Nashville, TN – Another late comeback attempt fell short for the Nashville Sounds in a 5-4 loss to the El Paso Chihuahuas in front of 5,943 fans at First Tennessee Park Monday night.
Renato Nuñez belted a three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull the Sounds within a run, but that’s where the game ended up.
Nashville put three runners on after the home run but failed to score. Matt Chapman singled but was caught stealing moments later. After two more reached safely, Ryan LaMarre struck out to end the threat.Franklin Barreto started the ninth with a single but was caught stealing second two batters later. Reliever Phil Maton retired Joey Wendle and Mark Canha to earn his sixth save of the season.
Daniel Mengden started for the Sounds (13-15) on a Major League rehab assignment and allowed a pair of runs in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander yielded four hits, walked two, and struck out three in his season debut.
Mengden and El Paso starter Zach Lee matched zeros until the Chihuahuas plated two in the third. Carlos Asuaje plated the first run of the night with a double off the left field wall. Moments later, Nick Buss lifted a sacrifice fly to left field to score Asuaje and make it a 2-0 game.
The Sounds got a run back in the fourth thanks in part to some shaky El Paso defense. Walks issued to Matt Olson and Matt Chapman put runners at first and second for Nashville. On a base hit to left field by Jaycob Brugman, Olson and Chapman both ended up near third base. As Chapman ran back to second base and got in a rundown, Olson broke for home and scored. El Paso’s throw back to second got into center field and Chapman was safe at second.
It stayed 2-1 until the top of the eighth as pitchers locked in on both sides. Lee allowed just one run over six innings of work and earned his first win of the season.
Nashville’s Paul Blackburn worked four innings of relief but ran into trouble in the eighth inning – his final frame. Rafael Ortega drilled a two-run homer, and Rocky Gale knocked in a run as part of a 4-for-4 night.
The series finale is scheduled for Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park. Left-hander Sean Manaea starts for the Sounds on a Major League rehab assignment against right-hander Walker Lockett (3-1, 5.34) for the Chihuahuas. 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