MEMPHIS, Tenn–Marco Gonzales struck out seven over seven strong innings as the Memphis Redbirds beat the visiting Omaha Storm Chasers by a 6-3 score on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park.
In his first Triple-A victory, the left-handed Gonzales (1-1) scattered five hits and walked none, throwing 65 of his 98 pitches for strikes. His two blemishes were solo homers by Justin Maxwell in the second and Francisco Pena in the seventh before departing.
Designated hitter Shane Robinson (3-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R) and outfielder Stephen Piscotty (3-for-4, 2 RBI, R, HBP, SB) led the offensive onslaught with three hits and two RBIs apiece. Robinson finished a triple away from the cycle, while Piscotty stole a bag and snapped a season-high four-game hitless streak.
Outfielder Tommy Pham also added two hits to raise his team-leading batting average to .337.
Robinson went yard on the first pitch from Clayton Mortensen (4-2) in the bottom of the first, giving the Redbirds a 1-0 lead. The homer was Robinson’s first of the year and ended a 310 at-bat homerless stretch.
Maxwell’s solo shot in the next frame tied the game at 1-1, his seventh homer of the season.
Robinson put the Redbirds back in front for good in the second with an RBI single to score Pham, who previously reached on his first infield single of the evening. Memphis extended its lead to 4-1 in the third, beginning with a sacrifice fly from Greg Garcia to score Piscotty. Pham followed by reaching on another infield single that plated Scruggs from third.
The Redbirds loaded the bases in the sixth and tacked on their two final runs on a Piscotty two-run single to right.
Eric Fornataro finished the evening with a two-inning save, striking out three in the process.
Mortensen gave up four runs on nine hits over 4 2/3 innings for the loss.