Beavers win 4-3 with walk-off single

Portland, OR— Against all odds, the Portland Beavers (44-67) beat the Nashville Sounds (67-43) 4-3 with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning Wednesday night. Thanks to a stellar start from Mike Thompson, Portland was able to keep competitive for nine innings with the best team in the Pacific Coast League.

Nashville sent right-hander Steve Bray to the hill for his second spot start, filling in for Elmer Dessens who completed his major league rehabilitation assignment on Wednesday. Bray collaborated with four other Sounds relievers but could not suppress the Beavers ninth inning rally.

Nashville and Portland traded single runs in the first inning. The Sounds led off the game with three consecutive singles by Callix Crabbe, Gabe Gross and Vinny Rottino, which brought their run in to score. Portland got a lucky break in the bottom half of the frame when Nashville right-fielder Gross dropped Yordany Ramirez's popup which allowed him to advance to second base. Ramirez was driven in on a one-out single by Brian Myrow.

Nashville widened their lead to 3-1 with leadoff solo homeruns in the second and fourth innings. Laynce Nix pummeled one over the centerfield fence in the second inning for his fifteenth homerun of the year. Andy Abad followed in the fourth, blasting his ninth over the wall in right-center.

The game remained gridlocked over the next three innings as Thompson continued to down the Sounds lineup; and a mixed bag of Nashville relievers held Portland scoreless until the seventh inning when the Beavers bounced back to tie the game. Catcher Pete Laforest smashed the first pitch from Marino Salas over the left field fence, squeezing the lead to 3-2. Following Laforest's 27th homerun were back-to-back doubles off the bats of Frank Menechino and Peter Ciofrone which tied the game 3-3. The Beavers threatened to bust the game open but left the bases loaded when Myrow struck out looking to end the inning.

Newly acquired lefty Will Startup made his Beavers debut in relief of Thompson in the eighth inning. Using his jerky, and somewhat violent looking windup, Startup retired all three batters he faced in order.

The game was at a standstill again until the bottom of the ninth inning when Ciofrone led off by reaching second base on an error by shortstop Chris Barnwell. Following two quick outs, Beavers centerfielder Yordany Ramirez stepped to the plate for Portland. On the first pitch of the at-bat Ramirez blooped a single into center field to drive in Ciofrone and give the Beavers a 4-3 win.

Game Notes:

- The Nashville pitching staff had posted back-to-back shutouts in their last two games.

- Nashville (67-44) currently has the best record in the Pacific Coast League. Portland (45-67) has the worst.

- Nashville has won 24 of its last 36 games.

- Thompson has four wins this season between Portland and San Diego, one in each month of the season thus far.

- Nashville suffered a big loss Wednesday when the Brewers called up infielder Joe Dillon. Dillon was ranked third in the league in on-base-percentage (.405) and slugging percentage (.605).

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