Tyler Lyons tossed his third quality start in his last four outings as Memphis downed Tacoma 3-1 at home. The third-place Redbirds (45-75) are 25 games behind Omaha (KC) and a game up on Iowa (CHC).
Our Player of the Day Lyons was credited with just his second win in nine decisions by limiting the Rainiers to one tally, earned, on five hits and a walk in six. The southpaw fanned seven with three ground outs and five fly outs. Jess Todd, Sam Freeman and Jorge Rondon each tossed a scoreless frame with Rondon striking out two in the ninth for his first Triple-A save.
All of Memphis' runs came in the sixth although two of the three were unearned due to a missed catch error by the Tacoma third baseman who was ejected after the call. Steven Hill and Mark Hamilton both worked free passes then Eugenio Velez reached on the aforementioned error. Cedric Hunter's single knocked in Hill while a base-on-balls to Pete Kozma by a new pitcher forced across another. Velez came in on a ground out. Adron Chambers and Bryan Anderson had two hits apiece with one of Anderson's being a double.
Saturday's game: vs. Tacoma, Shelby Miller (7-9, 5.25)
It was the Parade of Pitchers in San Antonio on Friday as the Missions edged the Cardinals 3-2 in 14. Springfield (31-15) maintains its firm grip on first, with the best second-half record in the Texas League, 7 ½ up on Arkansas (LAA).
Each team used seven hurlers to contain offenses that went a combined 6-for-24 with runners in scoring position. Michael Blazek absorbed his sixth loss when he coughed up three singles and an intentional base-on-balls in his only inning on the bump.
Carlos Martinez yielded a first-inning run but kept San Antonio off the board over the next four frames on four singles and two free passes. Justin Wright worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth before the S-Cards tied the game in the seventh on a solo blast by Xavier Scruggs. It was the first baseman's 19th of 2012 which puts him one behind Oscar Taveras for the team lead in that category.
The tie only lasted until the bottom of the frame when Deryk Hooker gave up the go-ahead run on three singles and a base-on-balls. Kevin Thomas faced the minimum in the eighth. Jermaine Curtis singled and touched home on a ground out to knot the game at two all in the ninth. Scott Gorgen was perfect through the next three innings with six strikeouts. Chase Reid shut out the opposition in the 12th and 13th.
Saturday's game: at first-place (South Division) Corpus Christi (HOU) (29-18), 6:05 pm CT, Seth Maness (9-2, 2.84)
The Beach Birds' offense managed four measly singles in their 4-0 shut out loss at the hands of first-place Bradenton at home. The South Division race remains tight with five teams within two games of each other, including Palm Beach (23-26), at two games back.
Chris Corrigan was saddled with his seventh loss although he held the Marauders to two runs, earned, on four hits and three walks in six. Corrigan fanned five and threw three wild pitches. Drew Benes allowed a tally on a lead-off walk, sac bunt and single in the seventh while Jose Almarante gave up three singles over two frames that produced a run in the ninth.
The Cardinals did not create many opportunities with only four hits and seven base runners. Mike O'Neill had the best performance, going 1-for-2 with a walk.
Saturday's game: vs. Bradenton, 6:35 pm ET, Seth Blair (0-0, 10.80)
Quad Cities could not sustain its tenuous 1-0 lead through seven as Beloit slipped past the River Bandits 2-1 at home. Quad Cities (22-25) was swept by the Snappers in this three-game series and slipped to sixth, seven games behind Clinton (SEA).
Boone Whiting's first 2012 start for Quad Cities can be deemed a success. The right-hander shut out the Snappers on two singles over four with three strikeouts. Whiting did not issue a free pass. Robert Stock kept Beloit off the board over the next three frames before putting on the first two batters he faced in the eighth. Heath Wyatt allowed one of the two inherited runners to cross, tying the game. Wyatt took his fourth loss when he yielded a tally on two singles sandwiched around a sac bunt in the ninth.
The River Bandits' only run came in the fifth when Casey Rasmus smashed his first long ball of the season. Nick Longmire and Luis Mateo each singled twice for half of the squad's eight pings. Longmire swiped his fourth base.
Saturday's game: vs. second-place Burlington (OAK) (25-22), 7:00 pm CT, Tyrell Jenkins (3-4, 5.53)
A five-run seventh was Batavia's undoing as they were scrapped by Mahoning Valley 7-3 at home. The Muckdogs (26-25) remain in third, four games in back of Auburn (WSH).
