Franklin Barreto and Jaff Decker had six of the Nashville Sounds' 14 hits in an 8-3 win over the Round Rock Express Saturday night at Dell Diamond.
One night after the duo combined to go 7-for-9 at the plate, they went 6-for-9 with four runs scored and three driven in. The tandem at the top of the lineup fired up a first inning rally in which the Sounds (2-1) went on to score four runs to set the tone.
Barreto was hit by a Dillon Gee pitch, and Decker doubled to the opposite field to put runners in scoring position for Renato Nunez. The Sounds third baseman singled through the left side to start the scoring. Chris Parmelee singled in another run, Chad Pinder singled, and Bruce Maxwell drew a walk as the first six Nashville hitters reached safely.
Barreto and Decker were at it again in the second when they collected back-to-back singles to spark another rally. Nuñez took advantage again with a sacrifice fly to give the Sounds an early 5-0 lead after two innings.
Matt Olson started the third with a single to the left side, and three batters later Barreto clubbed a two-run homer to right-center to give Nashville a 7-0 lead.
Starter Cesar Valdez had plenty of run support to go after the Round Rock (1-2) lineup. The right-hander allowed single runs in the third and fourth innings, but otherwise worked through five relatively easy frames to earn the win.
With a 7-2 lead to start the fifth, Matt McBride poked a one-out single to right field. Kenny Wilson was retired for the second out of the inning, but Barreto and Decker came through with back-to-back two-out hits to give Nashville another run.
Valdez turned the game over to reliever Tyler Sturdevant who allowed a run in the sixth, but then tossed a scoreless seventh. Tucker Healy worked the eighth and ninth and kept the Express off the board.
Chad Pinder had a three-hit game and has hit safely in every game this year. The Sounds have scored 16 runs on 32 hits over the last two games.
Game four of the five-game series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon in Round Rock. Right-hander Paul Blackburn starts for the Sounds against right-hander Nick Martinez for the Express. First pitch is slated for 1:05 p.m.
The 2017 season is the Sounds' 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics' top affiliate. Opening Day is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11 as the Sounds host the Oklahoma City Dodgers at 6:35 p.m. at First Tennessee Park. Season ticket memberships 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.