The Oklahoma City RedHawks looked to be primed for a win, but gave up two big innings to the Memphis Redbirds, falling 20-6 Saturday to open the four-game series.
Oklahoma City Jumped out to a 5-0 advantage, but the Redbirds managed to hang eight on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
Mark Hamilton led off the inning with a double to center field and two at-bats later, Pete Kozma doubled to left field to bring Hamilton home. Kozma scored two batters later, as John Gast reached on a fielding error. Adron Chambers continued the momentum with a single to center and Ryan Jackson followed with a two-run double to enter field to cut the deficit to 5-4.
In the following at-bat, Cedric Hunter sent a ground ball single to center field, to bring Jackson home to tie the game. After a pitching change, Mark Hamilton homered to center field, scoring three, giving the Redbirds an 8-5 lead.
Memphis continued to score in the top of the sixth, after Chambers hit a leadoff single and Ryan Jackson drew a walk, Cedric Hunter singled to right field to bring Chambers home, pushing the lead to four runs. Three at-bats later, Zack Cox singled to right field to score Ryan Jackson and Pete Kozma knocked a sac fly to center field in the following at-bat to make it an 11-5 advantage for the Redbirds.
The Redbirds added one more in the top of the seventh on an RIB single from Cedric Hunter, and two in the top of the eighth thanks to a two-run double from Jackson to take a 14-6 lead.
Memphis continued to pour it on in the top of the ninth, an RBI double from Cox, an RBI single from Anderson pushing the lead to 16-6. Three at-bats later, Eugenio Velez knocked a bases-clearing triple to left field, pushing the lead to 13 runs and Adron Chambers followed with a single to right field to bring Velez home and extend the lead to 20-6.
John Gast (5-2) received a win for his work, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, striking out five RedHawks in his 5.2 innings of service. Brian Bass (1-3) received a loss, giving up six runs – just one earned – on five hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Oklahoma City will try to avoid a three-game losing streak at 6:05 p.m. Sunday in the second of the four-game series.
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