MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Redbirds avoided a four-game series sweep with an exciting 4-3 victory over the Fresno Grizzlies on Tuesday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
After allowing three consecutive singles to open the ninth inning, Victor Marte would strand the tying run on third by striking out Gary Brown to end the ballgame. The save was Marte's team-leading eighth of the season.
Three of the four games in the series with the Grizzlies were decided by one run. The other contest went to extra-innings.
Shortstop Ryan Jackson went 3-for-5 with a double to extend his hitting streak to eight straight games and increase his average to .372. First baseman Brock Peterson belted his fifth homer of the season with a 2-for-4, two RBI effort. Second baseman Kolten Wong added a hit to extend his hitting streak to a season-best eight games.
Boone Whiting (1-0) earned the victory in his Triple-A debut, allowing three hits and a pair of walks for a first-inning run in five innings. The right-hander also struck out four with 72 pitches, 42 for strikes.
Whiting walked the two first batters he faced on nine pitches in a shaky top of the first. Two batters later after a stolen base, Cole Gillespie hit a sacrifice fly for the Grizzlies' first run.
Three straight singles by Chad Huffman, Justin Christian, and Vance Albitz opened the second inning as Memphis knotted the score at 1-1. Huffman was initially held at third base by manager Pop Warner during the Albitz single, but Gillespie bobbled the ball to allow Huffman to come home and score.
Memphis jumped ahead to a 4-1 lead after three batters into the third inning, as Wong hit a leadoff single and scored on the ensuing Jackson double. Four pitches later, Peterson jacked the 2-1 offering from Boof Bonser (1-3) over the left field wall.
Marc Rzepczynski gave up a solo homer to Gillespie in one inning pitched, while also singling in his only at-bat. Eric Fornataro walked one over two scoreless frames.
After a league-wide off-day tomorrow, the Redbirds embark on an eight-game road trip to face the Tacoma Rainiers (Triple-A Mariners) and Salt Lake Bees (Triple-A Angels). Right-hander Michael Wacha (4-0, 1.99) will take the hill in the road trip opener against Tacoma left-hander Jimmy Gillheeney (2-1, 2.37) at 9:05 pm CT on Wednesday night at Cheney Stadium.
Baseball returns to AutoZone Park on Friday, May 24, when the Redbirds welcome the Round Rock Express (Triple-A Rangers) and Albuquerque Isotopes (Triple-A Dodgers) for an eight-game homestand.