Round Rock, TX – Jake Smolinski clubbed a pair of home runs and the Nashville Honky Tonks hit four as a team on their way to an 8-6 win over the Round Rock Dance Halls Thursday night at Dell Diamond. The win in Round Rock evened the 2018 Battle for the Boot at one game each.
Smolinski wasted little time getting his big night started when he launched a solo homer in the top of the first inning to give Nashville a 1-0 lead. The center fielder finished the night a perfect 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
The early lead didn’t last long as Christian Lopes hit a solo homer of his own in the bottom of the first to even the game at 1-1. Nashville never trailed, but every time the Honky Tonks scored, the Dance Halls answered.
Jorge Mateo and Nick Martini drove in runs in the third, and Sheldon Neuse and Steve Lombardozzi knocked in runs in the fourth to extend Nashville’s lead to 5-1. Lombardozzi’s solo blast in the fourth was his first home run of the season.
Round Rock answered with a four-run bottom of the fourth inning to even the game at 5-5, but the Honky Tonks regained the lead with the help of an error in the top of the sixth.
With the game tied at 6-6 in the top of the seventh, Smolinski drilled his second home run of the game, an upper-deck blast to left field to give the Honky Tonks a 7-6 lead. Anthony Garcia gave Nashville an insurance run when he followed Smolinski with a solo blast of his own to extend the lead to 8-6.
The bullpen trio of Liam Hendriks, J.B. Wendelken and Bobby Wahl shut down Round Rock over the final four innings to lock in the win. Wahl earned his sixth save in as many opportunities.
Game three of the five-game series is scheduled for Friday night in Round Rock. Right-hander Ben Bracewell starts for the Honky Tonks in his first Triple-A start of 2018 against left-hander Yohander Mendez (0-5, 5.18) for the Dance Halls. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
With tonight’s 8-6 win, Nashville improved to 27-25 on the season.
Nashville matched a season-high four home runs in tonight’s win (Smolinski (2), Garcia, Lombardozzi).
CF Jake Smolinski hit a pair of home runs in tonight’s game to become the fifth Nashville player to record a multi-homer game this year.
Smolinski and DH Anthony Garcia hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning to become the first pair of Nashville teammates to hit back-to-back home runs this year.
RHP Liam Hendriks appeared on rehab assignment tonight and pitched a scoreless sixth inning.
Nick Martini extended his consecutive on-base streak to 39 games when he singled to lead off the game. Martini’s streak is the longest by a Nashville player in the Pacific Coast League era. It’s the longest active streak in the Pacific Coast League. Since April 14th, Martini has reached safely in every game he has played in.
Hendriks, J.B. Wendelken and Bobby Wahl combined to strike out six over four scoreless innings.
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