Nashville, TN – A wild pitch and a bases loaded walk in the top of the tenth inning proved to be the difference in the Tacoma Rainiers’ 4-2 win over the Nashville Sounds Friday night in front of 9,687 fans at First Tennessee Park.
With the bases loaded and one out in the tenth, Tucker Healy uncorked a wild pitch to the backstop that allowed Daniel Robertson to race home from third with the go-ahead run.
After a strikeout and intentional walk, the bases were loaded again for Zach Shank who worked a four-pitch walk to force in another run.
Armed with a two-run lead, Emilio Pagan worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth to close out the win for Tacoma.
Nashville (72-55) started the scoring early as they jumped on Tacoma (73-53) starter Zach Lee right away. Lee walked Arismendy Alcantara to start the bottom of the first, and then allowed a single to Jaycob Brugman.
After a base hit by Matt Olson to load the bases, Matt Chapman poked a groundball inside the first base bag and down the right field line to score Alcantara and Brugman to give the Sounds a 2-0 lead.
Tacoma bounced right back with a pair of runs over the next couple of innings. Tyler Smith’s RBI single cut the deficit to 2-1 in the second and Dan Vogelbach’s RBI single evened the game at 2-2 in the third.
It remained at 2-2 until extra innings and both Lee and Raul Alcantara settled in. Lee ended up allowing just the two runs in six innings. Alcantara started for Nashville and allowed his two runs in five innings.
Both bullpens held their own as J.B. Wendelken worked three scoreless innings for Nashville. Evan Scribner tossed a scoreless seventh for the Rainiers and Kevin Munson followed suit with two zeros in the eighth and ninth innings.
After winning the first two games of the homestand against the Reno Aces, the Sounds dropped the next two to split the four-game series. They did the same thing with Tacoma by winning the first two on Tuesday and Wednesday before dropping last night’s game and tonight’s finale.
Nashville leads the American Southern Division by 9.0 games after both Round Rock and New Orleans won Friday night. With 17 games remaining, the Sounds’ magic number to clinch the division is eight.
Up next, the Sounds hit the road for a nine-game trip to Omaha and Memphis. In game one Saturday night, the Sounds send right-hander Chris Jensen (2-6, 4.66) to the hill against the Storm Chasers. Omaha has not announced a starter. 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.