ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The Nashville Sounds mounted a furious ninth-inning rally in an attempt to come back from a seven-run deficit but ultimately fell short in an 11-9 loss to the Albuquerque Isotopes on Monday evening at Isotopes Park.
The defeat marked the tenth time this season that the Sounds (31-47) have surrendered a double-digit run total; Nashville has plated ten runs or more only twice.
Trailing 11-4 entering the ninth, Nashville plated five in the inning and got the potential tying run to the plate before Isotopes reliever Wil Ledezma retired pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons on a game-ending flyout to the warning track in right field.
Five Albuquerque batters recorded multiple-hit efforts on the night, led by Josh Fields' 3-for-5, four-RBI effort that included a homer and a double.
Isotopes starter Will Savage (10-3) became the Pacific Coast League's second 10-game winner (joining Fresno's Eric Hacker). He allowed four runs on eight hits over six frames to earn the victory.
Jordan Brown paced the Nashville offense with a 4-for-5, three-RBI night that included a home run and a double, his second four-hit effort of the year.
Albuquerque got off to an early start against Sounds starter Seth McClung, grabbing a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Alex Castellanos singled with one out and scored the night's first run on an RBI double off the bat of Fields that sailed just above the reach of Caleb Gindl. Former Sounds MVP Luis Cruz doubled the advantage later in the frame with a two-out RBI single to left after fouling off four two-strike offerings from McClung.
Nashville catcher Jason Jaramillo evened the game at 2-2 with one swing of the bat in the second, belting a two-run homer to right off Savage. The backstop's second roundtripper of the year also plated Andy Gonzalez, who preceded him with a one-out single.
The Isotopes pulled back in front in the home half of the frame when their catcher answered Jaramillo's shot with one of his own. Josh Bard drove a 3-2 McClung offering to deep center for his third big fly of the year, giving Albuquerque a 3-2 lead.
The Sounds knotted the score once again in the third. McClung drew a five-pitch walk from Savage to open the inning and lumbered all the way around to score from first when Caleb Gindl followed with an RBI double to left-center. Gindl was thrown out attempting to advance to third on the play, however.
Brown gave Nashville its first lead of the night at 4-3 when he led off the fourth inning with his fifth home run of the season, a long blast onto the berm in right field.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the bottom of the fourth as Albuquerque reclaimed the lead with a five-run outburst against McClung to move ahead, 8-4.
Jerry Sands led off with a massive game-tying, solo homer to left on a 1-0 offering. The outfielder's tenth blast of the year even the contest at 4-4. Later in the frame, with runners on second and third, ex-Sound Trent Oeltjen lifted a go-ahead sacrifice fly to center to bring home Matt Angle. Fields capped off the five-run rally with a two-out, three-run homer on the first pitch he saw from the big right-hander, the infielder's eighth longball of the year.
McClung (1-9) surrendered eight runs to the Isotopes for the second time in two starts this season and took his PCL-leading ninth loss for Nashville. He gave up the eight runs on nine hits, including three home runs, in his 5 2/3 innings of work.
Albuquerque registered three important insurance runs in the seventh inning against Sounds reliever Victor Garate to extend the lead to 11-4.
Nashville failed to score in the fifth through eighth innings, despite having a runner on base in each of those frames, before finally getting on the scoreboard again with their ninth-inning rally.
Corey Patterson led off with a double against Ramon Troncoso and later scored on a wild pitch to bring the score to 11-5. After an Eric Farris single and a pair of walks loaded the bases, Brown continued his solid night with a bloop hit down the left field line that was ruled a single by the official scorer. All three Nashville baserunners scored on the play as a result of the hit combined with a throwing error by Sands, the left fielder. Brown later scored the frame's fifth and final run on a Jaramillo fielder's choice grounder.
The teams conclude the four-game set with a 1:05 p.m. CT finale on Tuesday afternoon. Right-hander Claudio Vargas (2-0, 4.83) will toe the rubber for the Sounds to face Albuquerque right-hander Stephen Fife (5-4, 4.86).