DES MOINES, Iowa - The Redbirds bats came alive Tuesday afternoon in Iowa, led by a two home run performance from Tommy Pham, defeating the Iowa Cubs 11-3.
In just his second start of the season, Pham would blast two home runs and drive in five runs, as Memphis went on to split their four-game series with Iowa.
It was the Cubs who got on the board first, jumping out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning on a Jonathan Mota RBI fielder's choice. Iowa's lead would not last long however, as the Redbirds countered in the top of the third inning.
Tommy Pham got things rolling for the Redbirds, reaching base via a walk. Stephen Piscotty would join him on the bases with a line drive single to center field. The combination of a double steal and catcher Rafael Lopez' throwing error would lead to Pham crossing the plate for the first of three times for the outfielder during the afternoon. After a walk from the red-hot Greg Garcia, Xavier Scruggs would drive home Piscotty on a sacrifice fly. Third baseman Jacob Wilson capped off the three-run inning for the Redbirds with an RBI double, scoring Garcia.
The Memphis offense was far from done, as the top of the fourth frame brought home two more runs for the Redbirds. With Alberto Rosario aboard after recording his first hit as a Redbird, Tommy Pham blasted his first home run of contest over the right center-field wall. Pham's last home run came on August 24 of last year.
Iowa would make things interesting in the bottom of the fifth inning, scoring two more runs against Redbirds' starter Nick Greenwood, cutting the Memphis lead to 5-3. The left-hander surrendered three earned runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out a season-high four batters over his five innings of work, earning his fourth win on the campaign.
Greenwood could rest easy, as the Redbirds' offense opened things back up in the top of the sixth inning. With Rafael Ortega and Alex Mejia on base, Tommy Pham recorded his second home run of the game, increasing the Memphis lead to 8-3.
Pham's five RBI on Tuesday mark a new career-high for the 27-year-old outfielder, and are the most recorded in a game by a Redbird this season.
Memphis would add another run in the seventh inning on a Rafael Ortega RBI double, only to follow up with two more runs in the eighth. Greg Garcia and Xavier Scruggs would each deliver RBI singles in the inning, extending the Memphis lead to 11-3.
With two hits on Tuesday, Garcia has now extended his hitting streak to a season-high nine games, second only to Steven Piscotty's 10-game streak for Memphis in 2015. Garcia has also now scored a run in each of his last nine contests.
Memphis' 13 hits match a season-high for the club, with their 11 runs scored setting a new single-game high in 2015 for the offense.
Tyler Waldron, Heath Wyatt, and Sam Tuivailala shutout the Cubs for the contest's final four innings, combing to allow just one Iowa hit.
After tomorrow's scheduled league-wide off day, the Redbirds return to AutoZone Park Thursday to open a four-game weekend homestand against the division-rival and first-place Round Rock Express (Triple-A Rangers). Memphis is 2-6 against the Express this season. John Gast (2-3, 4.56) is scheduled to take the hill for the Redbirds on Thursday, he will be opposed by Round Rock's Stolmy Pimentel (0-1, 7.71). First pitch from AutoZone Park on Thursday is set for 7:05pm CT.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.