MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The visiting New Orleans Zephyrs scored two runs in the ninth inning to come-from-behind and win 5-4 over the Memphis Redbirds on Friday night at AutoZone Park.
Leading 4-3 entering the ninth, Redbirds closer Eric Fornataro (3-4) gave up three base hits in the frame, highlighted by a game-tying RBI single by pinch hitter Kyle Skipworth. Two batters later, Skipworth scored the game-winning run on Justin Bour's infield hit combined with a throwing error by Scott Moore.
The Redbirds (62-58) suffered a last at-bat defeat for the ninth time and their first loss of the season when leading after eight innings (45-1).
Outfielder Randal Grichuk (2-for-4) doubled and scored a run, extending his hitting streak to a season-high eight games. Second baseman Greg Garcia (2-for-3) collected two hits and an RBI on his 25th birthday.
Redbirds starter Marco Gonzales allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits in seven innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked one in the no-decision.
Both teams struck for two runs in the first inning, beginning with the Zephyrs' Rob Brantly hitting a sacrifice fly. Their club's next run came home on Moore's first throwing error of the game. Memphis tied the game on RBI singles by Xavier Scruggs and Garcia.
Memphis took a 3-2 lead in the third inning as Grichuk doubled and scored as Moore one-hopped the right field wall. Moore was thrown out attempting to stretch his single to a double.
Brantly tied the game at 3-3 in the fourth with his third homer of the season, a line drive over the right field wall.
Pham doubled and scored the Redbirds final run in the seventh on a Moore bloop RBI single to center.
Memphis and New Orleans continue their series at 6:05 pm CT on Saturday night from AutoZone Park. Left-hander Tyler Lyons (6-1, 3.55) will look for his fifth straight win against Zephyrs righty Alex Sanabia (5-4, 4.57).
The Redbirds pay homage to the King of Rock 'n Roll on Elvis Night, featuring an Elvis tribute artist performing a pre-game concert in the plaza, a special two-hour buffet ticket package, and more Elvis fun. Another fantastic postgame fireworks extravaganza will follow the game set to Elvis-themed music. Signature Saturday will begin when gates open at 5pm.