Sounds Drop Season Opening Series Rubber Match
ROUND ROCK, Texas - The Nashville Sounds dropped the season-opening series to the Round Rock Express after falling 5-4 Monday night in the Lone Star state.
In a back-and-forth game it was the Express who had the last laugh thanks to a bases loaded walk from Simon Castro to Preston Beck in the home half of the seventh inning.
Nashville plated the first runs of the game in the fourth inning when Renato Nunez belted a pitch from Eddie Gamboa over the fence in left center field. The lead was short-lived for the Sounds as the Express responded with three runs in the home half of the inning. After leaving runners stranded in each of the first three innings, the Express were able to break through in the fourth and did so in a big way with three runs in the inning.
Cesar Puello got things rolling for the Express in the frame with a one-out base hit and came around to score when Luis Marte grounded a ball back up the middle that hit off of Smith's glove and caromed away from him. Doug Bernier followed that up with an RBI single of his own. Center fielder Jaff Decker attempted to throw out Marte at third base but the throw got away allowing Marte to cross home plate and give the Express a 3-2 lead
Will Middlebrooks continued to be a thorn in the side of the Sounds as he hit his third home run of the series in the fifth inning to extend Round Rock's lead to 4-2. Chad Pinder, however, would cut the lead in half as he collected a two-out RBI single in the top half of the sixth inning. Pinder has now collected at least one base hit in each of the first five games.
In the seventh inning Ryan Lavarnway got things started for the Sounds with a seeing-eye single into right field. He then advanced to second base when Andrew Lambo grounded out the first. Speedy outfielder, Kenny Wilson, legged out an infield single to move Lavarnway within 90 feet of tying the ball game. With runners on the corners and just one out, Franklin Barreto lifted the ball into center field deep enough for Lavrnway to tag from third and knot the game up at four runs apiece.
The final twist in the opening series of the season came in the seventh inning when Simon Castro came on in relief of Aaron Kurcz who had given up a lead-off single to Beck and a base hit to Travis Snider. Castro was unable to keep Round Rock off the board as he walked Puello to load the bases and subsequently waslked Ronald Guzman to bring the winning run home.
Kurcz (1-1) took the loss while Wesley Wright (1-0) picked up his first win of the season.
The Sounds return to Music City for the home opener Tuesday night against the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Daniel Gossett (0-0, 1.80) will get the ball for the Sounds and go up against Oklahoma City's Trevor Oaks (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.
The 2017 season is the Sounds' 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics' top affiliate. Opening Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 as the Sounds host the Oklahoma City Dodgers at 6:35 p.m. at First Tennessee Park. Season ticket memberships are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.
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