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MEMPHIS, Tenn–A five-run first-inning propelled the visiting Sacramento River Cats to a 6-3 victory over the Memphis Redbirds in the opener of a four-game series on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park.
The loss moved Memphis (71-60) to a half game back in the PCL American Southern Division behind idle Nashville, which rained out earlier on Wednesday.
Outfielder Randal Grichuk (2-for-4) doubled for his team-leading 48thextra-base hit, while outfielder Tommy Pham extended his hitting streak to nine games with a single.
Sacramento opened the game by batting around and plating five runs in the top of the first inning, chasing Redbirds starter Zach Petrick (6-6) from the game without recording an out. The first seven River Cats reached during the rally, highlighted by a Nick Buss homer and Jose Martinez RBI double.
The River Cats added their other run in the second on an Anthony Aliotti RBI single.
Memphis loaded the bases twice and cut the lead in half at 6-3 in the sixth inning. AfterScott Moore got plunked for the league-leading 19thtime, Stephen Piscotty hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Pham. Later in the inning with the bases juiced again, Audry Perez delivered a two-run single to center.
Petrick gave up five runs on four hits and three walks. The right-hander tossed 39 pitches (21 for strikes) in the start, which was his first since July 30.
Heath Wyattallowed one run over a season-high four-innings of work in relief of Petrick.
Memphis and Sacramento continue their series at 7:05 pm on Thursday night at AutoZone Park. Right-hander Boone Whiting (4-6, 3.73) will toe the rubber against River Cats left-hander Drew Pomeranz (3-0, 2.88).