Redbirds earn series sweep of New Orleans
MEMPHIS, Tenn–The Memphis Redbirds completed a three-game sweep of the visiting New Orleans Zephyrs with a 5-2 victory on Sunday night at AutoZone Park.
The Redbirds led the entirety of the three-game series and have now won a season-best four in a row since July 3. The victory also netted Memphis’ its first series sweep of the season and first since the ‘Birds ended the 2012 campaign with a four-game series sweep at Nashville from August31- September 3, 2012.
St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly made his third start for Memphis while rehabbing a left hamstring strain. The right-hander allowed one run on three hits in 4 1/3 innings, throwing 51 of his 72 pitches for strikes. He walked one and struck out three in the no-decision.
Second baseman Greg Garcia led the charge on offense with three hits. Catcher Ed Easley and outfielder Scott Moore each extended their hitting streaks to nine games.
Memphis stole a season-high four bases in the victory, one each by Garcia, Randal Grichuk (2-for-4, RBI, R), Tommy Pham (2-for-4, 2 RBI), and Xavier Scruggs (1-for-4).
Kelly retired the side in order in the top of the first with 20 pitches (13 for strikes). The right-hander got a fly out to center and induced a pair of infield groundouts on 20 pitches (13 for strikes).
Pham delivered a two-run double off the right field wall in the next frame to give the Redbirds a 2-0 lead. New Orleans starter Alex Sanabia (3-3) got the inning started with a hit batter, fielding error, and infield single.
Kelly threw six of his 10 pitches for strikes for a scoreless second inning, getting three infield groundouts and walking one on four pitches. The right-hander used 13 pitches for a 1-2-3 third inning, striking out his first batter.
In the fourth, Kelly worked around his first hit of the evening, a Kyle Jensen single to right. The right-hander induced a pop up and fly out before striking out Kyle Skipworth looking to end the inning.
New Orleans got a couple hits for one run off Kelly in the fifth, which began with a strikeout. After the subsequent single by Alfredo Silverio, Danny Black lined a ground-rule double down the third base line that was accidentally fielded by the left field ball boy to prevent a run from scoring. The run later came home from third as reliever Dean Kiekhefer (1-2) induced an RBI groundout. New Orleans added its other run on a Diaz solo homer to right in the seventh.
The Redbirds added their final three runs on RBI hits from Garcia, Easley, and Grichuk.
Kiekhefer worked 1 2/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first Triple-A win. Memphis converted a save for the fourth straight night as Jorge Rondon worked around two hits for a scoreless ninth.