Nashville, TN – Middle Tennessee native Sonny Gray threw six shutout innings to lead the Sacramento River Cats to a 5-2 victory over the Nashville Sounds in front of a near-capacity crowd of 9,201 fans on Saturday evening at Greer Stadium.
Gray (4-1), who grew up in nearby Smyrna, Tenn. and later starred at Vanderbilt, pitched as a professional for the first time in his hometown and authored a quality-start win for the third straight outing. The 23-year-old held the Sounds to three hits while striking out a season-high eight batters and walking five in his six scoreless frames.
Sonny Gray-Sacramento-photo by Michael Strasinger Nashville Sounds
Tyler Thornburg (0-4) matched Gray’s effort with a solid outing of his own for the Sounds. He took a hard-luck loss, however, after striking out a season-high 10 batters while limiting the River Cats to two runs on seven hits over 5 2/3 frames.
Nashville batters extended a pair of significant streaks in the early going. Scooter Gennett wasted listed time pushing the PCL’s longest on-base streak of the season to 29 games, drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the first inning. Third baseman Stephen Parker extended Nashville’s longest hitting streak of the year to 14 games with a leadoff double to right-center in the second.
Sacramento right fielder Jeremy Barfield stifled an early Sounds’ attempt to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the second inning when he fielded Caleb Gindl’s two-out single and fired a strike to the plate to gun down Gennett, who attempted to score from second on the play.
River Cats center fielder Michael Choice spotted the visitors a 2-0 lead in the fourth when he lifted a towering two-run homer to left-center off Thornburg. Shane Peterson, who preceded Choice with a single, also scored on the outfielder’s seventh big fly of the year.
Sacramento doubled its lead to 4-0 in the seventh with two runs against reliever Johnnie Lowe. Jemile Weeks, the younger brother of former Sound Rickie Weeks, led off with a triple to right and scored on Grant Green’s ensuing single. The River Cats tacked on an unearned run later in the frame following a fielding error by Parker at third base. Scott Moore’s two-out RBI double to right plated Shane Peterson. On the play, right fielder Khris Davis combined with shortstop Blake Davis on a relay to the plate to nail Stephen Vogt as he attempted to score a second run on the two-bagger.
The Sounds broke up Sacramento’s shutout bid in the bottom of the eighth inning against reliever Pedro Figueroa. Caleb Gindl drew a leadoff walk and scored when Khris Davis followed with a laser RBI double to center.
Sacramento wrapped up its scoring in the top of the ninth when Green doubled and scored on a two-out Choice RBI single to center off Lowe to increase the lead to 5-1.
Nashville didn’t go down without a fight in the home half of the final frame, plating a run against River Cats closer Dan Otero. Hainley Statia (3-for-4) led off with a single before scoring from first on Gennett’s one-out RBI double to the left-center wall to score the night’s final run.
The teams continue the series with a 2:05pm matinee on Sunday afternoon at Greer Stadium. Left-hander Zach Kroenke (0-5, 7.30) will look to pick up his first win of the season when he takes the hill for the Sounds to face Sacramento southpaw Andrew Werner (2-5, 8.54).
SectionsAnnouncements, Baseball, MLB, Nashville Sounds, Sports
TopicsAndrew Werner, Baseball, Blake Davis, caleb gindl, Dan Otero, Grant Green, greer stadium, Hainley Statia, jemile weeks, Jeremy Barfield, Khris Davis, Michael Choice, Nashville Sounds, Nashville TN, PCL, Pedro Figueroa, RBI, Rickie Weeks, River Cats, Sacramento River Cats, Sacremento, Scooter Gennett, Scott Moore, Shane Peterson, Smyrna TN, Sonny Gray, Sounds, Stephen Parker, Stephen Vogt, Tyler Thornburg, Vanderbilt, Zach Kroenke