El Paso, TX -For the third consecutive game, the Nashville Sounds failed to protect an early lead and eventually dropped the series opener to the El Paso Chihuahuas, 7-6, Wednesday night at Southwest University Park.
Nashville had a 4-0 lead before El Paso evened the game at 4-4 and eventually took a 6-4 lead. The Sounds scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game at 6-6 before El Paso walked off with a 7-6 win in the home half of the inning.
Trailing 6-4 in the top of the ninth, Nick Martini sparked a rally with a leadoff single. Ramon Laureano doubled to left field to score Martini and make it 6-5 while taking third base on the throw. Franklin Barreto followed with a sacrifice fly to draw the Sounds even at 6-6.
Laureano gave his best effort to push the game to extra innings when he threw out pinch-runner Dusty Coleman at home while trying to score from second on base hit by Luis Urias in the bottom of the ninth. Moments later, El Paso’s Allen Craig lined a base hit off Bobby Wahl down the right field line to score Forrest Allday with the winning run.
It was the combination of Martini and Laureano that sparked Nashville’s early 4-0 lead. Martini homered in the second and Laureano doubled, and Martini doubled in the fifth while Laureano collected a single. The duo combined to go 7-for-10 with 5 runs scored and 3 RBI.
Ben Bracewell started for the Sounds and cruised through the first four innings before four consecutive hitters reached to start the fifth. Nashville’s 4-0 lead was quickly erased as all four scored to even the game at 4-4.
Game two of the three-game series is scheduled for Thursday night in El Paso. Right-hander Edwin Jackson (0-1, 1.50) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Brett Kennedy (3-0, 3.16) for the Chihuahuas. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05pm.
With tonight’s 7-6 loss, the Sounds dropped to 30-33 on the season.
The Sounds have lost four consecutive games, matching a season-long streak.
Tonight’s walk-off loss was the first the Sounds have suffered in 2018.
Nick Martini extended his consecutive on-base streak to 46 games when he hit a home run in the third inning. Martini’s streak is the longest by a Nashville player in the Pacific Coast League era and is the longest active streak in Minor League Baseball. Since April 14, Martini has reached safely in every game he has played in. The home run extended his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games.
Right fielder Ramon Laureano recorded his first career four-hit game at the Triple-A level. Laureano had seven two-hit games prior to tonight’s 4-for-5 performance.
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