MEMPHIS, Tenn–Shortstop Pete Kozma went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and three RBIs as the Memphis Redbirds opened their eight-game homestand with a 12-1 rout of the visiting Colorado Springs Sky Sox on Friday night at AutoZone Park.
With the win, the Redbirds (47-49) have won seven of their last eight games at home and improve to 26-22 at AutoZone Park this season.
Memphis went 6-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Seven of the club’s 12 runs were scored with the base juiced, with four being bases-loaded walks.
Second baseman Greg Garcia (2-for-3, RBI, 2 R, BB, K) and first baseman Xavier Scruggs (2-for-5, 2 RBI, K) each added two hits.
Redbirds starter Tyler Lyons (3-1) allowed one unearned run over five innings of work for the win. The southpaw yielded five hits, walked none, struck out seven, and went 1-for-2 from the plate.
Memphis jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first inning against Colorado Springs pitcher Eddie Butler (0-1), who made his Triple-A debut on rehabilitation assignment. After Garcia worked a bases-loaded walk with two outs for the first run, Kozma hit a two-run single up the middle.
Colorado Springs scored its only run in the second as Matt McBride reached on a fielding error and later came home on an Angelys Nina single to deep shortstop.
Kozma brought home two more runs in the third for a 5-1 Redbirds lead. With Garcia and Stephen Piscotty (1-for-3, 3 R, 2 BB) aboard and two outs, Kozma lined a ball down the left field line that was booted by McBride. Both runners came home to score.
Memphis batted around in the sixth and added six runs for an 11-1 lead. Three of those runs were highlighted by bases-loaded walks by Shane Robinson, Randal Grichuk, and Piscotty. After Robinson trotted home on a wild pitch, Scruggs hammered a two-run single to right.
The Redbirds added an insurance run in the seventh as Kozma doubled and later scored on a pinch hit RBI single by Tommy Pham.
The Redbirds and Sky Sox will play a doubleheader consisting of a pair of seven-inning contests beginning at 5:05 pm on Saturday night at AutoZone Park. Right-hander Boone Whiting (2-6, 3.92) will toe the rubber for Memphis in the opener against Sky Sox right-hander Jair Jurrjens (NR). Memphis righty Zach Petrick (5-4, 4.97) will start the nightcap against Colorado Springs lefty Pedro Hernandez (6-4, 6.30).