Jose Pasen's 2012 debut was less than stellar. The right-hander, who was serving a suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance, took the loss when he did not retire any of the four batters he faced in the seventh. Pasen coughed up four runs, three earned, on two free passes, a hit and a sac bunt that got on due to his own throwing error. Brandon Creath finished the damage by allowing both inherited runners to cross plus one of his own.
The only mark against starter Ben O'Shea was a solo shot in the fourth that temporarily tied the contest at one apiece. O'Shea went six strong frames with four hits and no walks. Chris Thomas gave up a run in the ninth, his second inning of work.
First baseman Danny Stienstra had an unusual perfect line of 1-for-1 with three base-on-balls with a run scored and one driven in. Steven Ramos also touched home once and knocked in one. All six of Batavia's hits were singles with no player having more than one.
Saturday's game: vs. sixth-place Williamsport (PHI) (18-33), 7:05 pm ET, Tim Cooney (2-1, 2.88)
The JC-Cards broke out the bats as they pounded Pulaski 10-3 at home. Second-place Johnson City (25-21) is seven games back of Elizabethton (MIN).
Jeremy Schaffer's three-run long ball put Johnson City up 5-1 in the fifth. After the Mariners cut the lead to 5-3 with two in the top of the seventh, the Appy Birds responded with five in the bottom of the frame to put the game out of reach. Shaffer added a double to his home run, crossed home twice and had four RBI. Adam Ehrlich doubled twice, walked and scored two runs. C.J. McElroy had three singles to go with his 19th theft of 2012, scored one and drove in another. Ildemaro Vargas tripled, walked, touched home twice and knocked in one.
Starter Willy Paulino earned the win in his first start since being re-assigned from Quad Cities. Paulino struck out nine in six innings, with one run, earned, on five hits and two free passes. Mike Aldrete yielded his first earned runs in 10 appearances dating back to June 29th when he served up a two-run blast in the seventh. Roberto Canache and Jacob Booden each tossed a scoreless frame.
Saturday's game: vs. Pulaski, 6:00 pm ET, Zach Petrick (3-0, 2.43)
The Gulf Birds' errors and hits matched at four in their 9-2 home loss to the GCL Marlins. They remain entrenched in first, seven up on the Marlins and the Nationals.
The Cardinals' pitching staff yielded only three earned runs but was undone by four errors that led to six unearned tallies. Johnny Polanco suffered his third loss although he pitched fairly well. The only base runner Polanco allowed through four was on a first-inning single and he would have kept that streak going except for catcher Rowan Wick's dropped foul pop error just before a solo shot in the fifth. The right-hander's day finished with the sacks jammed and one out in the sixth due to a single and free pass sandwiched around another error and a passed ball. Polanco fanned seven in 5 1/3 with three hits and a walk that resulted in four tallies, two earned.
Javier Machuca served up a bases-clearing double in the sixth then proceeded to yield his own run, earned, on three hits in 1 2/3. Ramon Ulacio went 2/3 of an inning with four runs, all unearned, on two pings and two base-on-balls. Burny Mitchem retired all five batters he faced.
The Cardinals did not get on the board until the ninth when free passes to Daniel Barbuena and Brett Wiley preceded a wild pitch that put both runners in scoring position for rehabbing Colin Walsh. Walsh's infield single knocked in Barbuena and two more walks to Rafael Medina and Amaury Capellan forced Wiley across.
Saturday's game: at GCL Marlins, 10:00 am ET, Luis Perdomo (0-1, 9.00)
The Dominican Birds literally walked off with a winner as they edged the visiting Astros 7-6 in 11. The Cardinals (31-28) remain in fifth, 11 1/3 behind the Mariners.
Two Astros issued three one-out walks in the 11th to set the table for Alejandro Mejia. Mejia's sac fly to center was enough for Leobaldo Pina to race home for the winning tally. Pina singled, tripled, walked, scored twice and brought in one. Mejia had two hits, including a two-run bomb with four RBIs.
Fernando Baez earned his fourth win in five decisions by keeping the Astros off the board over the final three frames on a hit and three free passes. He fanned three. Starter Isaac Silva shut out his opponents through the first four before giving up three runs, two earned, in the fifth. Silva struck out seven in 4 1/3 with six hits and two walks.
Edgar Lara allowed both inherited runners to cross in the fifth, then yielded three tallies, earned, on two pings and two base-on-balls in the sixth. One of those crossed with Luis De La Rosa on the bump. De La Rosa struck out three in 2 1/3 with two hits and a walk.
Saturday's game: at DSL Astros, 10:30 am ET, Esteban Vallejo (0-0, 2.45)
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