The Sounds trailed out of the gate when the Redbirds tacked on one in the first and added a trio in the third. The three-run frame was capped by a pair of home runs from Stephen Piscotty and Xavier Scruggs and gave Memphis an early 4-0 advantage.
On the other side, the home team started the series finale by going nine up and nine down at the dish. Memphis starter Tim Cooney came into the night as one of the league’s top pitchers and had an aggressive mindset throughout. The left-hander concluded his night after 6 2/3 efficient innings and picked up a quality start after allowing three earned runs.
Craig Gentry was responsible for getting the Sounds offense to progress. The outfielder punctuated his evening by doing something he had failed to do in over 490 at-bats: hit a home run. The solo shot to start the fourth was his first homer since August 23, 2013, when he went deep off Houston’s Erik Berdard.
He played a part in Nashville’s two-run sixth as well, when his double moved Matt Carson from first to third. Joey Wendle and Ike Davis each followed with RBI groundouts to pull Nashville within one.
It would be as close that they would get though. The ‘Birds tagged on another three-run frame, this one coming in the eighth, and pulled away from the Sounds. Nashville dropped to 30-37 overall and 16-15 at home.
Both early blasts from Memphis were launched off starter Barry Zito. The veteran was roughed up in the early portions of his league-leading 14th start, but settled in nicely. He delivered 6 2/3 innings on a season-high 112 pitches, walking two and fanning three in his sixth loss this season.
The win gives Memphis a 2-1 series lead in The Tennessee Lottery I-40 Cup Series. This is the fourth season the series has taken place between the cross-state rivals.
The Sounds continue their seven-game homestand on Thursday night when they welcome the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals) to First Tennessee Park. The scheduled pitching matchup for the 7:05 p.m. contest will include A.J. Griffin (0-1, 10.38) and John Lamb.