MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds (22-15) lost the series opener against the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) 8-4, Saturday night at AutoZone Park. A crowd of 11,001 packed the ballpark to see the ‘Birds in action.
The Redbirds got off to a quick start at the plate, notching two runs in the first courtesy of Tyler O’Neill’s 10th home run of the season. Oscar Mercado led off the game with a single, but was forced out on Max Schrock’sground ball to second. O’Neill then launched his homer to score Schrock.
Memphis starter Daniel Poncedeleon pitched five strong innings for the ‘Birds. The righty no-hit the Sounds (18-17) through five innings before walking the leadoff man in the sixth and allowing a single to the next batter, former Redbird Nick Martini. Poncedeleon was replaced by Andrew Morales after those two batters reached.
Morales allowed both runs to score, as well as two additional runs to give the Sounds a 4-2 lead. Poncedeleon finished with a final line of 5.0 innings pitched, allowing two runs on one hit and two walks, while striking out six batters. Morales was lifted after 2.2 innings, and replaced by Edward Mujica. Morales and Mujica combined to pitch four innings, allowing 11 hits and six runs. Morales took the loss, falling to 0-1 on the season.
Memphis scored a single run in both the seventh and ninth innings to bring the final score to 8-4. Jeremy Martinez, in his first game with Memphis this season, hit a ground rule double to leadoff the seventh, moved to third on a flyout from Mercado, and scored on a single from Schrock. In the ninth, Wilfredo Tovar singled to leadoff the inning, took second on defensive indifference, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a sac fly from Mercado. Schrock then struck out to end the game.
It was the Redbirds third-straight loss. They finished 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while the Sounds finished 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
The Redbirds and Sounds will play tomorrow at 2:05 p.m. for a Mother’s Day matinee. For more information on single-game tickets and ticket mini-memberships, visit www.memphisredbirds.com.