The Nashville Sounds edged the Texas Rangers, 4-3, in front of a record-breaking crowd of 11,824 at First Tennessee Park Sunday afternoon. It was the first Major League exhibition game in Nashville since June 3, 1999.
Outfielder Preston Beck provided the difference when he gave the Sounds a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when he belted a two-run homer into The Band Box off Texas reliever Shawn Kelley.
Taylor Hearn got the starting nod for Nashville and cruised through five innings after a 44-minute rain delay prior to first pitch. Hearn's lone hiccup came in the first when Texas plated a run on Hunter Pence's sacrifice fly. The southpaw went five innings and allowed one unearned run on two hits. He walked two and struck out seven.
Ariel Jurado opposed Hearn and limited the Sounds to one run in 3 2/3 frames. After the sacrifice fly by Pence in the first, the Sounds evened the game at 1-1 on a run-scoring ground-rule double by Zack Granite.
It stayed 1-1 until the top of the sixth when the Rangers took advantage of Nashville's second error. An errant throw by second baseman Nolan Fontana allowed Juremi Profar to score and give Texas a 2-1 lead.
The slim advantage didn't last as Nashville bounced back in the home half of the sixth. Eli White started the rally by working a one-out walk off Kelley. Beck followed with his two-run homer to right field to put the Sounds on top for good.
A pair of walks issued by Texas closer Jose Leclerc came back to hurt him in the seventh. The right-hander walked Hunter Cole and Fontana before Ryan Dorow lined a base hit up the middle to bring in Cole to make it a 4-2 game.
Four relievers worked for Nashville after Hearn's five frames. CD Pelham allowed the unearned run in the sixth, Tennessee native Brett Martin tossed a scoreless seventh, Tim Dillard followed suit in the eighth and Brady Feigl shut the door in the ninth despite Texas scoring a run to make it 4-3.
Pelham picked up the win in relief and Kelley was charged with the loss. Feigl earned the save in Nashville's win.
The Rangers head to Arlington where they'll host the Cleveland Indians in an exhibition game at Globe Life Park Monday night. Texas opens the 2019 season against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday afternoon, while the Sounds open their 2019 season on Thursday, April 4 at First Tennessee Park.
The 42nd season of Nashville Sounds baseball officially begins on Thursday, April 4, when the Sounds host the Iowa Cubs at 6:35 p.m. Season ticket memberships for the 2019 season 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.