NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Third baseman Andy Gonzalez led off the bottom of the ninth inning with a home run to power the Nashville Sounds to a 3-2 walkoff victory over Oklahoma City on Wednesday evening at Greer Stadium.
Gonzalez's blast, his sixth of the year, came on a 3-2 offering from RedHawks right-hander Adalberto Flores and gave Nashville (29-44) its 11th last at-bat victory of the year.
The walkoff blast made a winner out of Vinnie Chulk (3-0), who worked a scoreless top of the ninth for the Sounds. Flores (4-1) took the loss for Oklahoma City.
Nashville starting pitcher Seth McClung took a hard-luck no-decision after allowing only two hits over his six innings of work during his team co-leading fifth quality start of the year. The right-hander helped his own cause with an RBI double in the contest.
Sounds right fielder Jay Gibbons broke a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth when he slugged his fourth home run in his last eight games, a leadoff solo shot to right on a 2-0 offering from RedHawks starter Brian Bass.
The Sounds doubled the lead to 2-0 later in the frame when Eric Farris drew a two-out walk from Bass, stole his team-leading 19th base to advance to second, and scored on McClung's opposite-field RBI double to left-center.
McClung was dominant in the early going, carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning and retiring 14 of his first 15 batters faced. The big right-hander ran into trouble in the sixth, however, as Oklahoma City rallied to knot the contest at 2-2.
RedHawks shortstop Angel Sanchez opened the frame and was drilled in the head by a McClung pitch, which shattered the infielder's batting helmet. He stayed in the game initially before departing mid-inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Jordan Kreke.
Landon Powell drew a five-pitch walk from McClung to put a pair of runners on base for Bass, who attempted to sacrifice. As the RedHawks hurler squared to bunt, McClung's first offering was up and in and struck Bass' hand while on the bat, which was ruled a foul ball by the home plate umpire. Following a lengthy argument at the plate by Oklahoma City manager Tony DeFrancesco, the skipper was ejected from the game, along with Bass and strength coach Gary McCoy.
After pinch-hitter Jake Goebbert, who replaced Bass, struck out, J.B. Shuck ripped a game-tying, two-run triple to the wall in right-center.
McClung escaped further damage and left Shuck standing at third by inducing a pair of grounders to end the inning.
Nashville missed an opportunity to reclaim the lead in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs against the Oklahoma City bullpen before pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi lined out softly against Juan Abreu to end the threat.
Shortstop Cesar Izturis went 0-for-3 in his fourth rehab contest for Nashville and is just 1-for-12 in his time with the Sounds. First baseman Travis Ishikawa also played his fourth rehab game and went 1-for-3 with a double; he is 3-for-11 in his four contests with Nashville.
The teams continue the series with another 7:05 p.m. matchup on Thursday evening. Right-hander Marco Estrada (0-0, 0.00) will make his second rehabilitation start for Nashville as he recovers from a right quadriceps strain. Oklahoma City will send right-hander Armando Galarraga (1-0, 1.86) to the hill.