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Almonte fuels Sounds' huge inning08/10/2011 9:29 PM ET
By Danny Wild / MLB.com
In a game that seemed to drag on, Erick Almonte said a marathon seventh inning zipped by.
"It was our first day game in about a month and it was almost four hours, but it was kind of cool to make that comeback that way," Almonte said. "It went by quick."
Trailing by seven runs and having little luck against Reno starter Zach Kroenke, Nashville scored 10 times in the seventh.
"We just started hitting like crazy," said Almonte. "We hit the ball in the right places."
The Sounds needed just about all of those runs Wednesday afternoon as they held on for a wacky 11-9 win in Reno that featured 11 pitchers, 27 hits and 18 walks. Limited to pinch-hitting duties in the last few games, Almonte doubled twice and had five RBIs in the seventh.
Nashville, which had a five-run inning in the opener of the series, used a three-run ninth on Monday to beat the Aces. It completed the four-game sweep in unusual fashion.
"We've just had so much confidence in the last two weeks, especially on the road. we just have that confidence at the end of games," Almonte said. "But they made it interesting."
Nashville's big inning included five doubles, four walks, a wild pitch, two pinch-hitters and three Reno relievers. Andy Gonzalez came off the bench and ended up making two outs in the frame. But the Sounds tied a record by ripping eight doubles for the fifth time in club history.
Esmerling Vasquez replaced Kroenke to start the seventh, and things went downhill from there for the Aces. Vasquez walked Logan Schafer and hit Taylor Green with one out before uncorking a wild pitch to set the table for Almonte, who smacked a two-run double to left.
"We were down by seven runs at that time, and with two runners on base, I just wanted to put a good swing on it," Almonte said. "I did, hit a double that scored two, and we scored a couple more and then I got to bat again with the bases loaded."
A "couple more" is a bit of an understatement -- consecutive walks set up back-to-back two-run doubles by Caleb Gindl and Brandon Boggs, both off Kam Mickolio. Pinch-hitter Mat Gamel singled before Logan Schafer delivered the fourth double of the inning, plating Boggs and chasing Mickolio.
Jeff Bennett retired Gonzalez but intentionally walked Green to face Almonte, who cleared the bases with his 13th double that put Nashville in front, 10-7.
"We were tied already at that point, so worst-case scenario, we have the game tied with two outs," Almonte said. "But I was able to connect on the ball and hit another double."
Reno responded with a run in the bottom of the inning on a fielder's choice by Michael Restovich, but Nashville countered in the ninth as Gonzalez scored on Randy Flores' wild pitch.
Ryan Langerhans hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth, but the Aces' rally stalled when Mike McClendon retired Cole Gillespie on one pitch.
Almonte began the season with Milwaukee but has remained at Nashville since rehabbing a concussion he suffered in late April. His last game with the Brewers came on April 25.
At Triple-A, the 33-year-old utility man is batting .304. He tied a Sounds' record on June 6 when he plated seven runs against New Orleans.
"When that happened -- the concussion -- they sent me back to Triple-A and I thought, 'There's nothing I can do, just go there, put up my numbers and it's a chance to contribute,'" said Almonte, who hit .103 in 16 games with Milwaukee. "That's what I'm doing. I don't worry about the big leagues. I know the Brewers are doing well, but I want to help this ballclub, so right now, I'm just doing my job here."
Almonte said he'd never been apart of a rally like Wednesday's.
"To bat twice and get five RBIs in one inning, it doesn't happen often," he added. "It was a great inning, everyone was jumping on me."
Salt Lake set the Pacific Coast League record for runs in an inning when they scored 16 times in the sixth against Vernon on Aug. 18, 1923.
Although a 10-run rally was probably not part of the Souns' plan, Almonte said his teammates didn't change their approach.
"We were able to work the pitches in the second inning with no outs, but we didn't score a run. Their starter did a good job throwing the ball for strikes, getting ahead, but we moved on," he said. "It was a long game."