NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The first-place Nashville Sounds (38-32) were held to two hits in Saturday night's 2-1 loss to the Tacoma Rainiers before 8,287 fans at Greer Stadium.
Right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker (1-1) guided Tacoma from the hill, twice cruising through the Sounds line-up to carry a no-hit bid through the 6th inning. With one out in the 7th, Sounds first baseman Sean Halton recorded the team's first hit with a single into right field.
After Halton's base knock, Walker loaded the bases on walks before picking up his seventh and final strikeout. At 94 pitches, Walker's night concluded and reliever Stephen Pryor stepped to the mound to face Kevin Mattison.
During the at-bat, Pryor uncorked a wild pitch that allowed the base runners to advance one base and give Nashville its only run. But Nashville's 7th-inning rally ended with Mattison striking out.
The Rainiers plated the game's first run in the 4th inning when catcher Jesus Sucre slapped a single into centerfield to score Gabriel Noriga. In centerfield, Mattison bobbled the ball to allow Noriega to move into scoring position after his single.
Tacoma doubled their lead on Jabari Blash's solo home run over the left field wall in the top of the 6th. The shot off Sounds starter Brad Mills (4-2) is Blash's 11th of the season and the second in as many nights, traveling an estimated at 443 feet.
Mills finished after six innings of work, allowing Tacoma batters two runs, one earned, on six hits for his seventh quality start of the year. He walked two and fanned seven in the outing, and worked out of a bases-loaded two-out jam in the first inning. He was charged the tough luck loss. His opposite, Walker, picked up the win.
Relievers Jeremy Jeffress and Alfredo Figaro combined to keep the Sounds in the contest with three scoreless frames.
Pete Orr recorded Nashville's second and final hit in the 8th inning. It is second time this season the Sounds have been held to two hits; also May 15 vs. Oklahoma City.
The Sounds will play game three of the four-game series with the Tacoma Rainiers on Sunday at 2:05. RHP Ariel Pena (4-5, 4.19) will start for Nashville opposite RHP Forrest Snow (NR). Broadcaster Jeff Hem has the call on 102.5 The Game.