OMAHA, Nebraska – Behind a stellar start from Marco Gonzales, the Memphis Redbirds snuck past the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals), 3-1, on Saturday night at Werner Park.
Gonzales matched his season high with seven superb innings, scattering seven hits while striking out a season-best eight. The southpaw won his second straight start since returning from a spot outing with St. Louis on June 13, improving to 3-3 on the year. In the process, Gonzales yielded just one run on a pair of doubles in the fifth innings and did not walk a batter.
Memphis (46-28) provided just enough offensive support for Gonzales to earn the victory. Randal Grichuk started the attack with a two-out, two-run homer against MLB rehabber Danny Duffy in the top of the third. The blast was part of a two-hit day for Grichuk, who has now hit safely in eight straight games. Additionally, Grichuk has now homered in five of his last six contests and his hit six dingers in 14 games since joining the club.
After Omaha (36-36) got a run back in the last of the fifth, Memphis added an insurance tally on an infield single from Harrison Bader in the top of the eighth, making it 3-1. Mark Montgomery tossed a scoreless eighth, bridging the gap for Josh Lucas, who worked around a one-out double in the ninth for his fifth save of the year.
With the victory, Memphis moved to 18 games over .500, a new high-water mark for the 2017 campaign. It also improved the Redbirds to 5-2 on their current eight-game road trip and 8-2 against the Storm Chasers this season.
Memphis looks to end its road trip on a high note on Sunday with the series finale set for 2:05 p.m. The Redbirds then return home to open up an eight-game homestand on Mondaywith the first of four contests against the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Dodgers).