MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Memphis Redbirds dropped the opener of a four-game series to the Omaha Storm Chasers by a 4-1 margin on Monday night at AutoZone Park.
With the loss, Memphis drops to 49-51 on the season and back into fourth place in the PCL American Southern Division.
Over the last two games spanning 18 innings, the Memphis offense has scored one run, stranded 17 runners on base, and gone 0-for-11 with runners in scoring-position.
Left-hander Tim Cooney struck out four while allowing one unearned run over six innings of work for a no-decision. Cooney is throwing a 1.23 ERA (3er/22.0p) in three July starts.
First baseman Xavier Scruggs recorded his second straight multiple hit game, going 3-for-4. Outfielder Randal Grichuk (2-for-4, 3B, R) added two hits, including a triple and run.
The Redbirds only run was scored in the bottom of the first inning as Grichuk lined a triple over the center fielder and scored as Stephen Piscotty (0-for-3, RBI) hit a sacrifice fly to right. The triple was Grichuk's team-leading 34th extra-base hit this season.
Omaha knotted the contest at 1-1 in the top of the fifth as Whit Merrifield reached on a two-out fielding error and scored as Justin Maxwell singled to left.
The Storm Chasers went ahead at 2-1 in the seventh on a pair of two-out base hits by Christian Colon and Matt Fields against reliever Dean Kiekhefer (1-3). Merrifield and Colon added RBI singles in the eighth against reliever Joey Donofrio for the final 4-1 lead.
Omaha pitcher Louis Coleman (2-0) threw two scoreless frames for the win before Casey Coleman notched his second save of the year.
The Redbirds and Storm Chasers continue their series at 7:02 pm CT on Tuesday night at AutoZone Park. St. Louis Cardinals' 2013 first round draft pick and left-hander Marco Gonzales will make his AutoZone Park debut against Omaha right-hander and former Redbirds pitcher Clayton Mortensen (4-1, 2.85).