A second-inning run and a great defensive play to end the game was the difference as the Nashville Sounds (3-2) defeated the Oklahoma City RedHawks (3-2) 1-0 before 1,601 at Greer Stadium Monday night.
Three Nashville pitchers combined on the four-hit shutout, as the RedHawks were blanked for the second time in the first five games of the season. Oklahoma City only had two hits prior to the ninth inning and put just two men in scoring position all night.
Sounds starting pitcher Frankie De La Cruz (1-0) kept the RedHawks quiet through the first six innings. De La Cruz gave up just one hit and one walk while striking out five. He retired 17 of 19 hitters and faced just one over the minimum.
Nashville reliever Michael Olmsted worked around a leadoff double in the seventh, and closer Rob Wooten tossed the final two innings to record his second save of the year.
The game's only run scored in the bottom of the second inning. Sean Halton led off the inning with a ground ball to third base, but Jimmy Paredes mishandled it, allowing Halton to reach safely.
With Blake Davis at the plate, the Sounds nicely executed a hit-and-run. Halton took off for second, and Davis sent a sharp grounder in the area normally occupied by the shortstop that rolled into left-center field. Halton came around to score on the double to make it 1-0.
The RedHawks never threatened to score until the seventh. Jake Elmore led off with a double and stole third base with one out. Olmsted then struck out Brandon Laird and got Paredes to ground out to end the inning.
In the ninth, back-to-back singles by Robbie Grossman and Elmore put runners at the corners with one out. Trevor Crowe followed with a strikeout, bringing up Laird.
Laird drove the ball to deep right-center field, but Cole Garner made a running catch on the warning track to end the game.
The RedHawks tandem of Rudy Owens and Jose Cisnero pitched very well in the loss. Owens went the first five innings, allowing the one unearned run. The lefty scattered three hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Owens (1-0) used just 57 pitches, 39 for strikes.
Cisnero followed with three scoreless frames. He gave up two hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
The RedHawks will look to bounce back against the Sounds at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday night.