Sounds surrender 4-run fifth inning to Omaha, lose 6-5
When are the Sounds going to learn this lesson: you can’t give up big innings (i.e., 3 or more runs in one inning) and still win close games in the end? Tonight’s 6-5 defeat at the hands of the Omaha Royals illustrate this again. Nashville played overall more solid ball than Omaha, but allowing their opponent to have one big inning resulted in a loss. Nashville is now 15-13 and Omaha is 15-12.
Nashville struck first tonight with a two-out RBI double by Katin, scoring Tony Gwynn. 1-0 Sounds. But that lead would be short-lived. Omaha came right back to explode with a four-run fifth inning.
How many bad innings start with miscues?
Omaha began their fifth with Buchanan reaching on a fielding error by 2nd baseman Garciaparra. Murphy followed with a single to right. No outs, runners on 1st and 2nd. Ed Lucas then executed a perfect sacrifice bunt to pitcher Wright, advancing the runners to 2nd and 3rd; one out. Irving Falu then hit a two-run RBI double to left, scoring his teammates. 2-1 O-Royals.
Wright then walked Tug Hulett on a full-count. One out, runners on 1st and 2nd. With Pena batting, Wright then threw a wild pitch, both runners advances (2nd and 3rd again). Behind Pena 3 and O in the count, Wright got Pena to ground out to Gamel at third. Two outs now, runners on 2nd and 3rd. That brought up the #4 hitter – Ryan Shealy – and there’s a reason he’s called the clean-up hitter. Shealy smacked a two-run RBI double t left. He was 3 for 3 tonight. Omaha 4, Sounds 1 now.
Nashville would not give up without a fight though. Brendan Katin, benched the day before for a horrendous offensive streak, redeemed himself somewhat with an RBI single in the sixth, scoring Tony Gwynn. 4-2, Omaha.
But Omaha was not to be out-done. They added two more in their half of the sixth. Buchanan hit his first homer of the season, a solo shot with one out. Then a Nashville error would lead to the second run of the inning. Chase Wright (1-4) walked Murphy. Don Money then replaced Wright with Dave Johnson. With Ed Lucas batting, Johnson made a throwing error on a pick-off attempt at first, allowing Murphy to advance to 3rd base. Huge error. Lucas then followed with an RBI single, scoring Murphy. 6-2 Omaha.
Nashville still tried to rally by scoring once in the eighth and twice in the ninth. Katin’s 10th double of the season scored Gwynn in the 8th (making it 6-3).
Angel Salome opened the Sound’s ninth with his second homer of the season. 6-4 Omaha. Erick Almonte followed with a double to center. The Sounds had a runner in scoring position with no outs. Cole Gillespie then struck out looking. He never even swung the bat. Pathetic.
After a pitching change, Iribarren singled to right. Okay, runners now on 1st and 3rd, just one out. Hot-hitting Gwynn then hit an RBI double scoring Almonte and advancing Iribarren to 3rd. 6-5 now, one out.
Another Omaha pitching change. Atencio replaces Hughes and gets Escobar to take the third strike looking. Now with two outs, the Royals take the bat out of the hand of hands of Mat Gamel, intentionally walking him.
It’s 6-5, two outs, bases loaded, bottom of the ninth, with Brendan Katin up. Katin has been struggling with the bat significantly but has been hot tonight. Atencio quickly takes the count to 0 and 2, as Katin swings and misses twice. Spot-on, Atencio throws two more strikes and Katin fouls them off. Katin makes contact on the fifth pitch lining it to right fielder Brayan Pena for the final out.
Chase Wright (1-4), for Nashville, suffers his fourth loss, while Omaha’s DiNardo notches his 2nd win (2-1), and Atencio records his first save of the season.