MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Mike Mayers gave up one unearned run in 6.0 innings of work, and Randal Grichuk hit a three-run home run in his Memphis season debut in a 4-3 Redbirds win over the Iowa Cubs (Triple-A Cubs) Sunday night.
Memphis has won five-straight games at home, continuing its longest stretch of the season, and the Redbirds matched a season-long four-game overall winning streak. Memphis has won eight of its last nine games and nine-of-11 overall for the first time since July 20-30, 2015.
The Redbirds have now won three-straight series after it took until the season’s 16th series to win their first. Memphis will go for its first four-game series sweep since July 2-5, 2015 against Las Vegas in tomorrow’s finale with Iowa.
Mayers had three 1-2-3 innings in his six frames, and he retired eight-straight Cubs at one point from the end of the first through the start of the fourth. Sam Tuivailala took the mound in a third-straight game for the first time in his career, and he picked up his third save in a row. Tuivailala now has 10 saves on the season.
In saving every game so far this series, Tuivailala has retired all nine Cubs he has faced.
The Redbirds took advantage of a Cubs error in the second inning, when Carlos Peguero reached on a two-base throwing error by the pitcher, went to third on a walk to Breyvic Valera and scored on a Matt Williams sacrifice fly.
Memphis added three more in its next at bat, when Grichuk hit a three-run home run to left field that scored Charlie Tilson and Brayan Pena, who walked and singled, respectively, to start the inning. Grichuk was optioned to Memphis yesterday.
The Cubs scored their first run in the seventh and two more in the eighth to make it 4-3, but Juan Gonzalez got three-straight outs to strand the tying run on third base and turned it over to Tuivailala.
Memphis and Iowa conclude their four-game series tomorrow morning at 11:05 (CT). The Redbirds hit the road for six games in four days at Colorado Springs Tuesday–Friday, with doubleheaders on Wednesday and Thursday, before returning to AutoZone Park Saturday through next Tuesday.