TACOMA, Washington – Jack Flaherty worked 7.0 two-hit innings, and back-to-back home runs by Aledmys Diaz and Adolis Garcia in the fourth inning provided a spark in a 6-0 Memphis Redbirds triumph over the Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners) in the series finale Sunday afternoon in Tacoma, Wash.
The first-place Redbirds move to 74-39 on the season and have won 28 of their last 36 games. Memphis equals a season high-water mark at 35 games over .500.
Flaherty, the midseason No. 3 prospect in the St. Louis Cardinals organization according to MLB.com, struck out nine and gave up just two singles in 7.0 shutout innings. He ended his outing retiring 10 of the final 11 Rainiers he faced, and he set down the side in order four times on the day.
The righty improved his Triple-A record to 4-1 and lowered his Redbirds’ ERA to 2.83.
Diaz and Garcia went deep on back-to-back pitches in the fourth inning, turning a 2-0 Memphis lead into a 4-0 advantage. Seven Redbirds had a hit in the game, and the six RBI were scattered among six players. Harrison Bader was 2-for-4 with a run, and Nick Martini hit his fifth triple of the season.
Arturo Reyes followed Flaherty and tossed 2.0 innings to finish the game, giving up just one hit.
The shutout is Memphis’ fourth of the season and second in the last few weeks after a 6-0 win against Las Vegas on July 21.
The Redbirds turn their attention to five home games in four days against Omaha (Royals), running tonight through Thursday and including a Tuesday doubleheader.