MEMPHIS, Tennessee – Down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, the Memphis Redbirds got a lead-off home run by Alex Mejia in the home-half of the eighth and then a walk-off single by Carson Kellyin the bottom of the ninth to take a 2-1 win over the Round Rock Express (Rangers) Friday night at AutoZone Park.
The Redbirds have won 12 of their last 14 games and continue the best record in all of Triple-A Baseball at 58-33. Memphis has won eight-straight games against the Express (41-51) this season.
Mejia stepped to the plate in the bottom of the eighth with the Redbirds down 1-0 and promptly ripped a home run out to left-center field, his first of the season, to tie the game at one. After Josh Lucasworked a perfect top of the ninth on nine pitches, Rangel Ravelo led off the bottom of the ninth with a double down the left-field line.
Ravelo was lifted for pinch-runner Harrison Bader, who dashed from second and scored the winning run on Kelly’s single up the middle.
John Gant was terrific on the mound in a no-decision, allowing one run on five hits in 6.0 innings of work with seven strikeouts. The seven strikeouts matched a season high, set on June 10 against Nashville. Gant lowered his season ERA to 3.13, but he has only received 10 runs of support in his 10 starts this season after the Redbirds were scoreless until the eighth inning tonight.
Mike Mayers and Kevin Herget pitched the seventh and eighth innings, respectively, allowing just one hit, before giving way to Lucas after Mejia’s game-tying homer in the eighth.
The win was Memphis’ 12th of the season when trailing in the seventh inning or later.
Memphis and the Express resume action in their four-game series tomorrow night at 6:35.
Next Games at AutoZone Park
The homestand continues with:
Saturday, July 15 (6:35 p.m.): postgame fireworks, Christmas in July with a Redbirds Christmas Ornament specialty ticket, Saturday Night Party in the Plaza with a band and $2 beers before the game
Sunday, July 16 (2:05 p.m.): Kids eat free as part of Rockey’s Birthday Celebration, Prairie Farms Ice Cream Sunday with free ice cream to the first 2,500 kids ages 12 and under upon entering, Kids Run the Bases after the game, pregame player autographs inside the main gates (subject to change or cancellation)