MEMPHIS, Tennessee - Memphis cashed in on timely hitting and pitcher Tim Cooney kept the Nashville offense quiet, as the Redbirds eased to an 8-1 win on Wednesday night at AutoZone Park.
Cooney (W, 9-5, 3.74) turned in a clutch performance against the Sounds. The left-hander did not allow a runner until two outs in the fourth, surrendering only three hits in total during his eight innings of work. Cooney failed to walk a batter for the first time all season and also fanned eight for his team-leading ninth victory.
The 'Birds got off to a good start when they struck in the first inning. Shane Robinson (2-5, 2B, 2 R, RBI) led off the game with his third double of the series and scored three batters later when Xavier Scruggs (2-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R) traded places at second base with him. Memphis ended up loading the bases in the first, but leaving with just a 1-0 lead.
The offense came alive in the fifth though, scratching out four runs of support for Cooney. Ed Easley (2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI) led off the inning with a single and scored on a Robinson hit up the middle. Scruggs plated the outfielder once again, this time with a sharp single to center. Then after a pair of walks loaded the bases, Greg Garcia (2-3, 2 RBI, R) drove in two to put Memphis up by five. Garcia's single helped the Redbirds finish 5-for-10 with runners in scoring position on the night.
Easley made more noise in the sixth, leading the frame off with a no doubt shot to left centerfield. It was the catcher's fifth longball of the season and it extended the lead to 6-0.
The home team added runs in the seventh and eighth, highlighted by a Randal Grichuk (1-5, HR, R, RBI) homer to straight away centerfield. It was the outfielder's team-leading fifteenth home run and sixth two-out RBI of the night for Memphis.
Nashville received its lone run in the seventh, a solo home run from Sean Halton. Former Redbird Michael Blazek took the loss after allowing five runs, dropping his record to 1-4 on the season.
Memphis concludes their series with Nashville on Thursday with a 12:05 pm CT afternoon finale. Right-hander Boone Whiting (1-6, 4.26), who is coming off his first win of the season, will go up against Sounds' hurler Mike Fiers (6-4, 2.63).