ROUND ROCK, Tex. - The Memphis Redbirds dropped their sixth straight game after losing to the Round Rock Express, 9-2, in the opener of a four-game series at the Dell Diamond on Tuesday night.
With the loss, Memphis (35-38) slips into a tie with Iowa for first place in the PCL American Northern division.
Express starter Evan Meek (1-3) yielded two runs on six hits in six innings for the victory.
Redbirds starter Michael Wacha (4-1) came away with his first Triple-A defeat in his first start since rejoining Memphis. The tall right-hander allowed three runs on eight hits in five innings. He also struck out six and walked none.
Second baseman Kolten Wong had two of Memphis seven hits. Shortstop Greg Garcia tripled to extend his hitting streak to a season-best seven games.
The Redbirds scored their only two runs in the second inning. Brock Peterson extended his PCL-leading road hitting streak to 22 games with a bloop single to center and quickly scored on the next play as Garcia lined a triple to right. Jermaine Curtis followed with an RBI single to center.
Round Rock instantly moved ahead at 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning as the first three Express players reached against Wacha. Jared Hoying led off with a triple, and scored on the next play as Eli Whiteside singled to center. Four pitches later, Leury Garcia hit his first Triple-A home run, a two-run, go-ahead shot over the right field wall.
The game remained close until Round Rock blew it open in the eighth, tacking on six insurance runs against Eric Fornatoro and Victor Marte. The first five Express batters of the inning reached before Fornataro was hit by a liner and precautionary removed from the game. Marte entered and proceeded to allow back-to-back doubles before retiring the side.
Marc Rzepczynski struck out three over two scoreless. Fornataro was charged with five runs in 1/3 of an inning. Marte allowed one run and both inherited runners to score.
The two teams continue their series at 7:05 pm CT on Wednesday night at the Dell Diamond. Memphis has yet to announce a starter for the contest. The Express will start right-hander Scott Richmond (2-1, 5.12).