Sounds overcome curse and Express

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 at 1:04am

The Nashville Sounds overcame a spectacular start by Round Rock’s Juan Gutierrez, a two-run 10th inning home run and perhaps the shortest curse in baseball history to defeat the Express 4-3 in 11 innings at Greer Stadium on Monday.

It only took one inning for the Nashville Sounds to overcome the ominous black cat curse.

Nashville had given up two runs in the top of the tenth and seemed headed for a hard-luck loss when the international symbol of all things unlucky – a black cat – ran onto the Greer Stadium field. But instead of giving in to the superstition, the Sounds’ Joe Dillon hit a two-run homer to keep them in the game.

Then in the bottom of the 11th, Drew Anderson doubled and then scored the winning run off the bat of Vinny Rottino.

“All of a sudden in the right-hand corner of my vision I see this black cat running out,” said Anderson, who was in left field at the time. “I was thinking to myself, ‘That can’t be good,’ especially after they had just hit a two-run home run.

“Some of the times that goes the other way. You lose that game and go on a losing streak, so it’s good we turned that game around.”

Instead, the Sounds’ winning streak goes to six games.

Round Rock took a 3-1 lead thanks to a two-run homer by Danny Klassen off the Sounds’ Dennis Sarfate.

But instead of caving in, the Sounds battled back. Jose Macias singled to set the stage for Dillon, who hit a two-run blast to left to keep his team alive.

Both Nashville (51-33) and Round Rock struggled to put runs on the board as the starting pitchers were both on their A-game. Gutierrez went 7.1 innings and allowed just three hits, while the Sounds’ R.A. Dickey surrendered just one earned run over six.

“It was such a see-saw game,” Anderson said. “Their starter came out and pitched really well and held us in check for seven innings. It’s just one of those games where momentum switched a couple times.”

The Sounds were deflated after Klassen’s blast off Sarfate, but Dillon swooped in and saved the day for the second game in a row. The night before he scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch in the ninth. This time he hit a game-saving home run in the tenth.

Anderson and Rottino then came through in the 11th to win the game for the Sounds.

“I didn’t get off to the best start, but it doesn’t matter how you start,” Anderson said of his season to date. “You just have to keep working.”

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