Powered by a five-run sixth inning, the Memphis Redbirds (14-14) won their third straight game against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (11-16), 9-3, on Friday night in front of a sellout crowd for Air Force Appreciation night.
In front of the largest May crowd in Sky Sox history — 8,785 fans — the Redbirds jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top frame thanks to an RBI single by LF Oscar Taveras scoring CF Shane Robinson, who doubled in the previous at-bat off LHP Christian Friedrich (1-3).
Memphis tacked on another in the third thanks an RBI single, this time by Robinson, before Friedrich hunkered down and retired the next eight batters.
The Sky Sox then tied it up when they scored a run in the fourth on a Jackson Williams RBI double that scored 2B Angelys Nina, who tripled to right-center in the previous at-bat.
However, the Redbirds bats got to Friedrich in his sixth inning of work when SS Pete Kozma and 1B Xavier Scruggs hit back-to-back, two RBI-doubles followed up by an RBI single by 3B Jermaine Curtis.
Friedrich retired the final two batters of the inning, before RHP Leuris Gomez came on in relief in the 7th inning.
The Sox scratched out one more run when RF Kyle Parker hit an RBI-double in the sixth, but Memphis would add two more runs in the seventh off Gomez to seal the game for the Birds.
RHP Zach Petrick (1-1) picked up the win for Memphis with six strong innings, allowing three runs on six hits, while fanning four batters against just one walk.
Parker finished with two RBI, his fifth multi-RBI game of the season. Robinson finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs, a double and an RBI.
Both teams will square off at 6:05 p.m. Saturday in game two of the four-game set and the sixth game in a row between the two teams. RHP Christian Bergman (3-1, 6.35 ERA) will toe the rubber against Memphis RHP Scott McGregor (0-4, 6.65 ERA).