The Memphis Redbirds scored two runs in the ninth inning to steal a 3-2 win from the Nashville Sounds in front of another sellout crowd of 11,484 at First Tennessee Park Saturday night.
The Sounds (42-47) were in control for most of the night before the Redbirds' two-out rally in the final inning. Nashville reliever Josh Smith retired the first two batters in the frame before Patrick Wisdom singled to left. Smith had two strikes on Todd Cunningham before he worked a walk to put runners at first and second. The hit and walk came back to hurt when Breyvic Valera followed with a double into the left-center gap that plated both runners to give the Redbirds a 3-2 lead.
Nashville made noise in the ninth and loaded the bases before falling short. Renato Nuñez and Joey Wendle singled to start the frame. Mark Canha dropped down a sacrifice bunt and Beau Taylor was walked to fill the bases.
Memphis reliever Mark Montgomery came back to strike out Jermaine Curtis and retire Melvin Mercedes on a fly ball to center to lock down the win.
Starters Frankie Montas and John Gant held the other team off the board until the fifth. The Sounds used four hits to score a pair of runs in the fifth to take a 2-0 lead.
Montas worked four scoreless innings and limited the Redbirds to one hit. He walked a pair and struck out five in a no-decision. Gant worked seven innings and held the Sounds to two runs on six hits while racking up six strikeouts in his no-decision.
Nashville held a 2-0 lead until the seventh when Wisdom's single to left brought in Chad Huffman to make it a 2-1 game.
Patrick Schuster and Smith combined to work a scoreless top of the eighth inning to hold serve. It wouldn't hold in the ninth, however, as the Sounds blew their 12th save of the season.
Smith was tagged with the loss to fall to 2-1 on the season while Ryan Sheriff earned the win for Memphis and Montgomery notched his fourth save.
The series finale is scheduled for Sunday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Jensen (4-0, 4.29) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Josh Zeid (5-2, 5.38) for the Redbirds. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 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.