Nashville received a magnificent start from Chris Bassitt and the offense came alive late to help the Sounds scratch out a 5-1 victory over the Salt Lake Bees on Wednesday night at First Tennessee Park.
The Nashville pitching staff was marvelous yet again, fanning a season-best 15 hitters. Bassitt tossed the club’s 17th quality start and the bullpen failed to allow a run to extend their streak to the last 19.2 innings. The Sounds improved to a league-best 9-1 in their last 10 games.
It was the Bassitt show during Wednesday night’s contest. The right-hander fanned a season-high 11 batters while matching his career-high set on August 9, 2014. The 26-year old collected at least one strikeout in all six of his innings and set the mark for most strikeouts by a Nashville pitcher this season. He allowed one unearned run with five hits and no walks on a season-high 96 pitches. Bassitt’s ERA at First Tennessee Park dropped to 0.44 (1er/20.2ip) in the no-decision.
As good as Bassitt was, Salt Lake hurler Andrew Heaney seemed to be just as sharp. The left-hander held the Sounds to just four hits in 6.2 innings, tying a season-high with nine strikeouts. Heaney got into some trouble by walking four batters, but held Nashville hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position. He took his exit in the seventh and saw two runs charged to him when the bullpen failed to strand his runners.
Heaney got the first two batters out to begin the seventh, but then issued a walk to Luke Carlin and a single to Craig Gentry. Second baseman Joey Wendle then faced Trevor Gott and drew another free pass to load the bases. With the bags packed, Ryan Roberts stepped in and roped a single to right that plated a pair. Roberts had been 0-for-4 this season with the bases loaded, but came up big by driving in the game-winning run.
The Sounds plated three runs of insurance in the eighth inning. Kent Matthes scored when Matt Carson hit a double into the left field corner. Carson and Aliotti both scored later in the frame on RBIs from Carlin and Wendle.
Overall, pitching was what notched Nashville their 25th win. The Sounds have now allowed two runs or less in nine of their last 10 games and have a 1.71 ERA (22er/115.2ip) over the last 13 games. Joe Paterson earned his first win as a Sound, working around a hit and a walk for a scoreless frame. Brock Huntzinger followed it up by pushing his consecutive hitless streak to seven innings by striking out the side in the eighth. R.J. Alvarez rounded out the band of relievers with a scoreless ninth.
The third game of the series gets underway on Thursday at First Tennessee Park as Nashville and Salt Lake will compete in the MiLB Game of the Week on CBS Sports Network. Left-hander Sean Nolin (0-0, 1.08) will take the spotlight for the Sounds and is slated to be opposed by Zach Stewart.