DES MOINES, Iowa - The Memphis Redbirds won their third straight game in Iowa, cruising to an 11-1 victory over the Cubs on Saturday night at Principal Park.
Memphis starting pitcher Tim Cooney (1-0) tossed a quality start and earned a win in his Triple-A debut, giving up one unearned run over six strong innings. The left-hander scattered four hits while fanning nine and walking only one with 88 pitches (55 for strikes).
The Redbirds have outscored Iowa by a 30-3 margin over the first three games this year and have won seven of the last nine games over the Cubs dating back to July 3, 2013.
Catcher Audry Perez led the charge for Memphis, driving in five with a double and grand slam. Outfielder Randal Grichuk added two hits, two runs scored, and an RBI.
Second baseman Greg Garcia tripled to lead off the game and scored the night's first run on a fielding error by Iowa second baseman Arismendy Alcantara during Oscar Taveras' first at-bat.
Iowa plated its lone run in the bottom of the third as Matt Szczur walked, stole second base, advanced to third on a throwing error, and scored on a Alcantara sacrifice fly.
Memphis batted around for the second straight night and plated six runs in the fourth inning for a 7-1 advantage. After Scott Moore singled and Xavier Scruggs walked, Perez smoked a ground-rule double to right field. Cooney then helped his own cause with an RBI single, followed by an RBI base hit by Grichuk and two-run double by Taveras.
The Redbirds capped their scoring in the seventh frame with the club's second grand slam in as many nights. After a single and back-to-back two-out walks, Perez crushed Neil Ramirez's 2-2 pitch over the left field wall. Memphis only hit three grand slams last season and have two in the first three games.
Iowa starter Kyle Hendricks (0-1) took the loss, allowing seven runs (six earned) on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
The Redbirds look for a sweep of the Cubs at 1:05 pm CT on Sunday afternoon at Principal Park. Left-hander Tyler Lyons (NR) will make his season debut for the Redbirds against Iowa left-hander Eric Jokisch (NR).