MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds (8-1) trailed 3-1 after two innings, but stormed back to score eight unanswered runs to top the Iowa Cubs (2-5) 9-3, Friday night at AutoZone Park.
The Cardinals’ No. 2 prospect Jack Flaherty struggled in the early going, allowing two runs in the first and one in the second before settling down and retiring 12 of the next 13 batters. Flaherty finished the night with a final line of 6.0 innings, five hits, three earned runs, two walks and five strikeouts.
Memphis got the bats going early, with Randy Arozarena doubling to lead-off, Max Schrock singling him to third, and Tyler O’Neill bringing him in with a sac fly. O’Neill kept the offense going in the third, notching a one-out single and scoring a batter later on Rangel Ravelo’s RBI double. Ravelo scored immediately afterwards on a double from Adolis Garcia to tie the game.
After notching another run in the fourth to take the lead, the ‘Birds broke the game open with three runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to put the game away. O’Neill led off the fifth with a triple, and scored on a ground out one batter later. Garcia then singled and was brought in by Patrick Wisdom’s first homer of the season, a deep shot to center field.
The Redbirds plated their final two runs in the sixth after Arozarena singled with one out, stole second, and scored on a single from Schrock. Schrock advanced to third after a throwing error from Iowa’s right fielder Bijan Rademacher. Schrock scored one batter later on another sac fly from O’Neill.
Sean Gilmartin pitched 1.0 innings, allowing a hit and a walk to follow Flaherty before Andrew Morales came in to finish the game. He pitched 2.0 innings, striking out one to seal the win for the Redbirds.
The Redbirds’ and I-Cubs face off again tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. in game two of the four-game series. For more information on single-game tickets and ticket mini-memberships, visit www.memphisredbirds.com/tickets.