MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Statistically, the Memphis Redbirds are one of the worst teams in the Pacific Coast League. The Oklahoma City RedHawks are one of the best.
Those numbers have meant nothing in a four-game Triple-A baseball series over the weekend at AutoZone Park, where a last-place Memphis team embarrassed a first-place Oklahoma City squad 24-7 on Sunday night. Memphis (40-61) has won the first-three games of a four-game series. The Redbirds have outscored OKC (58-43) 38-10 behind eight home runs, including three grand slams.
Two slams came Sunday in front of 5,822 fans — and both came in Memphis' eight-run fourth inning. Ryan Jackson, who had a grand slam in the Redbirds' 6-2 victory on Saturday, was the first to clear the bases Sunday. A short time later, former Owasso High School star Pete Kozma added a grand slam to give the ‘Birds a 16-2 lead.
Both slams came off Oklahoma City reliever Adalberto Flores, who was plastered for eight runs on five hits in two-thirds of an inning. Flores walked three, and his season earned run average swelled to 7.51.
Memphis scored in every inning but the fifth and eighth. The RedHawks did score enough Sunday to win many other games this season, getting homers from Brad Snyder and Travis Buck.
But some teams have other teams' number, and Memphis appears to play its best baseball against Oklahoma City. The Redbirds set single-game franchise records Sunday for runs and hits (24). Considering its poor overall season record, Memphis has a decent 7-8 mark against the Hawks, which includes a 20-6 win June 30 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
Oklahoma City, which started an eight-game road trip by sweeping a first-place Omaha team, tries to avoid a similar fate with a 7:05 p.m. game Monday. Brian Bass (1-4, 5.12) is the scheduled starter for the RedHawks. John Gast (8-2, 4.52) is set to start for Memphis.