Zach Neal was magnificent as the Nashville Sounds blanked the New Orleans Baby Cakes 3-0 Monday afternoon to put a bow on the 2017 campaign. It was the first series sweep of the season for the Sounds.
Neal kept the ball down all afternoon as he hurled seven shutout innings for his third consecutive quality start. The right-hander retired the first 11 batters he faced before yielding a two-out double to Christian Colon in the fourth inning. He induced 11 ground outs on the afternoon.
Neal found himself in a bit of trouble in the seventh inning as he surrendered a leadoff single to Steve Lombardozzi followed by a sacrifice bunt and a stolen base before walking Jake Elmore to put runners on the corners. Neal induced a pop up to escape the frame.
Baby Cakes starter, Victor Payano was outstanding on the mound as well. The southpaw fanned seven in his four innings of work while allowing just one base hit, a single to Joey Wendle.
The Sounds finally broke through in the sixth inning off William Cuevas as they loaded the bases with just one out. Wendle skied a fly ball to left field to plate Jaff Decker from third base.
Nashville added a pair of insurance runs in the ninth inning as Beau Taylor deposited a two-run home run into the swimming pool beyond the right field fence.
Corey Walter pitched a scoreless eighth inning while Felix Doubront closed the book on New Orleans in the ninth inning to wrap up the 2017 season.
The Sounds finised the season 68-71 and in second place in the American Southern Division. They spent 131 days out of 160 in second place.
The 2017 season was the Sounds’ 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. 2018 season ticket memberships are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.