John Gast suffered his first loss in his shortest stint of 2013 in Memphis' 5-3 loss to visiting Sacramento. The Redbirds (18-14) have a two-to-one series lead over the first-place (Pacific Southern) River Cats (18-16) and remain in first, a game up on Omaha (KC) in the American Northern Division.
Gast (L, 3-1) yielded three runs in the third plus two in the fourth, his final inning on the mound. The tallies, four of which were earned, came on six hits, two base-on-balls and a hit batsman. Gast threw 85 pitches, 48 for strikes, with one strikeout, two ground outs and nine fly outs.
Sam Freeman and Jorge Rondon tossed two innings apiece. Freeman gave up two hits and hit a batter while Rondon walked two with a strikeout. Mitchell Boggs struck out one of three faced in the ninth with two ground outs.
The Redbirds put up a straight number in the sixth, seventh and ninth on nine hits and three free passes. Justin Christian doubled twice in five at bats and touched home once on a sac fly by Oscar Taveras. Jaime Romak smashed his sixth bomb of 2013 in the sixth to go with a single in five at bats. Adron Chambers tripled and scored. Memphis left the tying run on base in the ninth.
Friday's game: vs. Sacramento, 7:05 pm CT, Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.82)
Springfield's contest with Northwest Arkansas was postponed due to rain in the bottom of the second with the Naturals up 2-1. The game has been re-scheduled as a Friday double-header.
Palm Beach (14-20) was not treated very warmly by host St. Lucie on Thursday as they were annihilated by the Mets 17-1. The PB-Cards' losing streak is now at five with 12 of their last 14 decisions being losses.
All four Beach Bird hurlers gave up at least one tally but the two names to head the list are starter Kyle Hald and reliever Jose Almarante. Hald coughed up nine runs, eight earned, on eight hits and two base-on-balls over 2 2/3. Almarante did not retire a batter, serving up six tallies, earned, on three hits and three base-on-balls in the sixth.
Neither Brandon Creath nor Iden Nazario get a pass on their performance as both allowed all of their inherited runners to cross. Creath came in to a sacks jammed with two outs in the third and served up a bases-clearing double. Two wild pitches by the righty brought his runner in. Creath settled down to shut down St. Lucie in the fourth and fifth on a ground-rule double, single and walk.
Nazario entered the sixth with runners at the corners and none out. A ground out, wild pitch and single plated both of Almarante's runners. He gave up a run on two hits and two walks over three.
Palm Beach was held to just five hits with three of them coming in the seventh and resulted in their only tally. Cody Stanley singled with one out, took second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a single by Jonathan Rodriguez and raced home off Danny Stienstra's two-out single.
Friday's game: at St. Lucie (22-11), 6:30 pm ET, Scott Gorgen (2-1, 5.68)
Peoria at Beloit – game two - postponed
Peoria took a tough loss in game one of Thursday's scheduled double-header as they were edged by host Beloit 6-5 in eight. The second game was postponed due to rain and is now part of a double-header on Friday.
The Chiefs had leads of 4-1 and 5-3 before the Snappers tied it up with two, one earned, in the bottom of the seventh off Mike Aldrete. What ended up being the difference in the game resulted from an error and misplayed double plus two wild pitches by Joe Scanio (L, 1-1). The game was halted at that point and game two was postponed.
Hector Hernandez hurled the first 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, including a solo shot, and two free passes. The lefty struck out five and threw a wild pitch. Aldrete got the final out in the fifth to strand two inherited runners and went 2 1/3, with three hits, the aforementioned two tallies yielded and threw his own wild pitch.
Charlie Tilson, our Player of the Day, tripled in three at bats with a walk, a run scored and one knocked in. Patrick Wisdom's only hit in four at bats was a solo smash that put his squad on the board in the second. Jordan Walton singled twice in four at bats with two driven in. Breyvic Valera crossed three times in a 1-for-4 performance.
Friday's games: at Beloit. Game one – 4:00 pm CT, Joey Cuda (1-1, 9.00); game two following game one, Kurt Heyer (2-0, 1.66).
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