Randal Grichuk and Oscar Tavares hit doubles on back-to-back pitches to start off the bottom of the ninth inning, sending the Memphis Redbirds to a 5-4 win over the Oklahoma City RedHawks Sunday afternoon at AutoZone Park.
Tied up 4-4, Grichuk sent the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth from Darin Downs (0-2) down the left field line for a leadoff double. On the very next pitch, Tavares hit Downs' offering over the head of Kiké Hernandez in right field for the game winner.
The RedHawks sustained their third loss in four games. In each of the defeats, Oklahoma City (11-7) had a lead in the eighth inning or later and each time lost in walk-off fashion.
The game was tied 2-2 heading into the eighth inning before the RedHawks pushed across two runs to take their first lead. With two outs, Hernandez singled to score Gregorio Petit and break the tie. Jonathan Meyer stepped up next and sent a ground ball to third base, but it was mishandled by Pete Kozma, allowing another run to score.
Memphis (9-8) did not waste much time tying the game in the bottom of the inning. Joey Butler drew a leadoff walk, and former RedHawk Scott Moore followed with a game-tying two-run homer.
Moore's dinger was the second of the day for the Redbirds. Two batters into the bottom of the first inning, Memphis took the lead on a solo home run by Grichuk.
Still leading 1-0 in the fourth inning, Moore bounced an RBI single up the middle to make it 2-0. He finished 3-for-4 and a triple shy of the cycle.
Later in the fourth inning with two on and two outs, Kozma hit a fly ball near the right field line, but Hernandez made a sprawling catch to end the inning.
Memphis had another chance to build on its lead in the fifth. After three walks, the bases were loaded with two outs, but Rhiner Cruz got Butler to ground out and end the inning.
The RedHawks would pull even with one swing in the top of the sixth. Jon Singleton drew a leadoff walk before Max Stassi ripped a game-tying two-run homer. It was Stassi's fourth homer of the season and his second in as many games.
The RedHawks had numerous other scoring opportunities throughout the game, but struggled to get timely hits. They finished 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 runners on base.
Memphis also left 10 runners on base, but were slightly better with runners in scoring position, going 2-for-9.
Redbirds reliever Jose Almarante (1-0) claimed his first win of the season after holding the RedHawks scoreless for 1.1 innings.
The RedHawks and Redbirds continue their series Monday night at 7:05 p.m.