El Paso, TX – A season-high five home runs helped the Nashville Sounds to a series-opening 13-3 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas Thursday night at Southwest University Park.
Renato Nunez, Matt Olson, Joey Wendle, Jaycob Brugman and Bruce Maxwell all clubbed homers as the Sounds pounded out 19 hits in the lopsided win to begin the unofficial start of the second half.
Already with a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Renato Nunez belted the first homer of the game to extend the lead to 3-0. His two-run shot to left scored Max Muncy who knocked in the first run of the game with a base hit to right field.Leading 4-1 in the top of the fourth, Matt Olson drilled a solo shot – his ninth of the season to give the Sounds (50-42) a 5-1 lead.
Wendle got in on the fun in the fifth when he launched a two-run shot of his own to extend the lead to 7-1. Like Olson, the long ball was number nine on the season for Wendle.
Sounds starter Nick Tepesch used the run support to his advantage. He worked five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. The right-hander benefitted from double plays to end the fourth and fifth innings to avoid major damage and pick up his first win with Nashville.
El Paso (53-38) starter Bryan Rodriguez was charged with five earned runs on nine hits and was tagged with the loss. It didn’t get any better for Eric Yardley who allowed six runs in just one inning of work.
Jaycob Brugman broke the game open with a three-run smash off Yardley in the sixth. It’s was the fifth of the season for Brugman who plated Maxwell and Arismendy Alcantara with the homer.
Maxwell’s blast came in the top of the ninth inning. It was a run-shot shot to give the Sounds a 13-3 lead.
Maxwell and Alcantara paced the offense with four hits apiece. Ryon Healy, Muncy, Wendle and Olson had multi-hit games as well. Every player in the lineup had at least one hit to contribute to the 19 hits which matched a season-high.
The bullpen combination of Ryan Doolittle, Daniel Coulombe, Aaron Kurz and Tucker Healy combined to allow one run over the final four innings.
With the win, Nashville is now 16-1 against the Pacific Conference.
Game two of the four-game series is set for Friday night at Southwest University Park. Right-hander Jesse Hahn (1-5, 3.60) starts for Nashville against right-hander Carlos Pimentel (9-4, 5.94) for El Paso. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm CST.
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