Round Rock, TX – Jack Flaherty made his Triple-A season debut and struck out 11 without a walk in 7.0 innings, and Tyler O’Neill hit his fourth home run in three games as the Memphis Redbirds improved to 4-0 on the season with a 4-1 win over the Round Rock Express (Rangers) Sunday afternoon in Round Rock, Texas.
Flaherty gave up just one run on five hits, and he only allowed two singles after the second inning. Combining this start with his outing for St. Louis earlier this season, Flaherty has struck out 20 with one walk, 11 hits, and two earned runs in 12.0 innings in 2018.
O’Neill finished 3-for-4 with three RBI thanks to his fifth-inning home run, a two-run shot, and Randy Arozarena walked three times and stole three bases, becoming the first Redbird with three steals in a game since Matt Williams at Nashville on June 13, 2016. The Redbirds were held to their fewest runs in a game this season, but the club has still tallied double-digit hits in each of the four games this year.
Oscar Mercado, Alex Mejia, and Wilfredo Tovar also had two-hit games for Memphis (4-0).
Memphis trailed 1-0 after two innings with Round Rock’s Hanser Alberto doubling home a run off Flaherty in the second, but the Redbirds regained the lead in the next half-inning with Mercado and O’Neill providing RBI singles.
From there it was all Flaherty, as he recorded the longest outing by a Redbird so far this season and gave up only two base hits after that second inning. He finished the game with 72 strikes in 103 pitches.
Derian Gonzalez rebounded from a rough season debut and picked up the save with 2.0 perfect innings of relief.
Mercado also had a steal in the game, his second of the year.
Memphis and Round Rock conclude their series tomorrow night at 7:05 (CT). The Redbirds’ home opener is set for Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. against the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals).