Zito Authors Masterful Start In Sounds Win

Sounds5Barry Zito extended his scoreless streak and shut down the Bees on Friday night, leading Nashville to a 1-0 win in front of a record-setting 11,482 fans at First Tennessee Park.

The Sounds moved to 8-2 in their last 10 games and won six of eight during the homestand. They also improved to 9-11 in one-run contests, while the shutout was their sixth this season.

Zito did not begin his league-leading 12th start the way he wanted to, but was on point by the end of his outing. The Bees had base runners from the first batter until the fourth inning, but the veteran eventually settled in. The left-hander extended his scoreless streak to 21.0 frames and retired eight Salt Lake batters in a row during the appearance. Zito went seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out five batters to improve his record to 4-4. The Sounds are now 8-3 when a starter manages seven innings and four of the team’s six shutouts have come when Zito has made the start.

The Sounds were outhit by the Bees and failed to draw a walk, but grabbed the game’s lone run in the fourth inning. Joey Wendle led off the frame with one of his two doubles on the night and moved to third on a Nate Freiman single. With one away, Jason Pridie grounded one to first and used his speed to beat out the double play attempt. The RBI groundout was the outfielder’s 32nd this season.

Brock Huntzinger had a scoreless streak of his own and bolstered it to 12.1 innings with a scoreless eighth. The reliever put two away quickly but eventually left runners at the corners to conclude the frame. R.J. Alvarez entered in the ninth and got his fourth save. The right-hander has pitched eight innings during the ninth frame and has not yielded a run during that time. Nashville’s bullpen lowered their ERA to 0.32 (1er/28.1ip) over the last nine games.

The standing-room only, capacity crowd was the largest in First Tennessee Park history, eclipsing last night’s previous high of 10,610. The sellout was the 6th in the park’s history and represented the second back-to-back sellout Nashville has had this season. The last six sellouts at Greer Stadium encompassed 491 games from May 5, 2008 to August 27, 2014.

Nashville hits the road Saturday for a nine-day, eight-game road trip to New Orleans and Oklahoma City. The Sounds open the series against the Zephyrs on Saturday at 6:00 p.m. Right-hander Zach Neal (4-0, 1.40) will face off with Robert Morey.