NASHVILLE, Tennessee – Two runs in the first inning helped jump-start the division-champion Memphis Redbirds to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) Monday night in Nashville, Tenn., with the bullpen providing 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to seal the series finale.
The Redbirds are now 40 games above .500 on the season at 81-41 and have won 35 of their last 45 games. By taking three-of-four games against Nashville, Memphis has won or split 27-straight series, dating back to losing three-of-four games at Colorado Springs from April 18-21.
Nick Martini and Wilfredo Tovar had two hits apiece for the Redbirds, who are now outscoring their opponents in the first innings of games, 100-48. Tyler O’Neill homered for the second-straight game, his sixth as a Redbird and 25th of the season overall.
John Gant held the Sounds to a single run while striking out seven in 5.2 innings, and he moved to 5-5 on the season. The right-hander has not lost in his last five starts, dating back to July 19. Kevin Herget and Miguel Socolovich combined to finish the game, giving up three hits and striking out four in 3.1 innings.
The Sounds left five runners on base in the fifth-through-eighth innings, with Herget getting a groundout in the sixth after replacing Gant and striking out the side in the seventh, and Socolovich getting a double play in the eighth after taking over for Herget.
The two clubs now head to Memphis for four games running tomorrow at 6:35 p.m. through Friday, and the Redbirds’ eight-game homestand also includes four games with New Orleans (Marlins) from Saturday through next Tuesday.