NASHVILLE, Tenn. - In a battle of first-place clubs, the Nashville Sounds blew out the Sacramento River Cats, 14-2, on Sunday evening at Greer Stadium in the opener of a four-game series.
The 14 runs scored were the most for the Sounds this season. Six Nashville batters recorded multiple-hit efforts during the club's 16-hit attack, which included a season-high four home runs.
With the win, the Sounds (74-61) maintained their first place tie with Memphis, which defeated Fresno, with nine games to play in the season.
Hunter Morris paced the Nashville offense with a 3-for-5, three-RBI evening. Matt Clark homered during a 2-for-4, three-RBI evening to extend his hitting streak to 14 games for the Sounds. Sean Halton, Jeremy Hermida, and Logan Schafer also homered for Nashville in the victory.
Michael Blazek (4-4) won for the third time in the last five starts by tossing a quality start for the Sounds. The right-hander held the River Cats to two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings of work. In nine home starts at Greer Stadium, Blazek has posted a 2.08 ERA (9er/39.0ip).
The Sounds grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second when Morris led off with a single against River Cats starter Angel Castro and later scored on Pete Orr's RBI single.
Sacramento took a 2-1 lead in the fourth. Anthony Aliotti was hit by a pitch and raced around to score when Shane Peterson followed with a double to the left-center gap, his PCL-leading 37th two-bagger of the year. Peterson later scored on a two-out Alden Carrithers single off Blazek.
Nashville answered the Cats' two-run rally with one of its own in the home half of the inning. Jason Rogers (3-for-4), who missed the cycle by a homer, led off with a triple to right and tied the game when he scored on a Morris groundout. Halton powered the Sounds to a 3-2 advantage when he launched a massive solo homer to left, the slugger's seventh big fly of the year.
In the sixth, Clark, who is hitting .482 (27-for-56) during his 14-game streak, stroked a leadoff double and upped the Nashville lead to 4-2 when he scored on a Morris single.
The Sounds blew the game open with their biggest inning of the year, an eight-run, seventh-inning outburst against a trio of River Cats hurlers that stretched the lead to 12-2. Clark and Jeremy Hermida each delivered three-run homers during the frame; the blasts accounted for each slugger's 13th roundtripper of the year.
Nashville closed out the night's scoring in the eighth when Schafer swatted a solo homer, his first of the year, and Morris delivered a two-out RBI double.
The teams continue the homestand with a 7:05 p.m. meeting on Monday. Right-hander Billy Buckner (4-5, 5.54) will make his first start for the Sounds following a pair of hitless relief outings for the club. Sacramento will counter with right-hander Zach Neal (6-7, 4.53).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.