Pinch hitter Ed Easley sent the Redbirds home happy with a walk-off, three-run double in Memphis’ come-from-behind 6-5 win over the division-rival New Orleans Zephyrs on Wednesday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
Trailing 5-3 in the bottom of the ninth, Memphis loaded the bases against New Orleans reliever Nick Wittgren (1-6), who faced three consecutive Redbirds pinch hitters. After a Dean Anna walk, Easley crushed a bases-clearing double that rolled all the way to the wall in right center to end the game.
The last-at-bat win was Memphis’ 10th of the season and third by the hands of Easley. The 29-year-old backstop also produced game-winners on May 7 vs. Colorado Springs (RBI single, 8th inning) and May 11 vs. New Orleans (RBI single, 10th inning).
The win also marked the fifth come-from-behind win for the Redbirds while trailing in the seventh inning or later this season. The previous four comebacks were all one-run deficits for Memphis.
Outfielder Anthony Garcia drove in a pair while hitting his second home run of the season. First baseman Dan Johnson added two hits and drove in one run.
Doubles from Zack Cox, Austin Wates, and Jhonatan Solano gave New Orleans a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.
Memphis got a run back in the third as Brett Wiley singled for his first career Triple-A hit, moved to second on a sacrifice, and came around to score as Johnson lined an RBI single to right-center.
With the bases juiced in the sixth, Wates’ three run double to center extended the Zephyrs’ lead to 5-1 and removed Redbirds starter Zach Petrick from the game.
The Redbirds struck back in the bottom of the sixth as Johnson singled and scored on Garcia’s two-run blast over the Redbirds bullpen in left-center.
Petrick gave up five runs on 10 hits in five innings. He also walked two and fanned four in the no-decision. Reliever Heath Wyatt (3-0) tossed two scoreless frames and was declared the winner.
Memphis and New Orleans wrap up their season series at 7:05pm CT on Thursday night at AutoZone Park on Fan Appreciation Night. Memphis has yet to announce a starter. New Orleans will send right-hander Trevor Williams (0-1, 3.38) to the hill.