MEMPHIS, Tennessee – The Memphis Redbirds pulled within a run at 9-8 after trailing 9-2, but the Nashville Sounds (Athletics) pushed across two more runs in the top of the ninth to secure an 11-8 win Thursday night at AutoZone Park.
Division-champion Memphis will have to wait at least another day to tie its franchise record for wins in a season, as the Redbirds are now 82-43 on the season. Despite the loss, Memphis is 36-12 in its last 48 games.
The Redbirds hit three home runs in the game, with Tyler O'Neill going deep for the third time in five games and 26th time this season, Breyvic Valera starting Memphis five-run seventh with a solo shot, and Wilfredo Tovar putting the capper on the five-spot with a grand slam. Stephen Piscotty was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored, and Rangel Ravelo and Tovar also ended the night with three hits apiece.
Memphis found itself in a 9-2 hole after the top of the seventh inning, before Valera and Tovar went deep in the five-run seventh to make the score 9-7 heading to the eighth. Mark Montgomerytook care of the Sounds in the top of the eighth, and the Redbirds got within a run after Ravelo's triple scored Piscotty, who doubled.
But Nashville tacked on two more runs in the top of the ninth for an 11-8 lead, and the Redbirds went down after a single in the ninth inning.
The Redbirds need a win tomorrow to continue their streak of 27-straight series wins or ties, dating back to losing three-of-four at Colorado Springs from April 18-21.
Memphis and Nashville conclude their series tomorrow night at 7:05, before the Redbirds welcome New Orleans (Marlins) to AutoZone Park Saturday-Tuesday.
Playoff tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at www.memphisredbirds.com/playoffs, over the phone at (901) 721-6000, and at the AutoZone Park Box Office.
Next Games at AutoZone Park
The current homestand (Aug. 15-22) continues with:
Friday, Aug. 18 (7:05 p.m.): postgame fireworks, keychain tire gauge giveaway presented by AutoZone (1,500 fans), Friday Night Block Party featuring a band and $2 beers in the Plaza before the game
Saturday, Aug. 19 (6:35 p.m.) – SOLD OUT: postgame fireworks, Saturday Night Party in the Plaza featuring a band and $2 beers before the game
Sunday, Aug. 20 (2:05 p.m.): Team Photo giveaway presented by Amtrak (1,500 fans), 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, ticket special for the all-inclusive Redbird Club
Monday, Aug. 21 (11:52 a.m.): Southern College of Optometry Eclipse Day with free eclipse glasses to the first 5,000 fans