The Nashville Sounds did not need to hit the ball hard to pull out a victory Saturday night. Instead they just racked up single after single in an 8-3 win over the host Albuquerque Isotopes.
Nashville (69-58) collected 15 singles, a two-run double by Matt Pagnozzi and a solo home run by Matt Clark. Albuquerque (56-71) mustered just seven hits, six singles and a solo home run by Brock Peterson, as the Isotopes were officially eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoff chase.
The Sounds scored all the runs they would need in the first inning off Zach Lee (7-11). Former Isotopes Eugenio Velez and Jeremy Hermida stared it with back-to-back one-out singles.
Jason Rogers’ single loaded the bases, followed by Clark’s two-run single and Sean Halton’s RBI single. An RBI groundout by Hector Gomez made it 4-0.
“The first inning I don’t think they hit a ball hard,” manager Damon Berryhill said. “There were a couple balls hit to center that I thought if (Roger Bernadina) hadn’t ended up breaking back on and then couldn’t recover and get to. He’s been out for a while, so he hasn’t seen a lot of action in the outfield for a month. If he was sharp he probably makes those plays and we get out of the first.”
Lee lasted five innings, giving up six runs on 11 hits and one walk. He struck out three and only threw 53 of 92 pitches for strikes.
The right-hander has allowed four or more earned runs in five of his last six starts. It was more of the same problems for Lee.
“We’ve just got to do a better job pitching-wise when we come back and score a run, then go out and shut them down,” Berryhill said. “They came right back and put up a bunch themselves. You can’t rally a comeback if we’re going to do that.”
Joc Pederson was 1-for-4, singling and scoring in the eighth inning. He did pick up his 28th stolen base on the season, leaving him two steals and one home run shy of 30-30.
“It’s a situation where you probably won’t run, but the pitcher (Dustin Molleken) was pretty deliberate and pretty slow to the plate,” Berryhill said. “He got a good jump and really they had no chance of throwing him out.”
One scary moment for Albuquerque was when Alex Guerrero tripped over first base while trying to beat out a throw from shortstop Hector Gomez in the fourth inning. Guerrero came up holding his left shoulder, but he stayed in the game at a time when the Isotopes had no backup middle infielder on the bench.
“I’m sure he’s fine (though) I haven’t had a chance to check with him,” Berryhill said. “I think he just kind of hyperextended it a little bit. I just was a little worried about it but it didn’t look like it affected his swing or his ability to play defense.”
Among Nashville’s former Isotopes, Velez went 1-for-5 with a run scored and Hermida was 2-for-5 with a run. Reliever Brent Leach gave up one run in one-plus inning.
Albuquerque and Nashville will meet again Sunday at 1:35 p.m. The Isotopes will send veteran right-hander Jeff Bennett (6-6, 3.96 ERA) to the mound against Sounds right-hander Jay Jackson (0-1, 7.71).
Around the Lab
The Dodgers recalled infielder Carlos Triunfel from Albuquerque on Saturday. He will take the spot of third baseman Juan Uribe, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list. … Catcher Griff Erickson was activated from the DL to take Triunfel’s spot. Erickson walked as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning.