Zito’s Gem Spurs Sounds to Seventh Straight Win

Nashville SOunds pitcher Barry Zito delivers a pitch on Sunday at First Tennessee Park

Nashville Sounds pitcher Barry Zito delivers a pitch on Sunday at First Tennessee Park

In a much hyped-up pitching matchup, it was Nashville and Barry Zito that outdueled top Mets prospect Steven Matz and the Las Vegas 51s, 1-0, at First Tennessee Park on Sunday afternoon.

Zito faced the minimum through five, pitching eight scoreless innings, the most by a Sounds pitcher this season. The crafty veteran yielded a season-low two hits and struck out a season-high six batters. Twice he got out of jams with inning-ending double plays – including a strikeout, caught stealing in the third inning. He has now thrown 14 scoreless innings dating back to his last start on May 26 at Sacramento.

The Sounds were the only team to input a run on the guitar-shaped scoreboard, doing so in the first inning courtesy of a Nate Freiman opposite field double that scored Ryan Roberts. The run came off Matz who entered the day leading the PCL in ERA (1.99) and wins (6). He took his third loss of the season.

R.J. Alvarez picked up his third save of the season with a 1-2-3 ninth inning. With the win, the Sounds have now won seven straight games for the first time since April 23 – 30 of 2010.

The series comes to a close tomorrow night at First Tennessee Park. Looking for the sweep, the Sounds will send Zach Neal to the mound. The right-hander will attempt to secure his fourth win in as many starts with Nashville. Tyler Pill will get the ball for Las Vegas. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.