The Nashville Sounds got home runs from Renato Nuñez and Matt McBride, and a solid start from Paul Blackburn in a 5-3 win over the Round Rock Express in front of 7,975 fans Monday night at First Tennessee Park.
The win over the American Southern Division rival snapped a four-game losing streak and kept the Sounds (37-39) in second place.
Nuñez’s homer came in the first inning and was a two-run shot. It was his league-leading 20th long ball of the season and gave Nashville an early 2-0 advantage.
Round Rock got a run back in the second when Will Middlebrooks hammered a solo homer to straightaway center field to make it a 2-1 game.
Mark Canha started another Nashville rally in the fourth when he led off the inning with a double to the gap in right-center. Jermaine Curtis followed with a walk, and Matt McBride launched a three-run homer to left field to give the Sounds a 5-1 lead.
Blackburn used the long ball to his advantage and settled into a groove on the mound. He put up zeros in the third through fifth innings to keep the lead intact. He allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings and earned his fifth win of the season.
The fourth home run of the night – Round Rock’s second – trimmed Nashville’s lead to 5-3 in the sixth. First Baseman Ronald Guzman sent a two-run blast off Tucker Healy into The Band Box to make it a two-run game.
The rest of the game belonged to right-handers Simon Castro and Jake Sanchez. Castro tossed two scoreless innings and racked up three strikeouts in his second hold of the season. Sanchez worked the ninth and got a nifty 4-6-3 double play to end the game to notch his third save of the season.
Ryan Lavarnway and Canha each had multi-hit games while Yairo Munoz notched his first Triple-A hit in the third inning.
Game two of the four-game series is set for Tuesday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Chris Smith (4-3, 2.84) starts for the Sounds against right-hander David Ledbetter (1-0, 1.69) for the Express. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.