Tyler Lyons worked seven solid innings and received home run support from Xavier Scruggs and Randal Grichuck as Memphis came from behind to beat Omaha, 5-3, Wednesday night in the third of a four-game set at AutoZone Park. The Storm Chasers have dropped two in a row to dip to 53-50 and fall two and a half games behind the Iowa Cubs in the American Conference North Division.
The Storm Chasers got the scoring started in the second inning on a three-run home run by Matt Fields but the Redbirds responded in the bottom half of the frame with a solo shot from Scruggs and a fielder’s choice grounder by Jermaine Curtis that chased home Pete Kozma. The Memphis southpaw then blanked the visitors on three hits over the next five frames to finish his outing, during which he allowed eight hits, walked one and fanned five to earn the victory. Jorge Rondon retired all six batters he faced, three by strikeout, to sew up the hosts 13th win in their last 18 games.
Grichuk led off the sixth with a long ball to get the game tied at three before Stephen Piscotty walked and Scruggs singled. The runners advanced on a Scott Moore sacrifice bunt and scored on a Kozma sacrifice fly and a Johnny Giavotella fielding error to give Memphis the lead for good. Omaha starter Joe Saunders was tagged with the loss after yielding those five runs, four earned, on 10 hits while walking one and striking out one over his six innings of work. Louis Coleman and Chris Dwyer each worked a scoreless inning in relief for the Chasers, who slipped to 28-25 on the road.
The series concludes Thursday night with Omaha right-hander Aaron Brooks taking the mound against Memphis righty Zach Petrick.