MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The division-rival Omaha Storm Chasers handed the Memphis Redbirds a 5-2 defeat in the opener of a five-game series in front of 13,664 fans at AutoZone Park on Friday night.
With the loss, Memphis (60-67) fell to three games behind Omaha in the PCL American Northern Division.
Omaha starter Chris Dwyer (9-10) yielded one run on five hits in 5 2/3 innings for the win.
Mike O'Neill, Ryan Jackson, Jermaine Curtis, and Justin Christian accounted for eight of Memphis' nine singles, as the club failed to record an extra-base hit for the second consecutive game. The club has only has two doubles over the last four games (all losses).
Christian Colon sent the forth pitch of the game over the left field wall for 1-0 Storm Chasers lead in the top of the first inning. It was Colon's 12th of the season.
Omaha tacked on three more runs in the top of the fifth, which began by Boone Whiting walking the first two batters. Whiting then committed a three-base throwing error while attempting to throw out Pedro Ciriaco during a sacrifice bunt, allowing both runs to score. The scoring rally concluded with Irving Falu RBI single.
The Redbirds got to Chris Dwyer in the bottom of the sixth for their first run. O'Neill worked an inning-opening walk, moved to third on a Jackson single, and scored on Brock Peterson's sacrifice fly to deep right field. The RBI was Peterson's team-leading 73rd of the season.
Omaha scored an insurance run for a 5-1 lead in the eighth off Victor Marte. Falu crushed a triple off the right field wall and scored on a Johnny Giavotella sacrifice fly.
Memphis scored its final run in the bottom of the ninth to close the trim the deficit to three runs. Garcia walked with one out and moved around to score on singles from Christian and Travis Tartamella. Michael Mariot induced a game-ending groundout to shortstop by Jackson to end the game with the tying run on second base.
Boone Whiting (4-5) worked six innings from the hill, giving up four runs (two-earned) on four hits with four strikeouts for the loss. Marte followed with a season-high three innings in relief, allowing one run.
The Redbirds and Storm Chasers continue their series at 7:05 pm CT on Saturday night at AutoZone Park. Memphis has yet to name a starter for tomorrow. Omaha will go with left-hander Everett Teaford (4-4, 3.12).