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Erstad, Stingers bomb Birds

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Salt Lake Stingers fans finally had something to cheer about. After three consecutive lopsided losses at Franklin Covey Field, the Stingers switched roles — dishing out the punishment instead of receiving it.

Darin Erstad had four hits and was one of eight players to drive in runs as the Stingers hammered Memphis 12-3.

The 17-hit outburst followed an unusual string of setbacks in which Salt Lake (29-30) was outscored 40-8 at home. The final blow was a 13-2 loss to the Redbirds on Thursday.

"We returned the favor tonight," said Stingers manager Mike Brumley, whose squad overcame a 1-0 deficit with 11 runs over the third and fourth innings.

Erstad, the Anaheim Angels all-star who will complete his rehab assignment (hamstring injury) today, got things started with an RBI single.

"He's ready," Brumley said of Erstad and his 4-for-5 performance at the plate. "He obviously had a big contribution tonight."

After Erstad's initial offering, the Stingers then scored on a wild pitch before Robb Quinlan, Gary Johnson, Jeff Guiel and Tom Gregorio knocked in runs. Guiel highlighted the seven-run third by driving in a pair with a homer.

In the fourth, Adam Riggs added a run-scoring single before Barry Wesson contributed a sacrifice fly and Trent Durrington followed with a two-run triple.

Leading 11-1, Salt Lake easily weathered a two-run sixth by Memphis. A solo homer by Wesson in the bottom of the frame capped all scoring and accounted for the final margin.

Reliever Mark Lukasiewicz, making a spot start in place of John Snyder who is out with a season-ending injury, threw four complete innings before being replaced by game-winner Elio Serrano. He and closer Rich Rodriguez later teamed up for three scoreless innings to end the game.

"We bounced back tonight," Brumley said after Salt Lake improved to 12-16 at home this season. "This game goes so up and down."

The series continues tonight at 7. Salt Lake RHP Steve Green (5-2, 3.88 ERA) and Memphis RHP Jason Ryan (4-2, 2.45 ERA) are the scheduled starters. Ryan pitched for the Salt Lake Buzz in 1999 and 2000 and set a franchise-record with eight straight wins at one point.

BEE LINES: RHP Bart Miadich (1-1, 2.70 ERA) joined Anaheim in Miami Friday. He did not play in the 4-1 loss to Florida and may end up back in Salt Lake today if Troy Percival is reactivated . . . The Angels have sent infielder Chone Figgins back to the Stingers . . . Attendance was 7,858.

E-mail: dirk@desnews.com