Ramon Laureano put together a perfect night at the plate to lead the Nashville Sounds to a 5-4 win over the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in front of 6,321 fans at First Tennessee Park Monday night.
The right fielder began the season on the disabled list after suffering an injury in spring training. Laureano hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, singled and scored a run in the fourth, and belted a solo homer in the sixth.
Laureano's sacrifice fly opened the scoring and was quickly followed by Sheldon Neuse's run-scoring double to give Nashville a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth, it was Laureano's single that sparked a two-out rally. After Neuse walked to load the bases, shortstop Jorge Mateo sent a base hit into center field that scored two runs to make it a 4-0 game.
Also making his Triple-A debut, right-hander Matt Milburn worked through the first four innings without a hitch. Colorado Springs got to him in the fifth and brought the game to within a run at 4-3. Reliever J.B. Wendelken struck out a pair of batters in the fifth to limit the damage to three runs in the frame.
It was the bullpen trio of Wendelken, Dean Kiekhefer and Bobby Wahl that shut it down the rest of the way. Wendelken tossed two scoreless innings, Kiekhefer followed with 1 2/3 shutout innings and Wahl worked the ninth to earn his third save of the season. The three combined for nine strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-2, 7.33) starts for Nashville against right-hander Corbin Burnes (1-1, 4.83) for Colorado Springs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m.
- With tonight's 5-4 win, the Sounds improved to 22-21 on the season.
- The Sounds scored first tonight and are now 15-5 when doing so.
- Nick Martini extended his consecutive on-base streak to 31 games when he drew a walk in the fifth inning. It's the second-longest active streak in the Pacific Coast League. Since April 14, Martini has reached safely in every game he has played in.
- Right fielder Ramon Laureano played in his first Triple-A game tonight. The 23-year-old hit a solo homer and finished the night 2-for-2 with two RBI, two runs scored and a sacrifice fly.
- The bottom three hitters in Nashville's lineup (Laureano, Sheldon Neuse and Jorge Mateo) combined to go 5-for-7 with 5 RBI, 2 runs scored and a walk.
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.