Eighth Inning Tally Gives Nashville Win
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Barry Zito spun another terrific outing and Dayan Viciedo singled home the winning run in the eighth, as Nashville swiped the series finale against Colorado Springs, 2-1.
Viciedo stepped into the batter's box with two away and runners at first and second in the eighth inning during a 1-1 tie. The designated hitter went with a 2-1 pitch, slapping it into the gap on the right side of the infield to score Craig Gentry. Viciedo's second RBI of the season helped Nashville win their 12th one-run game this season.
Viciedo had the hit, but it would have been in vain if Zito had not posted his team-leading ninth quality start.
The left-hander had struggled in two prior starts against Colorado Springs this year (8.1 IP, 8 ER), but pitched with authority all night long. Capable of keeping the Sky Sox hitters off balance with his crafty stuff, the veteran struck out six and issued just one walk in his seven innings. He retired 14 in a row at one point allowing a mere four hits.
The Sounds got on the board first and improved to 27-18 in games when they get the initial tally of a game. Hitting out of the seventh spot in the lineup, Jake Smolinski flashed his power in the third. The outfielder clubbed a ball off the end of his bat that landed near the Hyundai picnic area over the left field wall. The leadoff shot was Smolinski's first as a Sound and fifth in PCL action this season.
Colorado Springs finally broke Zito's rhythm when Luis Sardinas pieced together a two-out walk in the sixth. Bryan Peterson and Matt Clark both followed with singles to help the visiting team knot the score at 1-1. The hits were there first since the second inning.
Sky Sox starter Drew Gagnon entered the Friday night game with a 1-9 record, but seemed to match Zito with every pitch. The hurler allowed the solo shot to Smolinski, but limited the Sounds to four hits. The right-hander posted his fourth quality start of the season and exited after six frames.
The crowd of 10,891 marked the 11th time that the Sounds have sold out at First Tennessee Park this season. They entered Friday night averaging 7,660 fans a game, the fourth-best mark in the PCL.
The Sounds embark on a nine-game road trip tomorrow before the All-Star Break that takes place from July 13-15. Right-hander Zach Neal (6-3, 3.91) gets the ball in the series opener against Round Rock on Independence Day. The Express will counter with Alec Usher (2-4, 4.28). Friday night's game at The Dell Diamond will start at 7:05 p.m.