A game that started out as a pitcher's duel ended with the Memphis Redbirds' offense coming up with hits in key spots to beat the Sky Sox, 5-3, on Wednesday night at Autozone Park in Memphis.
Sky Sox starter LHP Tyler Matzek and RHP Angel Castro battled back and forth for the first three frames, before the Redbirds struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning. CF Oscar Taveras smacked an RBI single to right to take a 1-0 lead.
The Sox (11-14) and Redbirds (12-14) traded runs in the fifth. 1B Ben Paulsen tied it up when he led off the fifth inning with his fifth homer of the season, then 2B Kolten Wong hit an RBI single in the bottom half of the inning.
Paulsen, who had all three of the Sky Sox' extra-base hits, drove in another run in the seventh with an RBI double to knock Castro out of the game. However, Memphis came up with a big three-run bottom half of the inning to knock Matzek out of the game.
Matzek gave up back-to-back singles to lead off the inning, which would be his last two batters faced as RHP Manny Corpas came in relief, but couldn't keep the runners on the base paths giving up three runs, two of which were Matzek's.
RHP Wilton Lopez tossed a perfect eighth to keep Redbirds' lead to 5-2.
With two outs and one man on in the ninth, Paulsen created a little noise with his fourth triple of the season to give him three RBIs on the night, but RHP David Aardsma struck out C Michael McKenry to end the game, putting a halt to Memphis' four-game skid.
Matzek finished with a line of six innings, six hits, four runs, seven strikeouts against just one walk.
Castro tossed six and a third innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks, while punching out two batters.
The series finale will be at 10:05 a.m. (MT) on Thursday, before both teams play a four-game set in Colorado Springs starting on Friday. LHP Pedro Hernandez (1-0, 8.66 ERA) will toe the rubber for the Sox, while LHP Tim Cooney (3-1, 2.35 ERA) makes the start for Memphis.
With his three extra-base hits, Paulsen is tied for second in the PCL and Triple-A classification in the category with 16.