The Nashville Sounds red-hot offense flipped it into high gear Thursday night with a 13-3 win over the Fresno Grizzlies at Chukchansi Park.
The runs came in waves for the top home run hitting team in Minor League Baseball. Matt Chapman hit a solo homer, and Franklin Barreto clubbed a three-run blast as part of a four-run top of the third inning.
It continued in the fourth when Joey Wendle started the inning with a triple down the right field line. Wendle's knock would be one of four extra-base hits in the frame. Matt McBride doubled, Barreto drove in two more runs with another double, and Matt Olson finished the scoring with the third double of the inning to give Nashville (18-19) a 9-1 lead.
The outburst was more than enough for starter Daniel Mengden who was making his third MLB rehab start. The right-hander allowed a solo homer to Max Stassi in the third, but that was it. He worked six innings and allowed one run on four hits. Mengden did not issue any walks and recorded seven strikeouts in the win.
While Mengden was shutting down the Grizzlies, the Sounds' offense kept churning. Ryan LaMarre started the sixth with an infield single. After the next two batters were retired, the Sounds collected three consecutive hits to drive up the score to 12-1. Olson singled, Renato Nuñez drove in a pair with a double, and Wendle knocked in Nuñez with a double of his own.
Nashville finished the game with nine extra-base hits, including three home runs to give the team 51 on the season. 33 of the home runs have come in the month of May - the most in all of baseball.
Nuñez put an exclamation point on the victory with a booming home run out of Chukchansi Park to start the eighth inning. It was his team-leading 10th homer of the season and he was one of eight Sounds hitters to record a multi-hit game.
Barreto went 3-for-6 and matched a career-high with 5 RBI. Chapman went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, and LaMarre scored three times.
John Axford threw a scoreless seventh inning for Nashville as his MLB rehab assignment continued. It took the veteran right-hander five pitches to record three outs.
The Sounds begin a four-game series with the Sacramento River Cats Friday night. Right-hander Paul Blackburn (1-4, 4.00) starts for Nashville against left-hander Michael Roth (2-3, 4.54) for Sacramento. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. CST.
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.