Sounds Sweep RedHawks in Doubleheader
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Nashville Sounds swept the Oklahoma City RedHawks in a doubleheader on Thursday evening at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark to close out a five-game series.
The Sounds came from behind to win both contests, posting a 3-2 victory in the opener before registering a 5-4 triumph in the nightcap.
With the sweep, Nashville (74-65) took three of five from the RedHawks in the series and notched a 9-7 win in the season series between the clubs. The Sounds have won 13 of their last 18 contests.
First baseman Joe Koshansky recorded knocks in both contests to extend his hitting streak to 14 games for the Sounds, matching the longest by a Nashville player this season.
In the opener, Sounds right-hander Marty McLeary worked a seven-inning complete game and Brendan Katin ripped a go-ahead RBI double in the fifth inning to lead Nashville to a 3-2 victory.
McLeary (7-9) allowed two runs, both on solo homers, over seven innings of work to pick up the victory for the Sounds, snapping a personal two-game skid with his 106-pitch quality start.
Oklahoma City took a 1-0 lead in the second when Ryan Garko belted a two-out solo homer to left-center off McLeary, the infielder's 12th big fly of the year.
The RedHawks doubled their lead in the third when catcher Taylor Teagarden led off with a solo blast to left-center, his second roundtripper of the year.
The Sounds rallied to tie the contest in the fourth. Koshansky, Luis Cruz, and Ray Olmedo posted three consecutive one-out singles off Oklahoma City starter Doug Mathis, the last of which made it a 2-1 ballgame as Koshansky scored from second on the knock. Johnny Raburn followed with a game-tying RBI groundout.
Nashville took its first lead of the afternoon in the fifth when Adam Stern (2-for-3) led off with a single and later scored on Katin's two-out double to left, giving the visitors a 3-2 advantage.
The RedHawks didn't go down without a fight, however, placing runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before McLeary induced a game-ending groundout from Max Ramirez to secure the one-run victory.
Mathis (5-7) took the loss for Oklahoma City after giving up three runs in his six frames of work.
The Sounds prevailed, 5-4, in an exciting nightcap that was a back-and-forth affair featuring four lead changes.
Left-hander Dan Merklinger (1-0) made his career Triple-A debut for Nashville in the nightcap and earned the victory. The 24-year-old hurler allowed four runs on six hits over five innings of work, throwing 103 pitches (60 strikes).
Nashville took an early 1-0 lead when Norris Hopper led off the contest with a double and later came plateward on an Erick Almonte groundout.
The opposing catchers in the contest got into the longball act over the next two frames as the teams exchanged the lead.
Kevin Richardson put the RedHawks in front, 2-1, in the second with a two-out, two-run blast to center off Merklinger, his eighth dinger of the year, before Sounds backstop Martin Maldonado answered with a two-run shot of his own in the top of the third to put Nashville back on top by a 3-2 count. The longball, which came on an 0-1 offering from Oklahoma City starter Guillermo Moscoso, was Maldonado's seventh homer of the season.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom of the third frame, as Oklahoma City rallied for a pair of runs against Merklinger to jump back ahead, 4-3. PCL veteran Esteban German opened the frame with a double and scored the tying run when Willy Taveras followed with an RBI single to left. Taveras moved to third on a Chris Davis single then hustled home with the go-ahead run on a Max Ramirez sacrifice fly.
Koshansky extended his hit streak to 14 games in the fourth when his opposite-field, two-run homer to left off Moscoso, which also scored Katin (2-for-3), pushed the visitors back on top by a 5-4 score. The home run was Koshansky's team-leading 25th of the season. His 14-game hit streak matches Eric Farris for the longest by a Nashville player in 2010.
Sounds c loser Chris Smith worked the sixth frame in scoreless fashion behind Merklinger and returned to the hill following a nearly two-hour rain delay in the middle of the seventh to retire the RedHawks in order to nail down his PCL-leading 25th save of the season.
Moscoso (7-7) took the loss for Oklahoma City after working all seven innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out seven batters.
The Sounds travel to New Orleans on Friday to close out their 2010 season with a four-game set at Zephyr Field. Right-hander Josh Butler (5-1, 4.99) will man the bump in Friday's 7:00 p.m. series opener and face New Orleans right-hander Nic Ungs (1-2, 7.43).
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Pacific Coast League Stories from September 2, 2010
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