Blackburn Solid as Sounds Top River Cats 6-0

It was a new day but the same story for the Sounds on their trip through California. The Sounds powered their way to another victory, this time a 6-0 victory over the Sacramento River Cats on the back of a pair of home runs to continue their explosive month of May.

In the month of May the Sounds (19-19) have cranked 35 home runs, which is more than any team in professional baseball. Through the first five games of their current eight-game road trip the Sounds have launched 13 long balls.

Northern California native, Paul Blackburn (2-4, 3.89) posted his best outing of the season Friday night. The 23-year-old kept the River Cats (15-25) hitless through four innings and surrendered just a pair of base knocks in his six innings of shutout baseball. Blackburn kept the River Cats off balance all night long as they struggled to make solid contact.

For the fifth consecutive game the Sounds used the long ball to claim an early lead. Friday night it was Renato Nunez doing the damage. Matt Olson reached on a two-out error by Sacramento’s Jae-Gyun Hwang and Nunez made the River Cats pay by depositing a 1-1 pitch over the fence in left center field to give the Sounds a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Eight batters stepped up to the dish in the fourth inning as the Sounds tacked on four runs to give Blackburn a comfortable 6-0 lead to work with. Joan Gregorio issued back-to-back free passes to lead off the frame and Nashville capitalized. Catcher Ryan Lavarnway launched a three-run bomb over the left field fence for his fourth home run of the season. Later in the inning Jaycob Brugman continued his torrid pace with an RBI single that extended his hitting streak to seven games.

Tucker Healy (1-1, 1.13) and Tyler Sturdevant combined to shut the door on the River Cats with three combined shutout frames.

For the Sounds it was the second shutout of the season. Their last shutout came in an 11-0 victory at Round Rock on May 2.

The Sounds play game two of their four-game set in Sacramento tomorrow night against the River Cats at Raley Field. Right-hander Chris Bassitt (1-0, 4.00) starts for Nashville against left-hander Michael Roth (2-3, 4.54) for Sacramento. First pitch is slated for 9:05 p.m.