El Paso, TX – Jorge Mateo launched an opposite-field two-run homer in the 10th inning to break a 6-6 tie and propel the Nashville Sounds to an 8-6 victory and a series win over the El Paso Chihuahuas Friday night at Southwest University Park. The Sounds had blown a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the ninth before Mateo’s heroics in the 10th helped the team regain control, and Jeremy Bleich got a save in the bottom half.
The Sounds grabbed the game’s first run in the top of the second against former Sound Dillon Overton. Anthony Garcia led off with a single, and Beau Taylor laced a double to the gap in left-center to make it 1-0.
El Paso answered that with two runs – one earned – in the bottom half against Eric Jokisch. That was all Jokisch allowed over 6 2/3 innings, and the lefty struck out 11 to tie his career-high. It was his third consecutive quality start, and the second time in a row he left with a lead and ended up with a no-decision.
Fueled by four doubles, the Sounds rallied for a 4-2 lead with three doubles in the fifth against Overton. BJ Boyd, Steve Lombardozzi, Nick Martini and Ramon Laureano each smacked a two-bagger. Martini’s moved his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest by a Sound since 2014, and moved his consecutive games on-base streak to 48, the longest by a Sound since the team joined the Pacific Coast League in 1998. Laureano’s double was his fourth of the series and accounted for his fifth RBI in the set.
After El Paso’s Allen Craig homered off Ryan Dull in the 8th to make it 4-3, the Sounds scored two in the ninth on RBIs by Beau Taylor and Sheldon Neuse to go ahead 6-3, only to see the Chihuahuas storm back in the bottom of the ninth and take advantage of a costly error by Dean Kiekhefer on a dropped catch. Kiekhefer was credited with the win thanks to the Mateo homer in the 10th off Colten Brewer, and Bleich notched his first save of the year.
The Sounds continue their seven-game road trip Saturday night with the opener of a four-game series against the Albuquerque Isotopes. Right-hander James Naile (5-5, 3.41) is scheduled to start for the Sounds against Brett Oberholtzer (2-4, 5.73). First pitch is scheduled for 7:35 p.m.
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