The last time Quincy Gems and the Springfield Sliders met at QU Stadium, the Gems struggled in all aspects of the game.

The last time Quincy Gems and the Springfield Sliders met at QU Stadium, the Gems struggled in all aspects of the game.

The Sliders picked up their third straight win in the season series with a 6-3 win on June 17.

Thursday night was a different story.

Cody Birdsong erased an early 1-0 deficit with a 2-run home run — his fourth of the summer — giving the Gems a 2-1 lead. The hosts did not look back in a 9-1 rout over their Prospect League West Division and instate rivals.

“Just a good win overall for everybody tonight,” Gems manager Rick Fraire stated. “The starting pitching was great, the bullpen came in and did what they always do and we got some big hits from our offense.”

Adam Nelson earned the win as he tossed the first five innings. The right hander gave up the lone tally of the game in the top of the first inning before tossing four straight shutout frames.

Nelson scattered four hits and fanned four batters.

“He came out and gave us just what we needed with a great effort tonight,” Fraire said of his starting pitcher.

Corey Young gave the Gems bullpen some breathing room in the seventh inning. The Gems No. 2 hitter smashed a 2-out grand slam well over the wall in left field for a 6-1 lead.

“It felt great,” Young said. “I got ahead in the count early and was looking for a fastball and was lucky to get the pitch.

“It was big for our pitching staff, for our defense and for our momentum.”

Birdsong added a two-run single in the eighth, for his third hit of the game.

“I have been telling everyone his batting average may not show it, but he’s our leader,” the Gems skipper said of Birdsong. “He’s been getting some big hits for us and he had a few more of those tonight.”

Tyler Engel, Austen Seidel and Josh Scheer tossed the final four innings. The Gems relievers combined for nine strikeouts, while allowing just two hits.

“The pitchers did a great job tonight,” Young said of his teammates. “It was fun to see them come in and shut the door like they did.”

The win moves the Gems into a first-place tie with Danville atop the West Division standings.

“We are just taking it one game at a time right now and not paying much attention to the standings,” Fraire noted. “But we are playing good right now and we will take any win we can get.”

Young mentioned it felt good to get back on the winning side against their instate rivals.

“Somehow we kept losing to these guys so tonight was great,” he said.

Quincy (12-8) travels to Springfield (12-9) Friday night before entertaining the Sliders again on Saturday.