The Nashville Sounds came from behind to topple the Salt Lake Bees 9-5 Sunday night at Smith’s Ballpark. The win snapped a season-long four-game losing streak for the Sounds.
Trailing 5-3 in the seventh, the Sounds used an unconventional play to take the lead. With two outs in the inning Brett Vertigan gave the Sounds the spark they needed. His double chased Salt Lake starter Dylan Unsworth from the game. Unsworth’s replacement, Ryan Clark entered and promptly plunked Melvin Mercedes. Ramón Laureano then drew a walk to load the bases. Steve Lombardozzi delivered the knockout blow with a two-run base hit. Lombardozzi attempted to advance to second base and an errant throw from third baseman Taylor Ward went into right field, which allowed both Laureano and Lombardozzi to come around to score.
Lombardozzi had his best game of the season as he went 3-for-5 with two runs, three RBI and a stolen base. His three hits, two runs, three RBI, and one stolen base all matched season-highs for the first baseman.
The Bees jumped on Sounds starter Chris Bassitt right from the start. Luis Rengifo singled to start the bottom of the first and then was followed up by an opposite field line drive home run from Michael Hermosillo to put the Sounds in an early 2-0 hole. Salt Lake added a run in the second inning before a fourth inning flurry from the Sounds evened the score in the fourth.
Unsworth retired the Sounds in order the first time through the lineup but the results were much different the second time around. The first five batters to come to the plate for the Sounds in the fourth inning all reached base highlighted by an RBI single from Anthony Garcia and a hot shot, two-run single from Sheldon Neuse.
Hermosillo continued to plague the Sounds in the sixth inning. The Bees’ right fielder blasted another two-run home run to retake the lead for Salt Lake.
The Sounds responded in the seventh with a little league grand slam to claim the lead for the first time in the ball game. Nashville added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning. Dean Kiekhefer earned the victory for the Sounds and improved to 7-0 on the season.
The fourth and final game of the series between the Sounds and the Bees is scheduled for Monday night at Smith’s Ballpark. Right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-1, 2.91) starts for the Sounds against right-hander Luis Pena (3-3, 6.03) for the Bees.