ROUND ROCK, Texas – An early flurry gave the Memphis Redbirds enough of an edge to hold off a late Round Rock Express (Rangers) rally in a 6-4 victory on Wednesday night at Dell Diamond.
Memphis (53-32) has now won seven of its last eight contests, surging to a season-best 21 games over .500 and continuing the best start in franchise history. The triumph also assured the Redbirds of a series victory, as they improved to 10-0-8 in their last 18 series and 11-2-9 in series this year.
The Redbirds started quickly, getting a two-out single from Rangel Ravelo in the top of the first to drive in Chad Huffman. An inning later, Memphis increased its lead to 3-0 on an Alberto Rosario single and a wild pitch.
Then, Harrison Bader crushed a solo homer in the top of the third inning to push the advantage to 4-0. For Bader, it was his third home run in the last four games and his 16th blast of the year. The 16 homers match his career high (2016) and even him with Patrick Wisdom for the team lead.
Nick Martini continued his recent hot stretch with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth to give Memphis a 6-1 lead.
The offense supported yet another strong start for Marco Gonzales, who secured his fourth straight win and improved to 5-3 on the year. Gonzales allowed a run on four hits in six innings, striking out six without a walk. In his last four starts, Gonzales has a 1.73 ERA in 26.0 innings with 24 strikeouts and only five walks.
Round Rock (39-47) worked its way back into the game on a two-run homer from A.J. Jimenez in the seventh and a solo shot from Will Middlebrooks in the eight to slice the deficit to 6-4. Ryan Sherriff came on to face the tying run in the eighth, but was able to get the final out. He then retired the side in order in the ninth to pick up his fifth save of the year.
Memphis now looks for the three-game sweep on Thursday with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m.