MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis Redbirds concluded their homestand with a 9-3 loss to the visiting El Paso Chihuahuas in front of 8,463 fans on Saturday night at AutoZone Park.
With the loss, the Redbirds (63-63) dropped three of four to both the Albuquerque Isotopes and El Paso Chihuahuas for a 2-6 record through the eight-game homestand. Memphis currently sits 4.5 games behind first-place Round Rock in the PCL American Southern Division with 16 games to play.
Outfielder Xavier Scruggs belted his team-leading 14th home run of the season while extending his hitting streak to six games. Outfielder Rafael Ortega added two hits, including his sixth triple of the year.
The Chihuahuas sent 10 to the dish for a 6-0 advantage in the second against Redbirds starter Zach Petrick (7-6), who allowed six hits in the frame. Three of the six runs were unearned due to a Memphis fielding error.
Memphis scored their three runs in the third that cut the El Paso lead in half at 6-3, beginning with a Dan Johnson RBI groundout. Scruggs then sent a two-run bomb over the left field wall that plated Ed Easley. It was the slugger’s third long ball in his last six games.
Former Mississippi State Bulldog Hunter Renfroe extended the Chihuahuas lead to 9-3, capping the night with a three-run home run to left in the sixth.
Petrick set career highs for both 13 hits and nine runs allowed (six earned) in the loss. The right-hander also struck out five and walked none over 5 1/3 innings.
The Redbirds embark on an eight-game road trip to the Pacific Northwest, first visiting the Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A Mariners) for a four-game series before heading to Reno to face the Aces (Triple-A Diamondbacks) for a four-game set.
Left-hander John Gast (6-9, 5.00) will start Sunday’s 7:05pm CT series opener at Cheney Stadium for the Redbirds opposite of Tacoma southpaw Roenis Elias (4-2, 7.34).