OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma – The Memphis Redbirds (63-74) came back to tie the Oklahoma City Dodgers (Triple-A Dodgers) on two separate occasions, but Oklahoma City scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Redbirds their 23rd one-run defeat of the season, 5-4.
David Washington hit his 24th home run of the season with the Redbirds and 29th between Memphis and Double-A Springfield, which leads Cardinals organization and was tied for seventh in all of minor league baseball entering today, and every Redbird position player had at least one hit. Efren Navarro extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1-for-5 showing, which is his second 10-plus-game streak with the Redbirds.
Pitching 60 miles from his hometown and 120 miles from his residence, Jeremy Hefner worked 5.2 innings and gave up four runs, three earned, on six hits and struck out five. Josh Lucas and Ryan Sherriff combined to throw 2.1 scoreless innings, and John Brebbia took the loss in the bottom of the ninth.
Memphis fell behind 2-0 after two innings before scoring a run in the third and two in the sixth on Washington’s home run, and the Redbirds led 3-2 after the top of the sixth. Oklahoma City scored two in the bottom-half to re-take a 4-3 lead, and the Redbirds knotted it up in the eighth when Nick Martini singled, went to third on a Washington single and scored on a double play groundout.
With the game tied at 4 Memphis left its eighth runner of the game on base in the top of the ninth, and the Dodgers scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth thanks to three singles surrounding a strikeout and a groundout.
Prior to tonight’s game, Washington had homered just once in the last 22 games. Including tonight’s outing, Lucas has struck out at least one hitter in nine-straight outings.
The Redbirds’ 2016 season concludes with two more games at Oklahoma City and four at Round Rock, before AutoZone Park hosts the Gildan Triple-A National Championship Game on Tuesday, Sept. 20.