOB: 5.FIELDING
DP: 2 (Parker, S-Bianchi-Morris, H, Chavez, O-Bianchi-Morris, H).
WP: Marte, V.
Box Score – Game 2
Memphis Redbirds (12-9) 1, Nashville Sounds (7-13) 0
2B: Christian (2, Kroenke).
HR: Huffman (2, 7th inning off Sanchez, Je, 0 on, 2 out).
TB: Huffman 4; Christian 3; Romak.
RBI: Christian (11), Huffman (8).
2-out RBI: Huffman.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Peterson.
Team RISP: 1-for-4.
Team LOB: 3.
a-Flied out for Kroenke in the 4th.
1-Ran for Buller in the 7th.
2B: Parker, S (3, Freeman, S), Davis, B (2, Freeman, S).
TB: Buller 2; Halton; Gennett 2; Parker, S 2; Davis, B 2; Morris, H.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Halton 2; Kroenke; Gindl; Garner; Morris, H.
Team RISP: 1-for-11.
Team LOB: 8.FIELDING
E: Buller (1, catcher interference).
DP: (Gennett-Davis, B-Morris, H).
TopicsAAA, Adron Chambers, Anderson De La Rosa, Astros, Caleb Gindl, Chad Huffman, Cole Garner, Dayton Buller, Eric Fornataro, Frankie De La Cruz, Fresno Grizzlies, Giants, Greer Stadium, Jeff Bianchi, Jesus Sanchez, Joey Paciorek, John Gast, Johnnie Lowe, Memphis, Memphis Redbirds, Mike Fiers, Nashville, Nashville Sounds, Nashville TN, Oklahoma City, Oscar Taveras, Pacific Coast League, PCL, Rangers, Redbirds, Ross Seaton, Round Rock, Sam Freeman, Scooter Gennett, Sean Halton, Stephen Parker, Travis Tartamella, Travis Webb, Victor Marte, Zach Kroenke
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