OMAHA, Nebraska – The Memphis Redbirds battled back twice to tie the game, including doing so in the top of the ninth inning, but the Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals) picked up a 4-3 win by drawing a bases-loaded walk in the 10th in the series opener Tuesday night in Omaha, Neb.
Memphis (10-3) had won 14-straight extra-inning games dating back to 2016, including going 13-0 in 2017, before the loss.
Omaha (3-9) led 1-0 until the Redbirds tied the game at 1 in the fourth, when Oscar Mercado singled home Patrick Wisdom. Mercado was also key in the ninth, when he was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on a Carson Kelly double to tie the game at 2. Omaha put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, but Mike Mayers induced two flyouts to end the threat.
Minor League Baseball’s new extra inning rules put a runner on second base to start the 10th, with Randy Arozarena starting on second, moving to third on a groundout, and scoring on Yairo Munoz’base hit to put the Redbirds ahead 3-2 heading to the bottom of the 10th.
Kevin Herget came on for the bottom of the 10th and loaded the bases on a single and walk, after a runner started on second base, before the Storm Chasers tied the game at 3 on a sacrifice fly and then drew a walk to plate the winning run.
Tyler O’Neill saw his 10-game hitting streak end after an 0-for-5 showing, but Max Schrock extended his to six games by going 1-for-5. Mercado swiped two bases in the game and has six on the year, and he went 2-for-4. Kelly and Alex Mejia each went 2-for-4 as well.
Austin Gomber tossed 7.0 solid innings, allowing two runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Mayers tossed 2.0 shutout innings of relief, giving up just one hit.
The Redbirds were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 10 on base.
The Redbirds’ seven-game road trip to Omaha and Iowa continues through next Monday, before Memphis returns to AutoZone Park for nine games from April 25-May 3. For more information on single-game tickets and ticket mini-memberships, visit www.memphisredbirds.com/tickets.