The struggles continued for the Nashville Sounds in a 3-1 loss to the Oklahoma City Dodgers Sunday night at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. The loss sent the Sounds to their first four-game sweep in nearly a year.
In what became a theme over the four-game set, the pitching kept Nashville (36-39) in the game but the hitting scuffled as the Sounds left 10 runners on base and went 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Starter Corey Walter allowed three runs in 5 2/3 innings, but Oklahoma City’s Justin Masterson limited Nashville to one run in 5 2/3 innings.
After both hurlers matched each other with zeros in the first three innings, the Sounds broke through in the fourth and took their first lead of the series. Renato Nuñez cracked a one-out base hit to center field, and moved to second on another hit by Ryan Lavarnway. After Mark Canha struck out, Jermaine Curtis came through with a two-out base hit to right field to score Nuñez and give the Sounds a 1-0 lead.
It looked like Nashville may have another run when Melvin Mercedes singled up the middle. It wasn’t meant to be as Oklahoma City center fielder Alex Verdugo delivered a perfect throw to the plate to cut down Lavarnway trying to score from second.
The lead didn’t last long, however, as the first three reached against Walter in the home half of the fourth. Trayce Thompson’s two-run triple gave Oklahoma City a 2-1 lead.
Willie Calhoun added an insurance run with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth to make it a 3-1 game.
Nashville put at least one runner on base in every inning except the first, but couldn’t get anything going outside of the fourth.
Mercedes started the ninth with a base hit to right field, but the shortstop was stranded at third. Madison Younginer struck out Kenny Wilson, retired Jaff Decker on a bounce out, and struck out Yairo Munoz to end it.
Mercedes and Curtis had multi-hit games for the Sounds. Relievers Lou Trivino and Felix Doubront combined to throw 2 1/3 scoreless innings in relief.
The Sounds return home to begin another eight-game homestand Monday night against the Round Rock Express. Right-hander Paul Blackburn (4-6, 3.03) starts for the Sounds against left-hander Jimmy Reyes (2-2, 1.69) for the Express. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.