Nashville, TN – The Oklahoma City Dodgers spoiled the first sellout of the 2017 season at First Tennessee Park with a 3-2 win over the Nashville Sounds in front of 10,717 fans Friday night.
With the score even at 1-1 in the eighth inning, Oklahoma City’s Alex Verdugo lifted a fly ball in the direction of Nashville’s Matt McBride. The ball glanced off the left fielder’s glove and allowed two runners to score on the E-7.
Bobby Wahl limited the damage to the two unearned runs, but it was enough for the Dodgers. Matt Olson launched a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth but the comeback fell short.
The starters controlled the game early as both held the opponent off the board for the first five innings. Nashville finally broke through against Jair Jurrjens in the fifth to put the game’s first run on the board.
Renato Nunez doubled into the left field corner to start the rally. Jurrjens came back to get Olson and Bruce Maxwell on groundouts, but McBride came through with a two-out, RBI single up the middle to give the Sounds a 1-0 lead.
Cesar Valdez cruised through the first five innings. He struck out a pair in the third, the side in the fourth, and added two more punch outs in the fifth.
Oklahoma City’s Tyler Holt began the sixth with a base hit to right-center, ending the night for Valdez. Josh Smith relieved Valdez and gave up a single to Chris Taylor to put runners at the corners. Oklahoma City evened the game at 1-1 when Cody Bellinger bounced into a 3-6 fielder’s choice.
Neither starter factored into the decision despite solid performances from both. Jurrjens allowed one run on five hits in six innings. Valdez allowed one run on five hits in five innings to go along with his seven strikeouts.
Nashville had a number of chances in the later innings but couldn’t come up with a big hit. They left runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings, and went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
Nuñez and McBride both had multi-hit games in the losing effort.
The Sounds welcome the Colorado Spring Sky Sox for a three-game series set to begin Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Paul Blackburn (0-1, 1.50) starts for Nashville against left-hander Brent Suter (0-0, 0.00) for Colorado Springs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35pm.
The 2017 season is the Sounds’ 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com