After 10 1⁄2 innings of scoreless ball, Redbirds right fielder Jose Adolis Garcia promptly ended the silence, launching a two-out, two-run homer to left to win the game for Memphis, 2-0, over the Chihuahuas. With the win, the Redbirds carry a 2-0 advantage in the best-of-five series as it shifts to El Paso, Texas.
For Garcia, it was his third home run of the postseason — and the most important one yet. After the Redbirds couldn’t get much going against El Paso starter Bryan Rodriguez or relievers Adam Cimber and Trey Wingenter, Memphis was able to get to Eric Yardley. Third baseman Aledmys Diaz worked for a base hit, and Garcia later drove him in on the round-tripper.
And like the Redbirds failed to muster much off El Paso pitching, the Chihuahuas line up was fooled all day long by the Memphis staff. Starter Kevin Herget allowed four singles over eight scoreless innings to go along with, oh, only 15 strikeouts. Lance Lynn set the franchise record for strikeouts in a game (16) in September of 2010.
Mike Mayers pitched the ninth and tenth innings, punching out four, and Rowan Wick whiffed one. That’s a 20-strikeout performance for the Redbirds’ hurlers. Every starter in El Paso’s batting order whiffed at least once. Six players were struck out twice, and former Major Leaguers Travis Jankowski and right fielder Hunter Renfroe were rung up on three occasions.
With the extra-inning win, the Redbirds improved to 13-0 this year in games extending beyond regulation.
On Friday night, the Redbirds and Chihuahuas will continue the series at Southwest University Park in El Paso. Memphis will send Ryan Helsley to the mound opposite of Walker Lockett. If Helsley and the Redbirds are victorious, they will clinch their first Pacific Coast League championship since 2009.
Game Three on Friday will start at 8:05 PM Central time.
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