NASHVILLE - The sound of three Nashville home runs lingered in the ears of 11,068 fans Saturday night at First Tennessee Park as the Sounds topped the Albuquerque Isotopes 7-3. The Sounds (15-17) recorded their 13th multi-home run game of the season and took a 2-1 series lead over the Isotopes (18-17).
Pitching on a Major League rehab assignment as he recovers from offseason foot surgery, Daniel Mengden (0-1, 4.91) showed all the ingredients of a big league pitcher through three innings. The 24-year-old kept the Albuquerque hitters off balance the first time through the order but ran into trouble when the Isotopes saw him a second time. He finished his second outing of 2017 with five strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
For the second straight game the Sounds used the long ball to take a first inning lead. With two outs and a runner on first base, Matt Olson launched a towering home run just inside the right field foul pole. The home run was Olson's sixth of the season. As if that home run was not impressive enough, in the bottom of the sixth inning he demolished a baseball beyond The Band Box onto the concourse in right field for his second two-run bomb of the evening. It was the eighth multi-home run game in Olson's career.
Sandwiched between the two Olson dingers, Renato Nunez went yard for his team-leading ninth home run of the season. The home run for Nunez gave the Sounds a 4-0 lead that would not last long. Albuquerque's Tony Wolters got a run back for the Isotopes in the top of the fourth inning as he crushed a payoff pitch into beyond the right field fence. After retiring the next two batters Mengden allowed a scorching double by Jordan Patterson off the right field wall, walked Derrik Gibson, gave up an RBI single to Domonic Smith, and issued a free pass to Rafael Ynoa before being pulled from the game.
The Sounds didn't need just the long ball to score, however. Second baseman Joey Wendle doubled home the seventh run of the game for Nashville with two outs in the sixth inning after Matt Chapman had walked and swiped second base.
In the win, Sounds shortstop Franklin Barreto saw his career-long 12-game hitting streak come to an end. He did manage to draw a walk and score a run. Another pitcher on a rehab assignment from the A's was John Axford. The right-hander pitched a flawless sixth inning and recorded a strikeout on just 12 pitches.
Raul Alcantara notched a three-inning save for the Sounds, the first of its kind for Nashville pitching this season. The 24-year-old allowed just a trio of singles in those three frames and struck out two.
The fourth and final game of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-3, 3.52) starts for Nashville while Albuquerque counters with right-hander Barry Enright (0-0, 0.00). First pitch is slated for 2:05 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.