MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds and Round Rock Express (Rangers) combined for six home runs in the series opener Thursday night at AutoZone Park, and it was a five-run Express ninth inning, thanks in part to two long balls, that spurred them to a 9-7 win.
Paul DeJong, Patrick Wisdom, and Harrison Bader went deep for the Redbirds (10-11), and Jared Hoying hit two for Round Rock (11-10) with Brett Nicholas adding another.
DeJong and Wisdom went back-to-back in the second inning for the Redbirds, who led 5-2 after the fourth and 7-4 heading into the ninth. Wisdom and Breyvic Valera ended the night with three hits apiece, with Wisdom and Bader each driving in two runs.
Bader filled the stat sheet with a 2-for-3 night, two runs scored, the two RBI, and a walk, and he also erased the potential tying run at the plate with two outs in the top of the eighth.
After that, Memphis took a 7-4 lead into the top of the ninth, but Round Rock scored five times to open up a 9-7 lead. Anthony Garcia led off the bottom of the ninth with a walk, putting the tying run on base, but Round Rock got a popout and two strikeouts to end the game.
Josh Zeid gave up four runs on four hits in 5.2 innings, with five strikeouts, in a start for the Redbirds.