The offense exploded and the pitching was superb as the Nashville Sounds smashed the New Orleans Baby Cakes, 10-2, in front of a sellout crowd of 10,672 fans at First Tennessee Park Saturday night.
The scoring was fast and furious for Nashville (9-11) as Renato Nuñez started the flurry with a solo homer to lead off the second inning. It was Nuñez's fourth home run of the season.
It continued in the third when Matt Olson roped a two-out, two-run single to right field to make it a 3-0 game. Olson had a huge night at the plate, finishing 4-for-5 with three singles, a double, and a run scored.
As the offense continued its onslaught, starter Chris Smith dialed in. The right-hander breezed through six shutout innings. He allowed only three hits, walked one, and struck out three in the winning effort. The last three starters for Nashville (Smith, Paul Blackburn, and Sonny Gray) have combined to throw 17 scoreless innings.
Seven came to the plate for Nashville in a three-run fourth inning. Joey Wendle's RBI fielder's choice boosted the lead to 4-0, and Mark Canha plated a pair with a double to left field to make it a 6-0 game.
Olson's big night continued in the fifth with a double off the right field wall. After an infield single by Bruce Maxwell, Matt McBride drove in Olson with a sacrifice fly. Maxwell went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
The Sounds pounded out 14 hits to go along with the season-high 10 runs. The final shot came in the seventh when Franklin Barreto and Mark Canha added a pair of run-scoring doubles. Barreto's third and final hit of the night drove in two, while Canha's second double of the night scored Barreto to give the Sounds a 10-0 lead.
Relievers Tucker Healy, Aaron Kurcz, and Simon Castro went the rest of the way when Smith exited after six. Healy tossed a scoreless seventh, Kurcz pitched the eighth, and Castro closed out the win with the ninth.
It's the first winning streak of the season for the Sounds who guaranteed a series win.
Game four of the five-game series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Zach Neal (1-2, 4.87) starts for Nashville against right-hander Scott Copeland (2-2, 5.89) for New Orleans. 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.