MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Redbirds won their third straight game in front of 8,510 fans on Saturday night at AutoZone Park, scoring six early runs to come away with a 6-3 win over the division-rival New Orleans Zephyrs.
After losing seven in a row, Memphis (41-46) has now matched a season-high with three straight wins for the fourth time this season.
Redbirds starter Boone Whiting (1-6) allowed one run on five hits over six innings of work for his first quality start and victory of the season. The right-hander walked two and struck out seven. Whiting received a season-high six runs of support after entering the night with only 19 through his first 11 outings.
Outfielder Randal Grichuk (1-for-5, 2 RBI) hit his team-leading 14th homer of the season. Catcher Ed Easley (1-for-2, 2 BB) extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games, while outfielder Tommy Pham (0-for-3) went hitless to end his seven-gamer. First baseman Xavier Scruggs added two hits
The Memphis offense got to New Orleans starter Elih Villanueva (8-6) early, plating a pair of runs in each of the first three frames for a 6-0 lead. Grichuk's two-run blast in the bottom of the first put the club on the board. Eight of the slugger's 14 homers have been hit in the first inning this season.
RBI hits from Easley and Stephen Piscotty in the second accounted for the club's next two runs, followed by a Zack Cox fielding error and bases-loaded walk in the third to remove Villanueva from the game.
Juan Diaz singled home Kyle Jensen in the fourth inning to put the Zephyrs on the board. New Orleans scored two late runs to cut the deficit to three before Eric Fornataro got the final five outs for his fifth save of the season.
Memphis looks for a three-game series sweep over New Orleans at 6:05 pm CT on Sunday evening at AutoZone Park. St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly (0-0, 3.00) is scheduled to make his third rehab start for Memphis. New Orleans will counter with righty Alex Sanabia (3-1, 3.53).
All kids 12 and under will get the opportunity to run the bases at AutoZone Park following the game during the club's weekly Kids Run The Bases promotion.