SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - The Memphis Redbirds offense exploded for 15 hits, including five doubles, during a 12-9 slugfest win over the Salt Lake Bees on Thursday night at Smith's Ballpark.
Fifteen of the 30 hits between the two clubs went for extra bases, including 12 doubles.
Entering the game with a league-leading 166 doubles, Salt Lake recorded seven two-baggers in the defeat, which was one less than a Redbirds franchise record set by the Portland Beavers on June 23, 2003.
Eight of nine Redbirds in the lineup came away with at least one hit. Six players produced multi-hit efforts, led by first baseman Xavier Scruggs (3-for-5, 2B, RBI, 3 R). Shortstop Pete Kozma (2-for-3, 2B, 4 RBI, R, BB) doubled and drove in a season-high four runs.
Outfielder Oscar Taveras (2-for-5) collected two hits, two runs, and two RBIs on his 22nd birthday. Stephen Piscotty (2-for-5, 3 RBI, R) added his team-leading 22nd double and drove in three.
Memphis sent 10 men to the dish and jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the first against Salt Lake starter Anthony Lerew (1-4), who used 35 pitches in the opening frame. The six, first-inning runs were the most runs scored by the club since June 25, 2013 vs. Iowa.
All six runs were scored with one out, beginning with Randal Grichuk going yard for the first run, an opposite-field solo blast to right. After a Taveras double, Piscotty looped an RBI single to right. Scruggs, Ed Easley, and Kozma all followed with RBI hits.
Salt Lake answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame thanks to three doubles against Tyler Lyons.
Two innings later with two outs, Kozma drove in two more runs for a 8-2 lead with a two-run double down the left field line.
A Salt Lake four-spot cut the Bees' deficit to two runs at 8-6 in the fourth, beginning with back-to-back homers by Luis Jimenez and Roberto Lopez. J.B. Shuck and Grant Green later tacked on two-out RBI hits to remove Lyons from the game.
Memphis cashed in two walks and got its four runs back in the seventh on two swings of the bat by Taveras and Piscotty. Taveras singled home Scruggs and Kozma, while Piscotty brought home Garcia and Taveras on a two-bagger off the center field wall.
The Bees rebounded with two more run-scoring doubles and an Efren Navarro RBI single for their final three runs in the eighth.
In his fifth start with the Redbirds this season and first since being optioned by St. Louis, Lyons scattered nine hits for six runs in 3 2/3 innings. John Gast (1-1) was awarded the win, yielding three runs over 3 2/3 innings.
Eric Fornataro stranded his only inherited runner and converted his fourth save with 1 1/3 scoreless in relief.
Memphis and Salt Lake conclude their four-game season series at 8:05 pm CT on Friday night. Right-hander Angel Castro (6-4, 3.53) takes the mound against Bees left-hander Wade LeBlanc (5-1, 3.69).