MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds came back from a 2-0 deficit in the sixth inning and took game two of the series with the Round Rock Express (Triple-A Rangers), 3-2, Friday night at AutoZone Park.
The Redbirds (43-44) plated the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth when Dean Anna alertly went to second when what looked like a 3-1 putout was dropped by the Round Rock (46-43) pitcher covering the base. He scored on the next play when Harrison Bader singled over the shortstop’s head for his third RBI of the night.
Bader tied the game in the sixth with a two-run home run to left field, which was his first as a Redbird after being transferred from Double-A Springfield on Wednesday. He now has 14 home runs this season between Memphis and Springfield, which is second in the Cardinals organization behind teammate David Washington’s 19.
Jerome Williams was outstanding on the mound, as he battled through 7.1 innings and allowed single runs in the fifth and sixth innings. He ended up allowing just five hits, and he struck out five and walked a pair.
Along with Bader’s 2-for-4 performance with three runs driven in, Mike Ohlman had a double and three other Redbirds had a hit, including Efren Navarro who was added earlier in the day and started at first base.
The Redbirds were stymied in the middle innings against Express starter Austin Bibens-Dirkx, who retired 12-straight from the second-through-fifth innings. But Memphis touched him for the pair of runs in the sixth, before he gave way to relieverAndrew Faulkner, who struck out the side in his first inning of work in the seventh.
He then got two quick outs in the eighth, before Anna came to the plate and reached when Faulkner dropped a flip from the first baseman that would have been the third out of the inning. He motored to second as the ball trickled away, and he came around to score when Bader drove it just far enough over the shortstop’s head for the eventual winning run.
Dean Kiekhefer pitched the final inning-and-two-thirds, including recovering and getting the final out on a ball that was lined back through the box and required him to scramble to make the putout.
Through the first two games of the series, Memphis has left just three runners on base.
Tomorrow’s game starts at 6:35 p.m. (CT) and is Christmas In July, with a Redbirds holiday scarf giveaway to the first 1,500 fans and a Redbirds nutcracker ornament for fans who purchase a Theme Ticket. Tomorrow’s game also features postgame fireworks and an auction of Christmas-themed jerseys with proceeds benefitting the Redbirds Community Fund.
Sunday is Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday, with 2,500 kids 12 and under getting a free ice cream treat upon entering, and the first 2,000 kids also get a ceramic ice cream bowl on Rockey The Redbird’s birthday, courtesy of Prairie Farms.