PAPILLION, Nebraska - Memphis struck early and the bullpen held their own late as the Redbirds snatched a 6-4 victory over Omaha at Werner Park on Thursday night.
Catcher Audry Perez matched a season-high with three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth, and drove in two to help the 'Birds over the Storm Chasers in the third game of the series.
Pitcher John Gast, who came into the start with a 1.14 ERA over his last four outings, saw his pitch count rise early and lasted only four innings. The left-hander allowed a pair of runs in the fourth, surrendering four hits in total, to take the no-decision. He struck out one and gave up two walks.
Memphis got on the board first, a recent theme for the club during their hot month of July. Luis Mateo led off with a double and Randal Grichuk did the same. Grichuk scored later in the inning on a Xavier Scruggs' sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 after one.
The visitors added another in the second when Pete Kozma single and Perez singled him home for a 3-0 advantage.
The Redbirds widened their lead when Perez went yard for the third time this season in the fourth and added two in the sixth when Tommy Pham and Kozma scored off timely hitting. The six runs ended up holding as the bullpen locked down the lead late.
Jorge Rondon, Dean Kiekhefer and Eric Fornataro all came on in relief and kept the Storm Chasers from scoring. The trio combined to strike out six batters in their 2.2 innings of work. It was Fornataro's eleventh save of the season, tied for the team-lead.
The win went to Nick Greenwood who entered in the fifth and allowed two runs during 1.1 innings. The left-hander improved to 4-3 on the season by allowing only two hits. Buddy Baumann suffered the loss by managing only four frames as well, getting pegged for four runs on seven hits.
Memphis and Omaha conclude their series tomorrow when Tim Cooney (10-5, 3.60) goes up against Liam Hendricks (8-1, 2.33) in the 7:05 pm contest.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.