All but one in the Sky Sox starting lineup collected a base hit on Monday night, with five collecting multi-hit games, in the Sox 11-5 loss to the Nashville Sounds in front of 4,216 fans at First Tennessee Park.
Both teams’ starting pitchers would be out of the ballgame by the fifth inning in one that turned into a battle of the bullpens rather quickly.
While Sounds starter Barry Zito struggled from the onset, allowing four base hits to his first six batters faced, Sox starter Taylor Jungmann cruised through his first four frames with relative ease.
In fact, Zito had been mostly avoiding trouble, allowing just one run in the second until the base-hit floodgates opened with two outs in the top half of the fourth. The Sky Sox would plate four runs in the inning, started by a Donnie Murphy walk followed by consecutive base hits of the bats of Matt Long, Luis Sardinas, Elian Herrera, Matt Clark and Shane Peterson.
The Sox seemed to be off and running as Jungmann would carve his way through the Sounds lineup, stumbling slightly in the home fourth with leadoff hitter Billy Burns using his speed to manufacture a run after an inning-opening single. Burns’ base hit was the first of the game for Nashville.
Similar to Zito, things would get away from Jungmann in with two out in his final inning of work. Jungmann would set the first two batters down quickly in the bottom of the fifth before allowing three runs to score on three singles, a double and a walk by his next five batters. Jungmann would be replaced by David Goforth (0-2, 9.45) whose wild pitch with two out in the frame allowed Jungmann’s final run to score. The 2011 first-rounder would finish with five runs allowed on five hits and two walks while striking out four over 4.2 innings of work.
Goforth would lead the Sox through a scoreless sixth with the score tied 5-5 heading into the seventh. The Sox would go down in order against new pitcher Brock Huntzinger (1-0. 1.35) before the Sounds broke through in their half of the inning for what would be the game’s winning runs.
With Goforth still on the mound, the Sounds lineup would collect back-to-back singles before a sac bunt and walk to Billy Burns loaded the bases with one out. A wild pitch to the very next batter allowed the go-ahead run to score, bringing reliable left-hander Brent Leach on in relief of Goforth in an undesirable one out, runners on first and third situation. Leach would not be able to limit the damage this time around as a hit by pitch, single and fielding error would allow two more runs to score and knock the reliever out of the game.
Right-hander Rob Wooten would take the mound still with just one out in hopes of keeping the score at 8-5. Right-fielder Kent Matthes did not comply, lining a bases-clearing three-run double to left-center field. Wooten would set the next two batters down in order to end the seventh, leaving Nashville with six runs scored on four hits and an error.
Right-hander Chad Smith would come in the top of the eighth to shut down the Sky Sox lineup and, while allowing four hits to Sox hitters over the next two innings, would do just that. The Sky Sox lineup would pound out 14 hits against Sounds pitching but could not overcome a difficult seventh inning in their 11-5 loss.
After concluding their four-game series in Nashville, the Sky Sox will head into Round Rock for four games against the Express to finish off their eight game road trip. Right-hander Chris Leroux (0-1, 6.35) will take the hill for the Sox as the team looks to get back on track.