Memphis, TN – Randall Grichuk’s walk-off single to deep center field gave the Memphis Redbirds a 2-1 win over the Nashville Sounds Friday night at AutoZone Park.
Grichuk’s drive came with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning. Sounds (31-28) reliever Simon Castro found himself in a jam after issuing a leadoff walk to Patrick Wisdom with the score even at 1-1.
A sacrifice bunt moved Wisdom to second, and a wild pitch put him 90 feet away. Castro came back to strike out Wilfredo Tovar, but then hit Todd Cunningham and intentionally walked Nick Martini to load the bases.On a 1-2 pitch from Castro, Grichuk hit a high fly ball just past center fielder Ryan LaMarre on the warning track. Wisdom was able to trot home with the winning run to give the front-running Redbirds a five game lead over the Sounds in the American Southern Division standings.
Memphis led for much of the game after Harrison Bader gave the home team a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a solo home run.
Both starters were terrific for their respective club. Paul Blackburn allowed one run over six innings for Nashville. He walked three and struck out five in a no-decision.
Mike Mayers shut out the Sounds over six innings. He walked one and struck out six but had to settle for a no-decision after the Memphis bullpen coughed up the lead in the eighth inning.
With one out in the top of the eighth, Memphis turned to lefty reliever Ryan Sheriff to face left-handed hitters Joey Wendle and Matt Olson. Sheriff retired Wendle, but Olson drilled a game-tying solo homer to make it a 1-1 game. The blast for Olson was his 15th of the season.
It remained 1-1 as Sounds reliever Jake Sanchez tossed two scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth innings.
Matt Chapman extended his hitting streak to eight games, and Matt McBride extended his to five games.
Game two of the three-game series between Nashville and Memphis is scheduled for Saturday night at AutoZone Park. Right-hander Daniel Gossett (3-3, 3.41) starts for the Sounds against right-hander John Gant (0-1, 2.19) for the Redbirds. First pitch is slated for 6:35pm.
The 2017 season is the Sounds’ 40th in franchise history and their third as the Oakland Athletics’ top affiliate. Single-game tickets are available now by calling 615.690.4487 or by visiting www.nashvillesounds.com