Right-Hander Allowed One Run in Season-High Eight Innings
The right-hander limited Memphis to just one run on three hits in his eight frames. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four in his fourth win of the season. The eight-inning effort is the longest start by a Sounds hurler this year.
Neal cruised through the first two innings before Memphis scored the game’s first run in the third. Tommy Pham lined a two-out base hit up the middle to score Alberto Rosario to give the Redbirds a 1-0 lead.The Sounds bounced back quickly with a run of their own in the fourth. Jake Smolinski collected a two-out walk in front of Andrew Lambo. The designated hitter then lined a pitch from J.C. Sulbaran into the right-center gap for a double that chased Smolinski around from first with the tying run.
Neal went back to work and was unhittable the rest of the way. When he retired Greg Garcia to end the third, it was the start of 16 consecutive batters set down in order.
Matt McBride started the seventh with a base hit off Memphis reliever Justin Wright and moved to second on Matt Olson’s groundout. It was then Bruce Maxwell who came through with the go-ahead run-scoring single. His line drive bounced off of Wright and trickled into left field to allow McBride to cruise home and make it 2-1.
Neal returned for the eighth and punctuated his big night by striking out the final two batters he faced – David Washington and Alberto Rosario.
Lefty Patrick Schuster got the ball for the ninth and worked around a two-out walk to slam the door for Neal and the Sounds.
Over his last two starts, Neal has allowed one run over 15 1/3 innings and has pitched the Sounds to wins of 3-0 and 2-1.
Game three of the four-game series is set for Sunday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Daniel Mengden (1-0, 0.00) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Jeremy Hefner (2-0, 3.42) for the Redbirds. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05pm.
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com