Nashville, TN – Renato Nuñez’s walk-off base hit in the bottom of the ninth gave the Sounds a 3-2 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes in front of a sellout crowd of 11,678 at First Tennessee Park Saturday night.
The Sounds (35-31) led for majority of the night before New Orleans came back with two runs in the top of the eighth to even the game.
New Orleans turned to Kyle Lobstein in the bottom of the ninth but the lefty found trouble immediately. He walked Ryan Lavarnway to put a runner on to start the frame. Matt McBride pinch-ran and moved to second on Jermaine Curtis’ sac bunt.
After an intentional walk to Franklin Barreto and a Bruce Maxwell fly out, New Orleans had a chance to get out of the inning when Matt Olson hit a bouncer to the right side. Lobstein covered first on the play but couldn’t handle the throw and runners were safe at every base.
On a 3-2 pitch from Lobstein, Nuñez sent a line drive to the wall in left field that Chad Hinshaw couldn’t come up with. McBride scored the winning run and the celebration followed.
Nashville starter Frankie Montas lit up the radar gun in his first start of the season. The right-hander routinely hit 100 mph on the gun and struck out seven in three innings. He turned the action over to Chris Jensen who proceeded to work three scoreless innings.
Maxwell provided the first two runs of the night for Nashville. His sacrifice fly gave the Sounds a 1-0 lead in the third, and his bases loaded walk in the seventh pushed the lead to 2-0.
The lead didn’t last as Sounds relievers Simon Castro and Jake Sanchez combined to issue four walks in the top of the eighth inning. Mike Aviles cut the deficit to 2-1 with a run-scoring base hit, and Cal Towey drew a bases loaded walk to even the game at 2-2.
Sanchez came back to work a perfect top of the ninth to set the stage for the game-winner. The walk-off was the third of the season for the Sounds.
Saturday’s sellout was the third straight, and 11th of the season at First Tennessee Park. 33,699 people have passed through the gates over the last three games.
Game two and three of the five-game set are scheduled for Sunday evening at First Tennessee Park. The Sounds and Baby Cakes resume the suspended April 30th contest at 5:05pm and will play a full nine innings. Game two of the doubleheader will be 30 minutes after the conclusion of game one.
The 2017 season is the Sounds’ 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com