The Memphis Redbirds scored three runs in the third inning and were able to slow down the Oklahoma City RedHawks offense, as the RedHawks fell, 3-2, Sunday evening at AutoZone Park.
After scoring 22 runs on 37 hits in the first two games of the series, the RedHawks (28-23) were limited to just one run and six hits by a trio of Memphis pitchers.
The Redbirds (24-26) broke the scoreless tie—as well as Jake Buchanan's lengthy scoreless streak—with three runs in the third inning. Ed Easley drew a four-pitch walk to start the inning, and Luis Mateo followed with a bunt single.
Two batters later, Randal Grichuk lined a two-run double to left-center field to give Memphis a 2-0 lead. It also ended Buchanan's streak at 28.1 consecutive scoreless innings.
After a walk to Oscar Taveras, Stephen Piscotty collected a RBI single to make it 3-0.
The RedHawks got one run back in the next inning. Kiké Hernandez led off the fourth with a solo homer, extending his hitting streak to 11 games.
Oklahoma City proceeded to load the bases with one out, but Scott McGregor got Andy Simunic to hit into a double play to end the inning.
Prior to Sunday, the RedHawks had not hit into more than two double plays in any game this season. They hit into three double plays within the first four innings Sunday against McGregor.
In one of his finer outings of the season, McGregor (1-5) picked up his first win after holding the RedHawks to one run and five hits over six innings. He struck out and walked one each.
The RedHawks would cut Memphis' lead down to one in the seventh. Max Stassi reached first base on a throwing error by third baseman Scott Moore to start the inning. After a Gregorio Petit single put runners at the corners, Simunic brought Stassi home on a fielder's choice, making it 3-2.
Simunic would then be caught stealing second base, and Redbirds relievers Heath Wyatt and David Aardsma retired the final seven RedHawks hitters thereafter. Aardsma retired the side on three flyouts to right field in the ninth to earn his seventh save of the year.
After each of his three previous starts resulted in RedHawks' shutouts, Buchanan picked up the loss to even his record at 4-4. Buchanan got through six innings and allowed a season-high eight hits. He issued two walks and did not record a strikeout.
The RedHawks finish their series in Memphis, and 12-game road trip, with a Memorial Day matinee at 1:05 p.m. Monday.