Brad Mills pitched brilliantly and Jason Pridie smoked a two-run triple in the eighth inning to propel the Sounds over Sacramento and secure the sweep against the River Cats with a 3-2 win at Raley Field on Thursday afternoon.
The four-game series sweep was Nashville’s first since June 9-12, 2014, when the Sounds swept Reno at Greer Stadium. It was also the first time the Sounds have swept the River Cats since the two teams began playing in 2000. The win propelled Nashville to a four-game winning streak, their best mark this season.
The three-run eighth inning began slowly as Nashville started the frame with a groundout, hit by pitch and fielder’s choice. But with two away, the Sounds made their push towards a huge rally. Joey Wendle singled which put Craig Gentry on third base. With runners at the corners, Ryan Roberts stayed perfect at the plate with his fourth single of the game. Gentry scored and Wendle moved to third on the line drive to center. Pridie then stepped in and on a full-count pitch, grounded a ball into the right field corner that went for a two-run triple. The deficit was quickly erased and Nashville held onto the 3-2 lead.
The Sounds were 1-21 when trailing after seven innings, but the three-run eighth was enough to break the chain. The one-run victory improved Nashville’s record to 6-10 in those games, as the Sounds moved to 20-27 overall on the season.
The Grizzlies took a quick 2-0 lead with a pair of solo home runs. Jarrett Parker led off the second with a homer and John Bowker started the third with a blast. The two home runs matched a season-high allowed by Sounds’ starter Brad Mills.
Mills kept his pitch count down through the early portions of the contest and got help by inducing his team-leading 10th groundball double play. The left-hander tossed 7.0 innings for the third consecutive start and pushed his quality start streak to five games by allowing just two runs. He gave up a walk and added a strikeout with his 80 pitches.
Pat Venditte notched a strikeout during a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Angel Castro, making his first appearance since a stint with Oakland, slammed the door to record his first save of the year.
Roberts led the offensive assault and had four of Nashville’s 10 hits in the victory. Anthony Aliotti collected two hits and was 8-for-16 with three doubles and five RBIs in the series at Raley Field.
The Sounds returns to Music City on Friday to face the Las Vegas 51s at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-3, 4.45) will go against Darin Gorski in the series opener. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.