For the first time since 1999, the Oakland A's Triple-A affiliate doesn't make its home at Raley Field. The A's new Triple-A affiliate, the Nashville Sounds, paid a visit to the A's old Triple-A stomping grounds on Monday. The Sounds made a triumphant return to Sacramento, beating the River Cats, 5-0, in a day game.
Sean Nolin got the start for Nashville and he was effective once again. In his fifth outing since returning from off-season sports hernia surgery, Nolin threw four scoreless innings. He struck-out four, walked one and allowed four hits. He picked-off a runner and induced a double-play. Nolin is still building up his pitch count, but he has allowed only one run in 12.2 innings this season.
The game was scoreless until the fourth inning, when Nashville scored twice. Former River Cat Matt Carson singled home Jason Pridie for the game's first run. Carson was one of five former River Cats in the Sounds' starting line-up. Carson would finish the game with two hits and two RBI. Pridie had three hits and he scored twice to lead the Nashville offense. Alden Carrithers also had two hits and a walk, while Niuman Romero had a hit and two walks.
Jim Fuller took over for Nolin in the fifth and earned the win with two scoreless innings in relief. He hit a batter but didn't allow any other hits or walks. Fuller lowered his Triple-A ERA to 1.50. Brock Huntzinger took over for Fuller and finished the game with three scoreless innings. He walked a batter, but didn't allow a hit and induced six groundouts. The save was Huntzinger's first of the year.
Clayton Blackburn was hung with the loss for the River Cats. He allowed two runs in five innings. The win moved Nashville to 17-27 on the year.
Before the game, the Oakland A's announced that they had activated utilityman Ben Zobrist from the DL. To make room for Zobrist on the A's roster, outfielder Craig Gentry was optioned to Nashville. The A's are expected to activate closer Sean Doolittle off of the DL on Tuesday, which will mean the A's will need to make another move with their roster.
In addition to the big league moves, the A's signed minor league free agent Joe Paterson before Monday's game. He was assigned to Nashville. Paterson has 40.1 career innings in the big leagues. He was born in Oakland and was a Giants' 10th round pick in 2007. Paterson was released by Kansas City last week.
Below are exclusive photos from the Sounds-River Cats battle on Monday.
All Photos by Chris Lockard