Des Moines, IA – With the Nashville Sounds down a run and down to their final out with the bases fully loaded, Franklin Barreto stepped up to the plate. The A’s top prospect ambushed a 1-0 pitch and sent it beyond the fence in left center field to give the Sounds the 5-2 win over the Iowa Cubs.
Michael Brady was spectacular for the Sounds aside from two batters in the third inning and it almost cost him and the ball club. The Iowa Cubs could only muster a pair of base runners against Brady but both came around to score.The Sounds took the lead in the opening frame on a sacrifice fly from Renato Nunez to score Jaycob Brugman from third and give them a 1-0 lead.
The lead would last two innings until the third when Taylor Davis reached with a leadoff single and Bijan Rademacher sent a 1-2 pitch into the seats in right field for the I-Cubs.
Those two hits were the lone base runners allowed by Brady who retired the next 12 batters he faced. For Brady, it was his first quality start of the season as he finished his outing with six innings pitched and fanned a season-high six batters in the process. He also set season-highs with 56 strikes on 78 pitches.
Nashville got back-to-back singles from Ryan LaMarre and Brugman in the fifth inning but could not cash in as Cubs starter, Aaron Brooks, induced a double play from Barreto to end the threat. Again in the eighth inning the Sounds got a pair of runners aboard but were unable to bring them home. Brugman drew a leadoff walk and swiped a pair of bases to bring the tying run within 90 feet of scoring. Then Nunez was hit by a pitch with two outs but Felix Pena got Joey Wendle to whiff on an 0-2 pitch.
It appeared as if those two chances would be as close as the Sounds would come to tying up the ball game but Nashville remained composed and did not let their ninth inning opportunity go to waste. Jaff Decker drew a one-out walk then Ryan Lavarnway was hit by a pitch. With a full count and both runners in motion, LaMarre tapped slow roller down the third base line and Iowa pitcher, Felix Pena, had no play. Pena got Brugman to strike out for the second out of the inning but the door was left open for Barreto to be a hero. Barreto did not miss a 1-0 pitch right in his wheelhouse and crushed it over the fence for his first career grand slam.
Jake Sanchez came on in the bottom of the ninth for his second save of the season in a Sounds uniform. The right-hander allowed a two-out double to Victor Caratini but tightened up and induced a ground ball from Chris Dominguez to secure the win for the Sounds.
The Sounds play game two of the series and an 11-game road trip on Friday in Des Moines, Iowa. Right-hander Chris Smith (2-2, 3.86) starts for Nashville against right-hander Casey Kelly (2-0, 4.85) for Iowa. First pitch is scheduled for 7:08pm.
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