Sounds Drop Series Finale in Memphis, 5-1
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Memphis starting pitcher P.J. Walters used both his arm and his bat to propel the Redbirds to a 5-1 victory over the Nashville Sounds on Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park in the finale of a five-game series.
Walters (3-2) tossed a quality start, holding the Sounds to one run on seven hits with five strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings, and the right-hander delivered a go-ahead, three-run double from the batter's box to lead Memphis to the win.
The defeat, which snapped a three-game win streak for the Sounds, was the last of 16 contests between the division rivals in 2010. Nashville (48-42), which took three of five from the Redbirds this weekend, won the season series by a 9-7 margin.
Sounds first baseman Joe Koshansky gave the visitors an early advantage when he led off the second inning with his team-leading 13th longball of the year, a solo shot to right-center off Walters.
Memphis rallied to take a 4-1 lead with a four-run outburst against a pair of Nashville hurlers in the bottom of the sixth.
Allen Craig and Joe Mather led off the frame with consecutive singles off Sounds starter Chuck Löfgren. After Bryan Anderson grounded into a force play that eliminated Craig from the basepaths and Nashville catcher Anderson De La Rosa picked Mather off second, Kevin Howard blooped a single to shallow center to put runners on the corners and chase Löfgren from the contest.
Right-hander Donovan Hand was summoned from the bullpen to make his career Triple-A debut for the Sounds and was promptly tagged with a blown save as he was greeted by Donovan Solano's game-tying RBI single to left, which made it a 1-1 contest.
Hand extended the inning with a mistake of his own when he mishandled Aaron Luna's lightly-hit comebacker; the error allowed the Redbirds to load the bases. Walters helped his own cause in a big way when he stepped into the box and hit a sinking liner to center that glanced off the glove of a diving Lorenzo Cain, plating three unearned runs on a play ruled as a double for the Memphis hurler.
Howard tacked on an insurance run for Memphis in the eighth when he greeted Sounds reliever Chris Smith by hammering the right-hander's 1-0 offering over the right-center wall. The blast was the infielder's fifth round tripper of the year and upped the Redbirds' lead to 5-1.
Fernando Salas worked the final two frames in scoreless fashion for Memphis to nail down his 16th save of the season.
Löfgren (7-5) was saddled with a tough-luck loss for the Sounds after allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits while walking a pair of batters and striking out four in his 5 2/3 innings of work.
Cain extended his hit streak to seven games with a fifth-inning double. The outfielder enters the break with a .368 average (14-for-38) in his nine games played for Nashville.
Adam Stern had his season-best seven-game hit streak halted for the Sounds with a pinch-hit flyout in the seventh. The outfielder enjoyed a 6-for-9 series against the 'Birds and enters the All-Star break batting .545 (12-for-22) in his last eight games.
After taking the next three days off for the Triple-A All-Star break, the Sounds return to action on Thursday night at Greer Stadium, when they welcome the division-rival Omaha Royals to Music City for the 7:05 p.m. opener of a four-game series.
Left-hander Chris Water (5-5, 3.55) will man the bump for the Sounds in Thursday's series opener to face Omaha right-hander Luis Mendoza (5-7, 4.57).
A pair of Sounds players will compete in Wednesday night's Triple-A All-Star Game in Lehigh Valley, Pa. Shortstop Luis Cruz and right-handed pitcher Mike McClendon will serve as reserves for the Pacific Coast League stars in the 6:05 p.m. CT contest, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network as well as 104.5 FM "The Zone."
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Pacific Coast League Stories from July 11, 2010
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