Redbirds lose in Garcia rehab start

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Memphis, TN-With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the ninth, Round Rock’s Bryan Petersen hit an infield RBI single to give the Express a 3-2 win over the Memphis Redbirds on Monday night at AutoZone Park.

Josh Wilson led off the ninth with a base hit and advanced to second on a fielding error from center fielder Oscar Taveras. After a Brett Nicholas walk, Wilson advanced to third on a sac bunt and scored on Peterson’s grounder to first with no one to cover.

St. Louis Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia, currently on a rehabilitation assignment while recovering from a left shoulder injury, made his first start for the Redbirds after one rehab outing at Double-A Springfield on May 4. Garcia’s final line included three hits, two runs, two walks, five strikeouts and a home run in five innings for a no-decision. The left-hander threw 74 pitches, 45 for strikes.

Memphis native Ed Easley hit his third home run of the season, while Stephen Piscotty, Shane Robinson, and Jermaine Curtis each added two hits in the losing effort.

In the first inning, Garcia tossed 13 pitches (eight for strikes) and allowed a home run to Round Rock leadoff hitter Daniel Robertson on the second pitch of the game. He retired the next three batters on a swinging strikeout, groundout to shortstop, and fly out to center.

Garcia retired the side in order in the second on 15 pitches (10 for strikes). The left-hander struck out Chris Gimenez looking and Josh Wilson swinging sandwiched between Jared Hoying popping out to shortstop.

The southpaw began the third by allowing a Brett Nicholas single up the middle, but followed with three consecutive flyouts on a total of nine pitches (seven strikes).

The Express went ahead 2-0 in the fourth on a wild pitch from Garcia with the bases loaded. The left-hander used 27 pitches (11 for strikes) and worked around a throwing error after allowing a single and walk.

Garcia concluded his outing by hurling 10 pitches (six strikes) in the fifth, getting a flyout and inducing an inning-ending double play after issuing a six-pitch walk. He was removed from the contest after 74 pitches.

Memphis got on the board with back-to-back runs in the fifth and sixth innings tie the game at 2-2. With one away in the fifth, Easley (1-for-3, HR, R, RBI) lifted a fly ball that found its way over the left field wall. The solo shot was Easley’s third of the year.

Shane Robinson (1-for-3, SB, R) led off the sixth with a single. After stealing second base, the outfielder came in to score on a Curtis RBI double off the top of the wall. Curtis was left stranded at second, but after six, the score was knotted at 2-2.

Memphis threatened in the bottom of the ninth and had the tying run on first, but Easley lined a sharp ball to short that was turned into a game-ending double play.

Randy Henry (1-0) tossed 1 2/3 innings for the win for Round Rock. Heath Wyatt (0-1) gave up the ninth inning run for the loss.