PCL: Nashville spoils the fun with 7-2 win over Salt Lake
The stage was set for a fun-filled Thursday night at Spring Mobile Ballpark.
In perfect late-spring weather before an enthusiastic crowd of 10,048, the Salt Lake Bees opened an eight-game homestand against a team with the worst record in the Pacific Coast League.
Nashville starter Johnny Hellweg scattered four hits over six scoreless innings and the Sounds used a five-run fifth inning to secure a 7-2 victory over the Bees.
"Hellweg did a good job," Salt Lake manager Keith Johnson said. "He got himself behind in the count sometimes, but he made pitches when he had to. He had his good fastball working for him when he needed it, going down in the zone."
The Sounds entered the game with a 10-27 record. They had lost five straight games, 15 of their previous 18 and were only 2-12 on the road. But they didn't play like a PCL bottom-feeder against the Bees.
Nashville took a 1-0 lead on Scooter Gennett's run-scoring triple in the top of the third inning.
The Sounds extended their advantage to 2-0 on Anderson De La Rose's RBI single with two out in the fourth.
The Bees wasted Brad Hawpe's leadoff double in the bottom half of the inning before Nashville broke the game open.
No. 9 hitter Blake Davis started a five-run uprising in the fifth by walking on a close 3-2 pitch. He went to second when Gennett walked, then stole third and scored after Bees starting pitcher Kip Wells was called for a balk.
The Sounds' Josh Prince followed with another walk before Caleb Gindl's two-run double to right center made it 5-0. Khris Davis followed with a long two-run homer to center field that knocked Wells from the game.
"â¦ It was just a matter of them putting some good wood on a couple of balls that he didn't put exactly where he wanted," Johnson said.
It was another tough outing for Wells, whose record slipped to 1-3. In four starts since April 29, he has not pitched into the sixth inning.
Still, Salt Lake had a chance to get Wells off the hook.
The Bees loaded the bases with two out in the bottom of the sixth. But on a 3-2 pitch from Hellweg, Matt Young bounced out to second base to end the threat.
O Nashville starter Johnny Hellweg scatters four hits over six innings and the Sounds beat Salt Lake.