The Memphis Redbirds pounded six extra-base hits, including three long balls, to best the Sacramento River Cats, 9-5, on Wednesday afternoon at Raley Field.
Memphis (29-18) entered the contest having hit just six home runs in its last 12 contests, falling to fifth in the league standings. The power surge returned, though, starting withCarson Kelly’s two-out, two-run shot that double the Redbird lead to 4-0. Memphis had struck in the first on a passed ball and via a Todd Cunningham RBI single in the second inning.
Sacramento (17-28) cut into the advantage immediately, responding with two runs of their own in the last of the third. The score remained 4-2 until an RBI single from pinch-hitterWilfredo Tovar in the seventh gave Memphis a 5-2 edge. Not to be outdone, the River Cats promptly retorted with two more tallies in the last of the seventh to slice the deficit to 5-4.
Memphis than used the home run ball exclusively to pull away. With two gone in the eighth inning, Kelly worked a 12-pitch walk with two outs to set up Harrison Bader, who launched the first pitch he saw to left field for a two-run homer, his seventh of the season. In the ninth, Chad Huffman belted a pinch-hit, two-run shot to give Memphis a 9-4 lead. It was the first pinch-hit homer of the year for the Redbirds and third overall on the season for Huffman.
Cunningham, who entered the day on an 0-for-19 skid, led the way offensively by going 4-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI. Kelly drove in a pair and scored twice and Luke Voit posted a multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 with a double and a run scored.
Luke Weaver earned the win for Memphis, but had to battle his way through five innings to do so. The righthander entered the day with only one walk allowed in his first 27.0 innings this season, but issued three free passes on the day. He managed to limit Sacramento to two runs on six hits while striking out four.
Having split the first two games of the series, Memphis and Sacramento continue the four-game set on Thursday night at 9:05 p.m. (CT).