Redbirds' Ankiel hits three homers

Grabs share of PCL lead as Memphis defeats Iowa

(Joy R. Absalon/

June 16, 2007 9:58 PM ET

Rick Ankiel recorded a homer hat trick, belting three solo shots on Saturday to power the Memphis Redbirds to a 7-5 victory over the Iowa Cubs at Principal Park.

The pitching phenom-turned-outfielder had the first three-homer game of his professional career as he went 4-for-5. He wasted little time putting the Redbirds (31-39) in front as he drilled a one-out homer in the first.

Three innings later, Ankiel deposited a leadoff blast beyond the right-field fence. He connected again leading off the eighth to give Memphis an insurance run.

Ankiel's last multi-homer game came on May 28 against Round Rock when he went 3-for-4 with two roundtrippers, a double and five RBIs. The 27-year-old moved into a three-way tie for the Pacific Coast League with 19 homers and is fifth with 52 RBIs.

Nick Stavinoha contributed three hits, including a double, and two RBIs for the Redbirds.

Starter Mike Parisi (5-5) picked up the win, despite giving up five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in six innings. Brian Falkenborg tossed a scoreless ninth for his 15th save.

The Cubs (39-29) grabbed the lead in the second on Scott Moore's solo homer, then added two runs in the third on RBI singles by Micah Hoffpauir and Buck Coats. Moore went 2-for-4 with a double.

Iowa starter J.R. Mathes (6-4) surrendered six runs on seven hits and a walk in six innings. He fanned four.

Michael Echan is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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