Player of the Day John Gast finished 2012 on a high note as Memphis slipped past Nashville 2-1 on the road. By mounting a five-game winning streak to finish the season, the Redbirds (57-87) escaped the ignoble fate of a new franchise-record 88 losses. Instead Memphis finished in third place, ahead of the Iowa Cubs, whose final four-game road series at New Orleans was cancelled.
Gast upped his record to 9-5 with seven strong frames of two-hit ball while not issuing a free pass. The only mark charged to him was a long ball in the second. The southpaw had eight ground outs, eight fly outs and four strikeouts.
Gast exited with a 2-1 lead thanks, in part, to his own efforts. He reached base in the seventh via a one-out single, advanced to third on a double by Adron Chambers and tied the contest on Ryan Jackson's 4-3 groundout. A single by Steven Hill drove in Chambers with the game-winning tally. Cedric Hunter and Eugenio Velez each had two of the Redbirds' 10 hits.
Jorge Rondon struck out three of the four batters he faced, two called and one swinging. Barret Browning earned his first save since 2008 when he retired the final two Sounds on a fly out and a swinging strikeout.
A Travelers-Cardinals pitching duel ended in the bottom of the ninth when a double and single allowed Arkansas to walk off with a 1-0 victory over Springfield.
Both hits came with two out and resulted in Justin Wright's third loss in as many decisions. Wright allowed only those two hits in 1 2/3 and the only base-on-balls issued was intentional.
Boone Whiting was even better in his second Double-A start than he was in his first. Whiting kept the opposition off the board on five hits and a walk over six with four strikeouts. Kevin Siegrist worked around a plunked batter and a wild pitch in the seventh.
Tuesday's game: off. The play-offs begin at Tulsa on Wednesday.
A four-run outburst in the sixth broke open a tight contest as Quad Cities fell to host Beloit 6-1. The River Bandits (33-36) ended the season in sixth place with the loss.
Dail Villanueva (L, 10-7) limited the Snappers to three hits and two free passes over five. Timing was his undoing as two of the hits and a walk all came in the third, resulting in two tallies. Yunior Castillo pretty much buried his team when he coughed up four runs, earned, on five hits, including two home runs, in 2/3 of an inning. Ethan Cole fanned four over the final 2 1/3.
The River Bandits' only score came in the fifth but was unearned. Gary Apelian doubled with one out and raced home when David Medina reached on a throwing error by Beloit's first baseman. Quad Cities had seven hits but went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Anthony Melchionda singled twice and doubled and Nick Martini went 2-for-4 with a double.
The Muckdogs' post-season dreams were set back as they fell 5-3 to Auburn at home, putting them a game out of first in the Pinckney Division. Brooklyn won as well, meaning Batavia is also one game behind for the New York-Penn League wild card with just two games remaining.
Batavia held a tenuous 1-0 lead going into the sixth which evaporated when starter Ben O'Shea served up two long balls that produced three runs. O'Shea (L, 3-3) had walked a tightrope the entire game, with base runners in four of his five previous frames. The lefty yielded nine hits in all but no bases-on-balls. He had one ground out, six fly outs and four strikeouts.
Dyllon Nuernberg pitched a clean sixth but ran into trouble in the seventh by plunking the lead-off batter. His day was over after a sac bunt and an intentional walk. Brandon Creath, who went 2 1/3 on Saturday, yielded two singles that brought across both of Nuernberg's runners. Creath struck out two to finish the seventh before giving way to Mike Aldrete, who shut down the Doubledays over the last two. Back-to-back two-out doubles by Matthew Young and Steven Ramos produced the Muckdogs' final score in the ninth, but they were unable to come back all the way.
Tuesday's game: vs. Jamestown, 7:05 pm ET, Tyler Melling (3-1, 2.14)
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