Ambidextrous starting pitcher Pat Venditte held the Z’s bats down into the fifth inning and three Nashville relievers didn’t allow a run as the Sounds took the final game of the shortened series 2-1 on Tuesday afternoon.
Venditte, who switches which arm he throws with based on the matchup at the plate, struck out three over the first four innings for Nashville, but ran into trouble in the fifth inning.
Miguel Rojas greeted Venditte with a solo home run to lead off the inning and Scott Sizemore followed with a doubled into the left field corner. Venditte gave the ball to R.J. Alvarez (1-0), who did not allow Sizemore to come around and score, and he, Fernando Rodriguez and Chad Smith finished the final five innings, allowing just two hits and two walks to the Zephyrs.
But Smith ran into some self-inflicted trouble in the ninth, errantly tossing Jordany Valdespin’s bunt attempt beyond the first base bag, allowing the speedy outfielder to reach second base with one out. Rojas grounded out to push Valdespin to third, and Sizemore lofted a line-drive into shallow center field, but second baseman Joey Wendle dove to make the catch and preserve the victory.
New Orleans starter Pat Misch (1-1) went the first 4.1 innings, allowing six hits and two runs (both earned), while walking one and striking out one. Nashville touched up Misch for both of its runs in the third inning, with two singles, a double and a sacrifice fly from the first four batters of the frame.
Grant Dayton, Nick Wittgren, Vin Mazzaro and Carter Capps all followed with scoreless outings out of the Zephyrs’ bullpen, racking up six strikeouts and not allowing a walk.
The Zephyrs will have an off-day on Wednesday before beginning a four-game weekend series with the Memphis Redbirds on Thursday night at 7 p.m.