Back-to-back two-RBI doubles in the eighth inning propelled the Memphis Redbirds to an 8-1 win Wednesday afternoon against the Oklahoma City RedHawks in front of a season-high crowd of 10,178 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Memphis (16-17) entered the eighth inning with a 2-1 lead before adding four runs on consecutive two-run doubles by Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty during the first home field trip game of the season for Oklahoma City (18-16).
Redbird Luis Mateo tacked on a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning for the final two runs of the game. After allowing just three runs over the previous 35 innings, the RedHawks bullpen allowed six runs over 2.1 innings Wednesday.
The loss ended the RedHawks' stretch of 10 straight wins in games with morning start times, as Oklahoma City lost a game that started before noon for the first time since July 26, 2012.
Memphis took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run home run over the center-field fence by Tommy Pham.
The RedHawks quickly answered, scoring their lone run of the game in the bottom of the frame.
Kiké Hernandez got on base with a walk in the second inning, then scored on a single by Carlos Perez to cut the Memphis lead to 2-1.
RedHawks reliever Richard Rodriguez walked Shane Robinson to load the bases for Memphis with none out in the top of the eighth inning. After a RedHawks pitching change, back-to-back two-run doubles by Taveras and Piscotty followed for a five-run Memphis lead.
RedHawks starting pitcher Nick Tropeano (1-3) pitched 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and recording a season-high eight strikeouts.
Memphis pitcher Zach Petrick (2-1) allowed one run on three hits, walked two and struck out four in the win.
Mateo led all players with three hits – all for extra bases – Wednesday.
The series between the teams continues at 7:05 p.m. Thursday at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.