Smolinski Leads Sounds to 6-4 Victory in Debut

SoundsBehind timely hitting from Ryan Roberts and Jake Smolinski, the Nashville Sounds defeated the Memphis Redbirds 6-4 at AutoZone Park on Tuesday night.

The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth inning. Joey Wendle singled and went to third on Roberts’ double. The Sounds second baseman then scored on a wild pitch and Barry Zito went back to the mound with a lead.

The Sounds added insurance in the fifth. In his first game since being claimed off waivers from Texas, Smolinski singled and scored on a throwing error by Memphis’ pitcher Tim Cooney. Two more runs would score for Nashville in the frame and the Sounds led 4-0.

Zito surrendered just one run through six, but ran into a spot of trouble to start the seventh. The veteran southpaw walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up an RBI single to Dean Anna. Dan Otero came in and helped Nashville out, allowing just one more run to score as Nashville went to the eighth inning clinging to a 4-3 lead.

Nashville got much needed insurance the following half inning. After Wendle grounded out, Roberts recorded his fourth hit of the game, the third time this season the Sounds infielder has gone 4-for-4, most on the team. Roberts would go to third on a Dayan Viciedo double. After Jason Pridie was intentionally walked and Nate Freiman popped out, Smolinski stepped in. The newest Sound delivered – his two-out single plated two runs to give the Sounds a 6-3 lead.

There were a few nervous minutes for Sounds fans as Memphis loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, but closer Ryan Cook forced Cody Stanley to ground into a 4-6-3 double play and he then struck out Tommy Pham to finish the job, earning his sixth save.

The two teams will be back at the park first thing Wednesday morning, with first pitch scheduled for 11:35 a.m. It’s expected to be a battle of Zach’s from AutoZone Park, with the Sounds’ Neal dueling with the Redbirds’ Petrick. The Tennessee Lottery I-40 Cup Series is now tied at two games apiece.