Nashville, TN – Starter James Naile fired seven innings of one-run ball to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 5-1 win over the Reno Aces in front of 6,973 fans at First Tennessee Park Wednesday night.
Naile picked up his team-high fifth win of the season and dropped his ERA to 3.57 as he scattered five hits over his seven frames. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
The right-hander’s strong effort was backed by big offensive nights from Jake Smolinski and Sheldon Neuse. Smolinski drilled his seventh home run of the season and finished 3-for-4 while Neuse added a season-high three hits.
Reno’s Socrates Brito gave Naile his only blemish in the first inning when he launched a solo home run into the right field seats.
The Sounds bounced back with a pair of runs in the second inning and were in control the rest of the night. Franklin Barreto started the bottom of the second with a booming triple to right field and was followed by three consecutive singles to give Nashville a 2-1 lead.
Smolinski’s solo blast in the third extended the Sounds’ lead to 3-1, and Neuse’s RBI single in the fourth scored Beau Taylor to make it a 4-1 game. Taylor finished with a pair of hits and two runs scored.
Ramon Laureano started the bottom of the seventh with a walk and moved to third on Smolinski’s third hit of the night, a double down the left field line. Anthony Garcia followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Sounds a 5-1 lead.
Josh Lucas and Jeremy Bleich followed Naile on the mound. Lucas tossed a 1-2-3 eighth with a pair of strikeouts and Bleich followed with a perfect ninth to close the door.
The third and final game of the series is scheduled for Thursday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Ben Bracewell (0-1, 7.20) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Jake Buchanan (3-5, 4.60) for the Aces. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm.
With tonight’s 5-1 win, Nashville improved to 29-28 on the season.
Tonight’s win improved the Sounds’ home record to 19-11 – the third-best mark in the PCL.
When Jake Smolinski homered in the third inning, it marked the sixth consecutive game the Sounds have hit at least one home run. It matched a season-high.
Third baseman Sheldon Neuse notched his first three-hit game of the season. He boosted his average from .183 to .195 with his 3-for-4 showing.
Starter James Naile picked up his team-leading fifth win and fifth quality start of the season.
The 2018 season is the Sounds’ 41st in franchise history and fourth as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com