The Nashville Sounds got a go-ahead single from Matt McBride in the sixth inning and never looked back in a 9-3 win over the Round Rock Express in front of 8,359 fans at First Tennessee Park Thursday night.
McBride's base hit to left field snapped a 3-3 tie and was one of Nashville's 15 knocks in the win over their American Southern Division rival.
The two teams exchanged two-run homers in the first two innings. Round Rock's Will Middlebrooks launched a two-run blast off Nashville starter Daniel Mengden to give the Express a 2-0 lead in the first. Chris Carter returned the favor when he drilled a two-run homer off Express starter Dario Alvarez to even the game at 2-2.
Nashville grabbed a 3-2 lead in the third when Franklin Barreto drilled an RBI triple off the wall in deep left field. The lead didn't last long as Round Rock's Doug Bernier singled in a run in the fourth to make it 3-3.
Mengden tossed four innings before leaving in favor of Chris Bassitt. The reliever tossed two scoreless innings to help set the stage.
When Bassitt was finished for the night, the offense turned it on. Starting with McBride's go-ahead base hit in the bottom of the sixth, Nashville scored two runs in the sixth, seventh, and eighth to take a comfortable 9-3 lead.
Nashville came up with nine hits in the final three innings and got dominant pitching from the bullpen as they pulled away.
Following Bassitt's two innings, Sam Moll worked a perfect seventh, Raul Alcantara set the side down in order in the eighth, and Logan Bawcom did the same in the ninth. Nashville pitchers retired the final 13 Round Rock batters they faced.
Carter, Franklin Barreto, and Yairo Munoz had three hits apiece to lead the offensive charge. Every other hitter in the starting lineup contributed a hit.
Bassitt earned the win, his fourth of the season. Tyler Wagner was tagged with the loss after allowing two runs in two innings.
Game two of the four-game series is scheduled for Friday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Zach Neal (3-8, 5.47) starts for the Sounds against right-hander David Ledbetter (3-3, 4.18) for the Express. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
The 2017 season is the Sounds' 40th in franchise history and their third 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.