The Redbirds made Pop Warner's Triple-A managerial debut a winner by downing their hosts 4-3.
Brandon Dickson received the Opening Night start and earned the win by scattering five hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings while allowing only one run. The right-hander did not strike out a batter. Eduardo Sanchez picked up his first save of the year although he yielded two runs on a hit and three walks in a shaky ninth inning.
The Memphis offense was powered by two solo shots - from second baseman Pete Kozma in the third and first baseman Matt Adams in the fourth. Kozma, our Player of the Day, scored again when he led of the seventh with a single and came home on newly-acquired right fielder Cedric Hunter's triple to left. Hunter eventually scored what turned out to be the winning run on shortstop Ryan Jackson's soft liner to center. Matt Adams hit his first Triple-A home run.
Friday's game: At Oklahoma City, 7:05 PM CT – Brian Broderick (0-0) starting.
Dave Duncan threw out the ceremonial first pitch for Springfield's home opener and it was a harbinger of things to come as pitching dominated hitting in the RoughRiders' 1-0 victory over the Cardinals. Mike Shildt and his club took the tough defeat in the new skipper's inaugural Double-A game.
Scott Gorgen's first start since May 2010 after coming back from elbow ligament replacement (Tommy John) surgery left him with a tough loss as he gave up the game's only run in his third inning of work. Overall, Gorgen allowed two hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings while striking out an impressive six batters. The bullpen, a problem area in 2011, contributed 6 1/3 scoreless frames, as Kevin Thomas, Eric Fornataro and Sam Freeman delivered.
Second baseman Kolten Wong had the best night at the plate of any of the Springfield hitters, going 1-for-3 plus a walk out of the two hole. Centerfielder Oscar Taveras went 0-for-4 in his Double-A debut.
Friday's game: At home vs. Frisco, 7:08 PM CT – John Gast (0-0) starting.
Palm Beach was off Thursday
The Cardinals' first Florida State League game is Friday, April 6th when they host Jupiter. Game time is 6:35 PM ET. Seth Maness (0-0) gets the ball.
Quad Cities lost a wild one on Thursday to Kane County 11-10. The teams combined for 21 runs on 20 hits and nine walks with nine errors.
Tyrell Jenkins, who started and lost, gave up five runs (one earned) on two hits and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Newly-converted pitcher Robert Stock followed him and allowed both of the runners he inherited to score while giving up another five runs (four earned) of his own, including a grand slam. Dail Villanueva and Danny Miranda finished the game with four scoreless innings of relief as the offense tried to fight its way back from the early 9-0 deficit.
Shortstop Matt Williams, first baseman Roberto De La Cruz, second baseman Luis Mateo and catcher Juan Castillo all had multi-hit games for the River Bandits. The first three each doubled and DH Colin Walsh hit a two-run home run.
Friday's game: At home vs. Kane County, 7:00 PM CT – Hector Hernandez (0-0) starting.
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