Behind stellar pitching, the Nashville Sounds defeated the New Orleans Zephyrs by the score of 2-1, on Tuesday, at Zephyr Field.
With expected Sounds starter Brad Mills under the weather, manager Steve Scarsone turned to what has been his team’s strength all season, their bullpen. The unit was 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA entering the day’s action. Pat Venditte made the spot-start and continued his hot early season form, extending his scoreless streak to 14 innings before it was broken by a Miguel Rojas solo homerun in the bottom half of the fifth inning.
The Sounds took their first lead of the series in the third inning. Number nine hitter Anthony Aliotti led off the frame with a single to start the inning. After Billy Burns moved him to second with a liner to center, second baseman Joey Wendle added to his team-leading RBI (15) total with a double that plated Aliotti. Burns then scored his team-leading 17th run on a sacrifice fly from the next batter, Kent Matthes.
R.J. Alvarez made his Sounds debut in the fifth coming on for Venditte after Zephyrs third baseman Scott Sizemore had doubled. Alvarez managed to strand the inherited runner at third and preserve the 2-1 lead.
Twice more the Zephyrs (8-10) would push runners to third base and the Sounds bullpen would strand the runner. Fernando Rodriguez pitched himself out of a runner on third with one out in the seventh inning and Chad Smith, who picked up his second save, stranded Jordany Valdespin at third in the ninth.
After 19 straight days of baseball, the Sounds (9-10) have a rare off-day tomorrow. They’ll pick up action again on Thursday at Round Rock (12-6). Barry Zito (0-1, 5.57 ERA) is expected to take the mound against Jerad Eickhoff (1-0, 2.16 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05.