The Round Rock Dance Halls took advantage of an eighth-inning error and topped the Nashville Honky Tonks, 3-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 11,071 at First Tennessee Park Friday night.
With two outs and the game even at 2-2 in the top of the eighth, Dance Halls first baseman Tommy Joseph hit a bouncer to Nashville shortstop Jorge Mateo who let go of an errant throw to allow Joseph second base. The miscue came back to hurt when Andy Ibanez followed with a go-ahead, run-scoring single to give Round Rock a 3-2 lead.
The win for Round Rock gave them four in the best-of-nine Battle for the Boot series. Nashville must win the final two games of the series to claim the Boot Trophy.
Nashville starter James Naile turned in his team-high seventh quality start of the season to keep the game close. The right-hander allowed two runs on seven hits in seven strong innings.
The offense never got going against four Round Rock pitchers. The Honky Tonks only managed three hits - a Sheldon Neuse single, a Jorge Mateo triple and a Brett Vertigan bunt single.
Mateo's RBI triple gave the Honky Tonks a 1-0 lead in the third. Round Rock evened the game at 1-1 in the fourth and took a 2-1 lead in the sixth. Vertigan electrified the crowd when his bunt single tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth. His perfectly placed bunt was fielded by Ibanez at third and thrown away down the right field line. As Vertigan raced to third, Joseph's throw from the right field line got away to allow Vertigan to score the tying run at 2-2.
The offense stumbled the rest of the way against Round Rock relievers Chris Jensen, Ricky Rodriguez and R.J. Alvarez. Rodriguez tossed 1 1/3 innings and picked up the win while Alvarez earned his 12th save with a perfect ninth.
Game three of the four-game series is scheduled for Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Left-hander Brett Anderson (1-1, 2.89) starts for Nashville against left-hander David Hurlbut (2-5, 5.18) for Round Rock. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
- With tonight's 3-2 loss, Nashville dropped to 33-38 on the season.
- Nick Martini extended his consecutive on-base streak to 54 games when he walked in the third inning. Martini's streak is the longest by a Nashville player in the Pacific Coast League era and is the longest active streak in professional baseball. Since April 14, Martini has reached safely in every game he has played in. The 54-game on-base streak is the longest in the Pacific Coast League since at least 2009 when MLBAM began tracking the statistic.
- James Naile recorded his team-high seventh quality start of the season (7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K)
- Jorge Mateo's seven triples are tied for second-most in the Pacific Coast League.
The 2018 season is the Sounds' 41st in franchise history and fourth as the Oakland Athletics' top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.