Papillion, NE – The Nashville Sounds offense was unable to find a groove Saturday night as they were defeated 6-2 in their series opener against the Omaha Storm Chasers.
One night after not registering a base hit until the sixth inning Friday night, the Sounds wasted no time getting into the hit column Saturday night. Jorge Mateo lined a base hit to lead off the game and came around to score on Dustin Fowler’s sacrifice fly to spot James Naile with a 1-0 lead. Naile, however was unable to maintain the advantage as he yielded a two-run double from Frank Schwindel with two outs in the first inning. The runs snapped an 18.1 scoreless innings streak to begin the season for Naile.The Storm Chasers added another pair of runs in the second inning thanks to an error by first baseman Slade Heathcott and an RBI single from Alex Gordon. Both runs were unearned. Nashville cut the lead in half in the top of the third inning when Beau Taylor got the frame started with a double and came around to score on Steve Lombardozzi’s base hit to center field.
Naile settled down in the third and fourth innings, needing just 21 pitches to retire the six batters he faced before being taken deep by Salvador Perez on the first pitch of the fifth inning. It was just the third home run surrendered by Nashville this season. Naile lasted five innings and allowed five runs, three earned, while issuing three free passes and striking out three. Lombardozzi would be the last Sounds hitter to reach base against Omaha starter Trevor Oaks, who retired the final 10 batters he faced. Beau Taylor and Heathcott each drew ninth inning walks and were the only Sounds batters to reach base after Lombardozzi’s fourth inning single.
Jeremy Bleich gave up Omaha’s sixth run of the night when Ramon Torres singled on a flare into shallow center field with the infield in. The southpaw allowed three hits and struck out a pair in his two innings of work. To save arms in the bullpen, infielder Melvin Mercedes took the mound for the Sounds in the eighth inning, becoming the first position player to pitch for Nashville this season.
The Sounds continue their three-game series against the Storm Chasers Sunday afternoon. Right-hander Frankie Montas (0-1, 6.75) starts for the Sounds while the Storm Chasers have not announced their starter. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m.
The Sounds dropped to 8-8 on the season.
James Naile allowed his first run of the season Friday night in the first inning. Naile had gone 18.1 innings pitched without yielding a run.
BJ Boyd went 1-for-4 to extend his on-base streak to a team-high 11 games. During his 11-game streak he is batting .366 (15-for-41) with 6 runs, 2 doubles, 1 home run, 11 RBI, and drawn 5 walks. The first inning single extended his hitting streak to seven games.
Melvin Mercedes became the first Sounds position player to pitch in 2018. He tossed a perfect bottom of the eighth inning.
The 2018 season is the Sounds’ 41st in franchise history and fourth as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com