MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Friday night was twice as nice, as Memphis captured the second win of a doubleheader with a 5-3 victory over Round Rock, securing a 3-1 series win for the Redbirds.
Home runs were the theme once again with the bulk of the 'Birds offense coming from long balls. Matt Pagnozzi was in charge of getting Friday's power trip started after launching a solo homer to left that quickly increased Memphis' lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the second.
Outfielder Mark Shorey got in on the action two innings later with a one-run blast to right field in the fourth, while second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir followed up with another Memphis solo shot to find 'Birds holding down a firm 4-0 lead in the fifth.
In all the Memphis squad finished the night posting eight total hits, including a first-inning single to left from recent Redbirds returnee David Freese that was responsible for driving in the evening's first run.
Friday night's match-up marked Freese's first game back with the 'Birds since an extended stay on the disabled list and short tour through St. Louis' farm system. After the prolonged absence for the first baseman, a return to the Memphis lineup was just what the doctor ordered.
"I felt pretty good, said Frees. "I got a chance to play in the GCL and then I moved up to Springfield and was able to get my feet wet, then came up here and it felt pretty good."
"I am really just looking to get back into the swing of things, continue where I left off and really just try and help this team win the last month."
First baseman Brian Barden was credited for bringing in Memphis' fifth and final run of the evening with an RBI-double to left that scored Freese from second to put the 'Birds up 5-0 in the fifth.
From the mound, Redbirds starter Oneli Perez certainly did his part to steer the Redbirds to success Friday, posting six shutout innings while giving up just four hits to earn his second win this season.
Normally a member of Memphis' bullpen, Perez put on a dazzling performance in his fourth turn in the Redbirds rotation, recording six strikeouts in the outing and at one point retiring eleven straight Express batters.
Reliever Josh Kinney secured the win for the 'Birds through one tough inning of work in the seventh. The right-hander gave up a three-run bomb to Round Rock catcher Brian Esposito before finally retiring the side and sealing the series.
Express starter Mark McLemore wound up on the losing end of the outing after allowing three Redbirds runs on five hits through four innings of work.
Memphis transitions into August looking to continue their winning ways as they welcome Omaha back to AutoZone Park for a four-game series. The Redbirds kick off the final half of their eight-game homestand with at 6:05 p.m. Saturday evening.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.