In order to be the best, you have to beat the best.
And in the case of the Memphis Redbirds, leaders of the American Northern Division by a half-game over Nashville, starting a four-game series with the PCL’s best team, the Sacramento RiverCats on Friday night at Autozone Park with a win was the first step in pushing for the playoffs.
On the strength of a solo homer by David Freese and a two-RBI night from John Jay, Memphis defeated the RiverCats 7-4 before 12,811 at the corner of South Third and Union, therefore maintaining the slim lead over Nashville by a half-game after the Sounds defeated the Fresno Grizzlies 6-5 at Greer Stadium.
Adam Ottavino picked up the win for the Redbirds, striking out 8 and allowing 4 earned runs while Pete Parise earned his 5th save of the season.
Tonight’s starters for game two in the series will be Shawn Chacon (yep, the same guy who bodyslammed Astros GM Ed Wade in June of last year) for the RiverCats against P.J. Walters, who has a record of 7-7.
This is the face of a guy who could be what the Memphis Police Department needs.