Top Prospects Leads Sounds Past Belmont, 5-1
NASHVILLE - The Milwaukee Brewers' top two prospects led the Nashville Sounds to a 5-1 victory over the Belmont Bruins on Wednesday evening at Greer Stadium in a seven-inning exhibition game.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo, the Brew Crew's top prospect and the 16th-best prospect in the minors as ranked by Baseball America entering the 2007 season, turned in a solid start to earn the victory. He struck out nine batters while allowing only two hits and two walks over five scoreless frames. Gallardo threw 70 pitches, 50 for strikes.
Third baseman Ryan Braun, the Brewers' #2 prospect, provided the lumber, finishing 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs on the evening.
Belmont left fielder Kane Simmons stifled the Sounds' first attempt to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second inning when he threw out Vinny Rottino at the plate to end the inning as he attempted to score on an Ozzie Chavez single.
Braun gave the Sounds a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI double to center off Bruins reliever Andy Stanley that drove in Callix Crabbe, who had singled and stolen second to open the inning.
Braun upped the Nashville advantage to 3-0 in the fifth with an opposite-field, two-run single to right that brought in Jose Macias (walk) and JD Closser (double). Braun later scored the fourth Sounds run in unearned fashion on a Brad Nelson sacrifice fly to left.
Crabbe accounted for Nashville's final tally of the evening in the sixth when his fielder's choice groundout plated Andy Abad, who opened the frame with a single and moved to third on a Chavez single to left-center.
Belmont broke up the Sounds' shutout bid in the top of the seventh against Nashville reliever Lindsay Gulin, who worked two innings following Gallardo's exit. Packy Elkins, who doubled with one out, scampered home from third on a bases-loaded Gulin wild pitch.
The two-time defending PCL American Conference Northern Division champion Sounds open their 2007 regular season on Thursday evening at Greer Stadium with a 7 p.m. contest against the New Orleans Zephyrs, the new Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.
Returning left-hander Zach Jackson, who went 4-6 with a 4.12 ERA in 18 starts for Nashville last season, will make the Opening Day start for the Sounds and face New Orleans right-hander Phillip Humber.
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