The 51s ate away at the Nashville lead in two consecutive innings Tuesday.
But almost as soon as they got within striking distance, they were seemingly out of it once again.
Las Vegas lost 11-4 to Nashville in the series opener at Cashman Field, surrendering seven walks in the loss.
Starter Nabil Crismatt gave up a two-run blast in the first inning to Anthony Garcia. He gave up another run in the third and two more in the fourth. His night ended after he had given up five runs on seven hits and four walks in just four innings.
“At this level either you can pitch to contact and trust your stuff or you’re going to fall behind and get deep counts and so far, some of his outings have been inconsistent but he has a chance up here in Triple-A, had a pretty good season in Double-A but he’s really got to pitch more aggressive in the zone, trust his stuff to compete here,” manager Tony DeFrancesco said.
The 51s (48-54) offense was able to get to Nashville (50-51) starter Chris Bassitt — to an extent.
Bassitt retired the first nine men in order but Las Vegas had some more success the second time through the lineup.
A Peter Alonso RBI single in the fourth was the team’s first run and a Kevin Kaczmarski two-run double an inning later made the game, briefly, more competitive.
“He had good stuff the first time through,” outfielder Patrick Kivlehan, who finished the day with two hits including a home run, said. “He had that really good curveball that was kind of keeping guys off balance but I think the second time through after a couple guys saw it, they were able to make the adjustment, get the swings that they wanted.”
The shutdown inning they needed in the sixth didn’t come, though, as the Sounds instead pushed the 51s further away.
“We’ve definitely got to shut them down,” DeFrancesco said. “That’s a pretty good offensive team there. Giving up 15 hits and seven, eight walks, you’re not going to win many ballgames.”
Reliever Buddy Baumann got himself into trouble, eventually walking in a run. Matt Purke followed him into the game, walking in a run on four pitches.
An inning later, the 51s had given up three more runs as the Sounds broke the game open.
Nashville shortstop Jorge Mateo, the Athletics No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline, went 4-for-5 with two triples and three RBIs while Ramon Laureano went 4-for-6 with three RBIs and Garcia also drove in three runs for the Sounds.
“We were coming back a little bit and then we gave up a little bit and we just didn’t have that extra gear to score a couple more runs to get us back in it again,” Kivlehan said.