Memphis, TN (Redbirds) – The Memphis Redbirds (24-13) scored all six of their runs in the final two innings Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park, and Marco Gonzales led the way on the mound in a 6-5 Mother’s Day win over the El Paso Chihuahuas (17-20).
With the win, the Redbirds have won 14 of their last 16 games.
Gonzales, making his second start after missing 609 days due to injury, worked 7.0 innings and allowed just one run on three hits while striking out six. He returned to the mound a week ago for Palm Beach (Advanced-A), but prior to that had not pitched since Sept. 6, 2015 after missing the entire 2016 season and the start of 2017 after Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.
He surrendered a home run to Jose Pirela leading off the fourth inning, but he was hardly touched after that. After the home run he set down eight-straight Chihuahuas and 10 of the next 11, and he helped set up the Redbird rally that let him leave the game in line for the win.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the seventh, Rangel Ravelo walked, and Carson Kelly singled him to second before both moved up 90 feet on a Gonzales sacrifice bunt.
With two outs, Nick Martini roped a two-run double down the left-field line to put Memphis on top, 2-1. Luke Voit followed with a two-run home run, his eighth of the season, and Memphis led 4-1 after the seventh.
The Chihuahuas plated three runs in the top of the eighth off reliever Josh Lucas, but Memphis answered in the home-half with Ravelo and Kelly once again providing the spark. Ravelo singled and went to third on a Kelly double, and both crossed the dish when pinch-hitter Chad Huffman singled to left-center field to make the score 6-4 in favor of Memphis heading to the ninth.
The Chihuahuas got a run back in the top of the ninth, but Mark Montgomery slammed the door and finished the victory.
Ravelo and Kelly combined to score four of Memphis’ runs on Martini’s, Voit’s, and Huffman’s offense. Jhonny Peralta was 1-for-3 with a walk in an injury rehab appearance.
The Redbirds continue their eight-game homestand with the opener of a four-game set against the Albuquerque Isotopes (Rockies) tomorrow night at 6:35.