Nashville, TN – Joey Wendle hit a go-ahead three-run homer in the sixth inning to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 5-2 win over the Tacoma Rainiers Wednesday afternoon at First Tennessee Park.
The win vaulted Nashville past Tacoma for the best record in the Pacific Coast League at 72-53. Entering play later tonight around the league, the Sounds’ magic number is at nine to clinch the American Southern Division.
Wendle 12th homer of the season came on the first pitch he saw from Tacoma starter Jarrett Grube. Trailing 2-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, Jaycob Brugman singled and Renato Nunez walked to put a pair of runners on for Wendle who hit it to the opposite field.Both starters were solid in the early going as Grube squared off against Sounds starter Dillon Overton on his 25th birthday.
The two hurlers went through the first two innings with little resistance before a couple of solo homers made it a 1-1 game after three.
Ryan Strausborger started the third with his sixth blast of the season and Arismendy Alcantara launched his 11th of the year down the right field line with one out in the bottom half of the inning.
A single by Strausborger in the fifth led Tacoma to another run on Mike Freeman’s RBI groundout. It stayed 2-1 until Wendle’s three-run blast in the sixth.
The homer put Overton in line for his 11th win of the season which came to fruition when the bullpen combination of Eduard Santos and Bobby Wahl nailed down the win.
Santos worked around a one-out error in the seventh and then fired a 1-2-3 eighth to work two scoreless innings. Wahl earned his first Triple-A save when he tossed a 1-2-3 ninth.
Brugman went 2-for-4 with a run scored and extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Catcher Bryan Anderson had his first three-hit game of the season.
Game three of the four-game series is set for Thursday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Daniel Mengden (6-1, 1.34) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Taijuan Walker (0-0, 6.23) for the Rainiers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tickets for the 2016 Pacific Coast League playoff dates at First Tennessee Park are now available for purchase at the Nashville Sounds box office and online at www.nashvillesounds.com
The 2016 season is the Sounds’ 19th year in the Pacific Coast League and their second as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate.