'Birds win leads to split with Sounds

By Ben Spradling / Memphis Redbirds | July 23, 2009 7:56 PM ET

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The Redbirds rolled past Nashville 5-1 Thursday night to split their four-game series with the division-leading Sounds at two games each.

An early offensive explosion helped set the pace in the effort, with Memphis notching five runs on six hits through the first three innings of the game.

First baseman Allen Craig was responsible for helping get the Redbirds line-up going with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, his fifth in his last eight games and 13th of the season, that put the squad up 2-0.

The rest of Redbirds runs revolved around second baseman Jarrett Hoffpauir. The second baseman scored Memphis' third run in the second and then lined a single to left one inning later that drove in two more Redbirds runs in the third.

Memphis starter Mitchell Boggs earned his sixth win of the season and continued his recent hot streak after allowing just one Nashville run on eight hits with a pair of walks and seven strikeouts.

"I was able to get out of some jams when I needed to and made some pitches when I needed to tonight," said Boggs. "Nashville is an aggressive team; obviously they are leading the division, so it was really good to come out of here with a split."

The right-hander has been able to locate those clutch pitches quite a bit as of late, allowing just one earned run over his last 21 innings, with eight walks and 19 strikeouts. Boggs' stinginess on the mound has translated in to wins in each of his last three starts and has led to a renewed reliance on some old habits.

"I have just been more aggressive and gone back to the way I pitched last year and earlier this year, pounding the strike zone as much as I can. I'm just trying to go after hitters and letting the guys behind me make some plays."

Closer Jess Todd put an exclamation mark on the win, coming out of the bullpen and stricking out Sounds third baseman Mat Gamel with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to earn his PCL-leading 23rd save of the season.

Nashville starter Lindsay Gulin was stuck with the loss after allowing five runs, three earned, on seven hits over five innings, with three strikeouts.

The Redbirds look to gain some ground in the division as they head south to New Orleans to take on the Zephyrs in a five-game series. Right-hander Adam Ottavino looks to build off his two-game win streak when faces off against New Orleans starter Andrew Miller at 7:00 p.m.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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