MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The Memphis Redbirds and the Round Rock Express (Triple-A Rangers) locked in a pitcher’s duel Tuesday night at AutoZone Park in Memphis, and Round Rock came out on top, 3-2, thanks in part to limiting Memphis to two hits through eight innings.
The four games in the series were decided by a total of seven runs.
Both starting pitchers were outstanding, with Memphis’ Thomas Lee pitching a Redbird season-best 7.0 innings and giving up six hits, two earned runs and a walk, while striking out six. He was bettered only slightly by Round Rock’s Chi Chi Gonzalez, who surrendered two hits and a single run in 7.0 innings.
Mike Ohlman got the Redbirds (8-10) going with a leadoff double in the third, and he stole second base for his first steal since the 2013 season. He then tagged up on a flyout to right field and scored on a sac fly to left by Charlie Tilson.
Lee kept the Express (11-7) off the board until the sixth inning, when they plated two runs that came with two outs in the inning. Other than two singles and a triple, Lee retired 17 of the first 20 hitters he faced on the night.
The Express got an insurance run, which proved to be crucial, when Jurickson Profar led off the eighth inning with a home run off Justin Wright.
Memphis did not go down without a fight and had the tying run on second base with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when pinch-hitter Jacob Wilson flew out to right to end the game. Tilson led off the ninth with a single, extending his hitting streak to six games, and he scored three batters later when Jonathan Rodriguez singled following a Carlos Peguero base knock.
But the Express got the flyout to end the contest and win the series, 3-1, giving the Redbirds their first series defeat of the season.
Memphis’ streak of the first 17 games of the season with an extra-base hit ended, as all five Redbird hits on the night were singles.
After the first scheduled off day of the season on Wednesday, the Redbirds hit the road to New Orleans Thursday–Sunday and return to AutoZone Park Monday–Thursday for a four-game set with the Omaha Storm Chasers (Triple-A Royals). The next homestand features King Cotton $1 Hot Dog Night on Tuesday, May 3, and College Night on Thursday, May 5.