The Nashville Sounds used a familiar mix of dominant pitching and the long ball in a 4-1 win over the New Orleans Baby Cakes in front of 7,853 fans at First Tennessee Park Friday night.
Sounds (8-11) starter Paul Blackburn cruised through five shutout innings and was backed by home runs from Mark Canha and Matt Olson in his first win of the season.
Blackburn allowed only two hits on the night - a double in the first, and a single in the fourth that was erased by a double play. The right-hander took a comebacker off the left leg in the fifth but stayed in the game. He was able to finish the inning but threw only 58 pitches on the night.
Nashville's offense joined the party with a two-out rally in the bottom of the third. New Orleans (8-14) starter Stephen Fife retired the first two batters of the inning before Joey Wendle doubled to left-center. Mark Canha followed with a two-run homer to give the Sounds a 2-0 lead. The blast was Canha's second in as many days and third in as many games.
The inning continued on Chris Parmelee's infield single. Moments later, Renato Nuñez lined a double to the right-center gap to score Parmelee and make it a 3-0 game.
Chris Jensen took over for Blackburn and quickly worked a scoreless sixth inning. Matt Olson started the bottom half with a towering home run into The Band Box in deep right field. It was Olson's third home run of the season.
Lipscomb alum Josh Smith turned in a scoreless seventh inning before giving way to Ross Detwiler in the eighth. Steve Lombardozzi's two-out RBI double put the Baby Cakes on the board at 4-1.
That's as close as they'd get as Simon Castro struck out the side in the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Wendle went 3-for-4 as he continues his Major League rehab assignment and Nuñez had a pair of doubles. It's the first back-to-back home wins of the season for the Sounds.
Game three of the five-game series is scheduled for Saturday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Smith (0-1, 3.07) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Vance Worley (1-2, 2.66) for the Baby Cakes. First pitch is slated for 6:35 p.m.
The 2017 season is the Sounds' 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics' top affiliate. 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.