The Tacoma Rainiers scored a pair of runs in the opening inning and never looked back in a 9-2 win over the Nashville Sounds Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.
Tacoma first baseman Dan Vogelbach drilled an opposite field two-run homer off Nashville starter Frankie Montas in the first inning to start the scoring for the Rainiers.
Nashville managed hits in each of the first three innings but came away with only one run. Franklin Barreto's first inning double, and Yairo Munoz's second inning single went for naught as Tacoma starter Sam Gaviglio worked around both in his first two frames.
Gaviglio issued a leadoff walk to Melvin Mercedes in the third and it came back to hurt the right-hander. Mercedes moved to second on Boog Powell's single to center, and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Franklin Barreto. Jaff Decker followed with a sacrifice fly to score Mercedes and trim the deficit to 2-1.
Another long ball hurt Montas in the fourth as Mike Marjama followed Vogelbach's inning-opening free pass with a towering two-run shot to left to make it a 4-1 game. Montas was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs in four innings.
It got worse in the fifth when Tacoma plated five runs off Chris Jensen to bust the game open. All five runs came with two outs as Vogelbach's big night continued with a run-scoring single to extend Tacoma's lead to 5-1.
After a single and walk, Kyle Waldrop drilled a high fly ball to deep right field that Decker couldn't corral as he slammed into the outfield wall. Three runs scored and the Rainiers took a commanding 8-1 lead. Dario Pizzano tacked on an RBI triple when his fly ball was lost in the lights by Munoz in center field.
The Sounds didn't get much going the rest of the night. Ryan Lavarnway had a two-out single in the seventh but nothing came from it.
Base hits by Joey Wendle and Munoz sparked a little rally in the ninth as the Sounds scored their second run of the night. Munoz was the lone Nashville play with a multi-hit game.
The series finale is set for Thursday night at Cheney Stadium. Right-hander Ben Bracewell (1-2, 6.89) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Max Povse (1-0, 8.74) for the Rainiers. 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. 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.