Nashville, TN – Two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning propelled the Nashville Sounds to a crucial 6-5 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers in front of 6,643 fans Friday night at First Tennessee Park.
With the come-from-behind win, Nashville took control of the best-of-five American Conference Finals with a 2-1 lead. The Sounds have an opportunity to clinch a trip to the Pacific Coast League Championship Series with a win in game four Saturday night at First Tennessee Park.
After building an early 4-0 lead, Nashville’s bullpen squandered away the lead and trailed 5-4 going into the bottom of the eighth.
Shortstop Franklin Barreto greeted Dodgers’ right-hander Joe Broussard with a triple to the gap in right-center to put the tying run at third. Colin Walsh followed with a base hit to center field on a 1-0 pitch to make it a 5-5 game.
Broussard retired Renato Nunez for the first out, but then Matt Olson lined a base hit to right to put runners at first and second.
Ralston Cash relieved Broussard and promptly issued a walk to Matt Chapman to load the bases. Rangel Ravelo delivered the go-ahead run on a fielder’s choice that knocked in Walsh to put the Sounds on top, 6-5.
Closer Tucker Healy was summoned by Manager Steve Scarsone and worked around a one-out walk to save it for the Sounds.
Nashville built the 4-0 advantage with a big four-run third inning. Oklahoma City starter Chase De Jong issued three walks in the inning and they came back to hurt when Nunez belted a three-run homer, his second in the series.
The Dodgers bounced back with two runs in the fourth when Corey Brown hit an opposite-field two-run homer off Nashville starter Daniel Gossett. The right-hander went 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits in a no decision.
It stayed 4-2 until the seventh when the Dodgers struck for three runs. Two runs were charged to Ryan Brasier, and the third was on Colt Hynes’ line. Cody Bellinger leveled the game with a two-run single and O’Koyea Dickson gave Oklahoma City the lead with a sacrifice fly.
Sounds’ reliever Andres Avila retired the Dodgers in order in the eighth to set up the dramatic finish.
In the regular season, Nashville was 3-48 when trailing after seven innings. Nunez finished with the three RBI and has eight in the series to match Nelson Cruz (2005) and Drew Denson (1993) for most in a playoff series in franchise history.
Game four of the best-of-five series is set for Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Donn Roach (6-6, 4.08) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Alfredo Figaro (1-0, 1.89) for the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
Tickets for the 2016 Pacific Coast League Playoffs at First Tennessee Park are 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.