Ronald Guzman’s second inning grand slam helped the Nashville Sounds jump out to an early lead and they hung on for a 7-6 win over the El Paso Chihuahuas in front of 6,828 fans at First Tennessee Park Wednesday night.
With a 1-0 lead and the bases loaded in the second, Guzman drilled a 1-2 pitch from Dietrich Enns into the Vanderbilt Health Picnic Place in right-center for a grand slam and 5-0 lead. It was the second grand slam by a Nashville hitter in 2019, and Guzman’s first long ball with the team.
El Paso didn’t go away quietly as they answered with two runs in the next frame. Shortstop Seth Mejias-Brean drilled a two-run homer off Austin Bibens-Dirkx to get the Chihuahuas on the board.
The Sounds were at it again in the fourth with another long ball. With Jett Bandy on second base, Christian Lopes launched a two-run blast into the Hyundai Deck in left field to give the Sounds a 5-2 lead. Lopes went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI and is hitting .352 since joining the team from Double-A Frisco in late June.
El Paso answered again in the fifth when they sent nine batters to the plate in a four-run inning. Mejias-Brean, Michael Gettys, Josh Naylor and Ty France all knocked in a run to trim the Nashville lead to 7-6.
Miguel Del Pozo eventually relieved Bibens-Dirkx and got out of the jam. Del Pozo started a string of four Nashville relievers that combined to toss 4 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen.
Joe Barlow struck out a batter to finish the sixth and faced the minimum in a scoreless seventh. Jake Petricka followed suit with a scoreless eighth and David Carpenter worked a six-pitch, 1-2-3 top of the ninth to notch his 19th save of the season.
The series finale is scheduled for Thursday night at First Tennessee Park. Right-hander Seth Maness (6-3, 5.75) starts for Nashville against right-hander Emmanuel Ramirez (0-1, 14.59) for El Paso. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
– With tonight’s 7-6 win, the Sounds improved to 45-62 in 2019.
– Ronald Guzman hit a grand slam in the second inning. It was the second grand slam for Nashville in 2019 (Zack Granite – May 23 vs. Memphis).
– Scott Heineman’s double in the eighth inning extended his hitting streak to 11 games. During the streak, Heineman is hitting .378 (17-for-45) with 9 runs scored, 1 double, 2 home runs and 6 RBI.
– The Sounds are now 13-10 in one-run games.
– David Carpenter earned his 19th save in as many chances. The 19 saves is the ninth-most in a single-season in Nashville Sounds history.
The 2019 season is the 42nd in Nashville Sounds franchise history and first as the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Single-game tickets are available now by calling (615) 690-4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com.