Right-hander Tosses Seven Shutout Innings to beat Fresno
Nashville, TN – A balanced offensive attack backed up a stellar pitching performance by Chris Smith to lead the Nashville Sounds to a series-opening 9-1 win over the Fresno Grizzlies in front of a sellout crowd of 10,043 Saturday night at First Tennessee Park.
It’s the second time over the last 11 days that Smith has gone seven innings which matches a career-high.
Jake Smolinski got the Sounds (17-19) on the board in the first with a towering two-run blast to left field. It plated Joey Wendle who started the frame with a single and stolen base.
Smith worked out of the only jam he faced in the top of the second. Fresno loaded the bases with one out but the right-hander retired Eury Perez on a pop out and struck out Andrew Aplin to end the threat.
The runs kept coming for the Sounds who put another on the board in the fourth. Smolinski walked to start the inning and Andrew Lambo and Chad Pinder collected back-to-back singles to load the bases.
Rangel Ravelo cashed in his 15th RBI of the season with a sacrifice fly to left to make it 3-0.
Smolinski, who went 2-for-3 with three runs scored, started another rally in the sixth when he singled to left. Pinder’s third hit of the night was a double down the left field line that scored Smolinski to make it 4-0. Moment later, Pinder scored on a wild pitch to extend the lead to 5-0.
Smith finished his night with a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He let the offense go back to work and they came through with four consecutive two-out hits in the eighth.
Matt Olson’s RBI single made it 6-0, Rangel Ravelo’s two-run double extended the lead to 8-0 and Bryan Anderson pitched in with a run-scoring double to up the lead to 9-0.
Fresno (15-20) broke up the shutout bid with a run off Aaron Kurcz in the top of the ninth when Danny Worth and Max Stassi collected back-to-back doubles.
Pinder finished the night a perfect 4-for-4 and the nine runs matched a season-high.
Game two of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Henderson Alvarez (0-0, 3.38) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Brady Rodgers (1-2, 3.75) for the Grizzlies. 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