MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Pinch-hitter Carlos Peguero was hit by an 0-2 pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the Memphis Redbirds ended a five-game losing streak with a 7-6 win over the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals) Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
Memphis (9-13) led 6-3 going into the eighth before the Storm Chasers (15-9) rallied to tie it. Peguero came to the plate in place of Jonathan Rodriguez, and he fell behind 0-2 before being hit by Peter Moylan’s pitch to send the Redbirds home winners.
Dean Anna and Nick Martini had two hits apiece for the Redbirds, and all Memphis starters reached base in the game. Jacob Wilson hit his first home run of the season, and Charlie Tilson had a hit for the 10th-straight game, giving him the longest hitting streak by a Redbird since Greg Garcia hit in 10-in-a-row at the start of June last season. Former Redbird and Cardinal catcher Tony Cruz had three hits and drove in two runs to pace the Storm Chaser offense.
Jeremy Hefner worked 5.0 innings and gave up five hits and three earned runs while striking out five in a no-decision.
After entering the game with seven first-inning runs in 21 games this season, Memphis scored three in the first Tuesday night to open a 3-0 lead after an inning. The first four batters reached, with Tilson singling, Anna reaching on an error by the first baseman, G. Garcia singling home Tilson and Anthony Garcia reaching on an error by the third baseman.
Martini hit a sac fly to center that plated Anna, and Patrick Wisdom drew a bases-load walk a few batters later to account for the scoring to open the game.
Omaha cut into the lead with a run in the third off Hefner, but the Redbirds answered right back with three more in the home-half of the third to take a 6-1 lead into the fourth. The big blow in the inning was Wilson’s three-run shot to left, his first round-tripper of the season, which came after A. Garcia walked and Martini doubled.
Memphis matched its last four games of runs in the first three innings on Tuesday.
The Storm Chasers scored three in the eighth to tie the game at six after Juan Gonzalez walked the bases loaded and Sam Tuivailala gave up a couple of hits to score those runs.
Memphis went down in order in the eighth, and Tuivailala did the same to Omaha in the ninth before the Redbirds won it in the home-half. The inning was sparked with Anna’s one-out double, and a pair of intentional walks placed around a groundout to the catcher set up Peguero’s at bat.
Tuivailala moved to 1-1 with the win.
The Redbirds continue their homestand against Omaha tomorrow night at 6:35 (CT). On Thursday at 7:05 p.m., the Redbirds will celebrate Cinco de Mayo with all-you-can-eat tacos with a $12 TruGreen Bluff ticket or $15 Field Box ticket, both of which are on special pricing for the night. Tacos will be $2 elsewhere in the park, and margaritas will be $5.
The Redbirds are also offering a Mother’s Day celebration ticket package, where fans will receive four Field Box tickets to the game on Saturday, May 21, four food vouchers for a hot dog and soft drink, a $25 gift card to Seasons 52 restaurant and the opportunity for a pregame family picture on the field, all for $89. The game also features postgame fireworks.