The Memphis Redbirds scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the 12th inning and outlasted the Nashville Sounds, 10-9, Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park. Sunday’s win secured the series for Memphis, and gave them a five-game lead over Nashville in the American Southern Division standings.
Breyvic Valera was the hero when his base hit up the middle scored Wilfredo Tovar with the winning run with just one out in the 12th inning.
The knock came just moments after the Sounds (32-29) took a 9-8 lead on Matt Chapman’s 16th home run of the season – a solo shot in the top of the 12th that broke the tie. Chapman’s blast extended his hitting streak to a career-long 10 games.
Sounds reliever Simon Castro, who turned in scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th, found immediate trouble in the 12th when he hit Patrick Widsom with a pitch. The next batter, Tovar, dropped a bunt down back to the mound. Castro tried to fire to second to get Wisdom but his throw was late.
With runners at first and second with nobody out, Bruce Caldwell dropped another bunt down back to the mound. This time Castro threw to third and again it was late.
With the bases loaded and nobody out, Alberto Rosario hit a fly ball to right that was deep enough to score Wisdom from third with the tying run. After Castro intentionally walked Nick Martini, Valera sent a base hit up the middle to win it for Memphis.
Sunday’s afternoon affair was a back-and-forth contest as neither starter was particularly sharp. Nashville’s Michael Brady battled through five innings and allowed four runs in a no-decision. Memphis’ Luke Weaver lasted only 2 1/3 innings before exiting with an undisclosed injury.
Two runs in the top of the third inning gave the Sounds a 3-1 lead but it didn’t last long. Four hits for Memphis brought in three runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Trailing 4-3 in the sixth, Nashville’s Jaff Decker and Ryan Lavarnway manufactured the tying run. Decker started the inning with a single, then swiped second base and moved to third on a throwing error by catcher Alberto Rosario. Lavarnway made the error hurt when he hit a soft liner into left field to deliver Decker from third.
Memphis reliever Miguel Socolovich continued in the seventh and found immediate trouble. Franklin Barreto reached on an infield single, and motored around the bases on Joey Wendle’s go-ahead double to the gap in left-center.
Mark Canha followed with a run-scoring single up the middle, and Renato Nuñez made it 8-4 with a booming two-run home run. It was the 17th of the season for Nuñez who is now tied for the PCL lead.
Redbirds first baseman Luke Voit drilled a three-run homer off Tucker Healy to draw Memphis within a run in the seventh.
Felix Doubront tossed a scoreless eighth, but Jake Sanchez couldn’t follow suit in the ninth. After striking out the first two batters he faced, Voit singled and was pinch ran for with Todd Cunningham. Moments later, Harrison Bader rifled a line drive down the left field line that chased Cunningham around the bases to even the game at 8-8 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth.
Neither team did much of anything in the 10th and 11th innings before Chapman gave the Sounds the lead in the 12th.
Castro was charged with the loss, dropping his record to 0-4 on the season. Kevin Herget picked up the win for Memphis despite allowing the homer to Chapman.
The Sounds enjoy a team off day Monday before beginning an eight-day, nine-game homestand on Tuesday. Right-hander Chris Smith (4-2, 2.96) starts for Nashville against right-hander Casey Kelly (3-1, 4.68) for Iowa. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.