OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Seven different Redbirds had a hit and five different players knocked in a run, and Sam Tuivailala left the tying run on third base in the bottom of the ninth as Memphis (7-6) held on for a 6-5 win over the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A Dodgers) Thursday night in Oklahoma City.
The Redbirds led 6-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth and held on with Oklahoma City (7-7) putting the winning run on second base with one out in the ninth. Tuivailala fanned the final two batters of the game to secure the win. Memphis is now 67-0 under manager Mike Shildt when leading after eight innings.
Thomas Lee picked up his first win of the season, and Tuivailala earned his first save with 1.1 innings of work. Charlie Tilson led the Memphis offense with a 3-for-5 showing including a triple, and he knocked in and scored a run. Patrick Wisdom had two RBI in his first action since Monday night.
Lee gave up a run in the first inning, but the Redbirds got it back in the next half-inning when Wisdom doubled home Nick Martini, who reached on a walk. With Wisdom’s double, Memphis has an extra-base hit in all 13 games this season.
Memphis broke it open in the top of the third, scoring three times on just one hit, which was a Tilson bunt single. Lee walked to start the inning before Tilson’s bunt base hit, and Jacob Wilson walked ahead of Greg Garcia being hit by a pitch, which scored Lee. Memphis plated two more runs on an RBI groundout by Anthony Garcia and a Martini sacrifice fly, and the Redbirds led 4-1 after two-and-a-half innings.
An RBI single by Tilson in the top of the fourth matched Oklahoma City’s run in the bottom of the third, and Memphis kept its 5-2 lead through Lee’s 5.0 innings of work. The right-hander allowed six hits, two earned runs and two walks while striking out five.
Justin Wright and Dean Kiekhefer worked perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, but the Dodgers scored three in the bottom of the eighth to make the score 6-5. Tuivailala entered with two outs in the eighth, and he struck out three of the four hitters he faced and left runners on second and third to end the contest.
Memphis’ extended road trip wraps up Friday night at 7:05 (CT) with the finale of a four-game series at Oklahoma City. The Redbirds return to AutoZone Park for four games against Round Rock Saturday–Tuesday. Saturday’s game features a postgame fireworks show, presented by Tennessee Lottery, and Sunday’s game is Back In The Park theme day. All road games will be broadcast on MiLB.tv and on the radio on Sports 56 and 87.7 FM with Steve Selby on the call. The radio broadcast is also available on MemphisRedbirds.com.