Nashville, TN – After going ahead in the eighth, Nashville allowed three runs in the ninth and dropped the series finale to the New Orleans Zephyrs at First Tennessee Park on Monday night, 7-5.
Despite collecting 16 hits, three shy of a season high, the Sounds left 12 on base. The loss marked the fourth time Nashville has been swept this season. In addition, the 3:47 game time was the longest nine-inning contest the Sounds have played in 2015.The series finale began with a doozy of a first inning. In a frame that seemed to set the pace for the remainder of the game, the two teams combined to score six runs on six hits.
New Orleans exploded in the opening frame and Isaac Galloway added an exclamation point with a three-run blast. Galloway’s second home run of the series helped the Zephyrs to a 4-0 lead.
The Sounds responded with a quick answer, cutting the deficit with two runs in the home half. Craig Gentry and Ryan Roberts both scored while Jason Pridie and Nate Freiman collected the RBIs. Overall this season, Nashville has outscored its opponents 55-33 in the first inning.
They trimmed the lead by one more run in third inning when Gentry scored his second run of the game. After singling with no outs, Gentry scored all the way from first when Roberts roped a two-bagger into the left field corner. The three runs of support had starter Barry Zito on the hook for a while.
With a string of six consecutive quality starts in the rearview window, Zito took the ball for his league-leading 21st start. The opportunity for a seventh straight quality start eluded the left-hander before the first inning was over though. His night was through after a season-low three innings. The 37-year-old left the game with a few positives, leaving the bases loaded to end the third and tying a season high with six strikeouts.
Nashville pulled even with New Orleans in the sixth. Niuman Romero pushed a ball into the visitor’s bullpen and scampered to third for a leadoff triple. The infielder scored later in the inning on a wild pitch and advanced the score to 4-4.
The home team took its only lead of the game by putting up a tally in the eighth. After the first two hitters went down in order, Gentry rallied the troops and ripped his 11th double of the season. Joey Wendle followed the centerfielder with his third hit of the night, a go-ahead double that had the Sounds leading 5-4.
The Sounds bullpen started sharp before dropping it in the ninth. Arnold Leon (2.2 IP) and Ryan Cook (1.1 IP) kept the Z’s off the board with shutout appearances. Brock Huntzinger struck out a pair in the scoreless eighth but was charged with three runs in the ninth and took the loss. Marcell Ozuno highlighted the three-run ninth with a solo shot off the batter’s eye in centerfield.
With half of the eight-game homestand complete, Nashville will now turn its attention to the 7:05pm game on Tuesday against the Iowa Cubs. Right-hander Zach Neal (7-3, 3.24) is slated to make his 13th start for the Sounds while lefty Clayton Richard (0-0, -.–) will make his debut for the Chicago Cubs.
New Orleans Zephyrs (47-55) 7, Nashville Sounds (45-58) 5
|New Orleans Zephrys||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||7||13||1|
|Solano, J, C||5||0||0||0||0||2||8|
|Diaz, J, 3B||5||0||2||2||0||2||3|
|a-Walked for Galloway in the 3rd.|
2B: Rottino 2 (19, Zito, Leon, A), Ozuna (7, Zito).
HR: Galloway (5, 1st inning off Zito, 2 on, 2 out), Ozuna (4, 9th inning off Huntzinger, 0 on, 0 out).
TB: Galloway 4; Valdespin 2; Nola; Diaz, J 2; Brignac; Ozuna 7; Rottino 5.
RBI: Shoemaker (30), Galloway 3 (30), Ozuna (8), Diaz, J 2 (26).
2-out RBI: Galloway 3.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Diaz, J 2; Ozuna 2; Nola.
Team RISP: 4-for-14.
Team LOB: 12.BASERUNNING
SB: Valdespin (7, 2nd base off Zito/Anderson, B).FIELDING
E: Rottino (4, fielding).
PB: Solano, J (2).
DP: 3 (Rottino-Nola, Valdespin-Nola-Rottino 2).
Pickoffs: Urckfitz (Pridie at 1st base).
|Roberts, R, LF||5||1||2||1||0||1||3||.293|
|Romero, N, 3B||4||1||1||0||1||1||5||.278|
|Anderson, B, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||4||.183|
|Leon, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Castro, A, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|1-Ran for Freiman in the 9th.|
2B: Roberts, R (22, Urena), Gentry (11, Nappo), Wendle (29, Nappo).
3B: Romero, N (1, Blackley).
TB: Wendle 4; Romero, N 3; Freiman 3; Roberts, R 3; Pridie; Gentry 3; Aliotti; Anderson, B; Parrino 2.
RBI: Pridie (68), Freiman (15), Roberts, R (33), Wendle (41).
2-out RBI: Roberts, R; Wendle.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Romero, N 4; Pridie 2; Roberts, R.
GIDP: Anderson, B, Parrino.
Team RISP: 4-for-16.
Team LOB: 12.BASERUNNING
SB: Wendle (6, 2nd base off Urena/Solano, J).
CS: Pridie (3, 2nd base by Urckfitz/Solano, J).
PO: Pridie (1st base by Urckfitz).
|Blackley (BS, 1)||1.0||2||1||1||0||0||0||5.77|
|Nappo (W, 2-2)||1.0||2||1||1||0||3||0||2.49|
|Wittgren (S, 14)||1.0||2||0||0||0||1||0||2.79|
|Huntzinger (L, 1-2)||1.0||3||3||3||2||2||1||3.48|
Huntzinger pitched to 4 batters in the 9th.
Game Scores: Urena 36, Zito 37.
WP: Urena, Blackley.
Pitches-strikes: Urena 95-59, Blackley 16-11, Urckfitz 24-11, Nappo 25-14, Wittgren 20-12, Zito 91-56, Leon, A 49-32, Cook 23-17, Huntzinger 38-20, Castro, A 10-7.
Groundouts-flyouts: Urena 7-0, Blackley 1-1, Urckfitz 0-0, Nappo 0-0, Wittgren 2-0, Zito 1-1, Leon, A 3-1, Cook 2-0, Huntzinger 1-0, Castro, A 2-1.
Batters faced: Urena 25, Blackley 5, Urckfitz 4, Nappo 5, Wittgren 5, Zito 17, Leon, A 11, Cook 6, Huntzinger 8, Castro, A 4.
Inherited runners-scored: Cook 1-0, Castro, A 3-2.
Umpires: HP: Jordan Ferrell. 1B: Brian Reilly. 3B: Brett Terry.
Weather: 90 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 6 mph, R to L.
Venue: First Tennessee Park.
July 27th, 2015