The Redbirds (9-6) established 4-0 and 8-2 leads, but the visiting Cubs made it interesting, scoring three against Sam Freeman in the eighth. After giving up two hits in the ninth to put the potential tying run at the plate, Victor Marte closed out the victory by fanning rehabbing major leaguer Ian Stewart swinging. It was Marte's third save of the season.
Memphis starter and TCN Player of the Day Nick Additon logged a quality start, allowing just two runs over six innings on four hits and a walk. The veteran lefty fanned four.
Third baseman Jermaine Curtis had the big blow for the Redbirds with a three-run home run in the fifth. 1B Brock Peterson went 3-for-4 with a solo home run, his fourth long ball of the season, and two runs scored. RF Jamie Romak tripled, walked twice, scored once and plated two.
CF Oscar Taveras went 2-for-4, stole a base, drove in one and scored twice, raising his average to .310. 2B Kolten Wong tripled and scored. Leadoff man and LF Justin Christian went 0-for-5, dropping his batting average to .200.
Sunday's game: vs. Iowa (CHC), 1:35 pm CT, John Gast, (2-0, 0.00)
Springfield never led, falling to 7-8 on the season. The Travelers took an early lead with a run in the first, extending the lead with four in the third and another in the fifth against starter Seth Blair. Two of the six runs against Blair in 5 2/3 innings were unearned as shortstop Jake Lemmerman committed a pair of fielding errors.
Springfield got on the board with runs in the fourth and sixth, but Arkansas closed it with three scoreless bullpen innings. Cardinals Ramon Delgado, Dean Kiekhefer and Justin Wright did their part to match, finishing with 2 1/3 combined innings of scoreless relief, but the damage was done.
Now batting .333, centerfielder Tommy Pham supplied most of the Cardinals offense with two of the club's three hits on the evening. The centerfielder singled, doubled and walked in four plate appearances. Pham stole a base, scored in the fourth, and stroked an RBI double to plate Starlin Rodriguez in the sixth.
Sunday's game: at Arkansas (LAA), 2:10 pm CT, Richard Castillo (1-2, 4.20)
Palm Beach (9-7) finished the road trip on a down note as the Marauders walked off with the win. Reliever Heath Wyatt culminated a four-run collapse over the final two innings by giving up the winning run on a bases-loaded single with one out.
Early on, the game was scoreless as few Maruaders hitters got their bats on Palm Beach starter Travis Miller's offerings. The right hander walked five and fanned five more, but allowed just one hit and one run through three innings.
The Cardinals eventually established a three-run lead. Colin Walsh scored on a Stephen Piscotty ground out after tripling in the fourth. In the seventh, Tyler Rahmatulla singled, moved up twice on wild pitches and came home on a Juan Castillo single. The catcher later scored on an error by the Marauders' second baseman.
Rahmatulla went 3-for-4, stole a base and scored. Batting .357 on the season, FSL Player of the Week, centerfielder James Ramsey, was pulled from the game in the seventh inning. Watch this space.
Sunday's game: vs. Ft. Myers (MIN), 1:05 pm ET, TBA
It is a good thing that Peoria (7-7) won the first two of the three-game series, thus winning its first series of 2013, because they were shucked by the Kernels in the Saturday afternoon finale.
Starter Dail Villanueva had a disaster of a day, as he could not get out of the first inning. With the help of two wild pitches and a hit batter, Cedar Rapids plated six, bloating the right-hander's ERA to 11.43. The visitors piled on Mike Aldrete and Joe Scanio for a five-spot in the fourth, increasing the score to 11-1. Chiefs pitching was shelled for 17 hits and they issued six free passes as well.
With two singles each for Peoria were Gerwuins Velazco, Jacob Wilson (plus a walk and an eight-game hitting streak) and Jordan Walton (10-game hitting streak and one RBI). At the top of the lineup, Breyvic Valera and Alex Mejia (12-game on-base streak plus a fielding error) doubled and scored.
Newcomer Carson Kelly was the designated hitter and batted seventh. The 18-year-old drew one walk in four plate appearances. Other top Cardinals prospects struggled as well. Charlie Tilson went 1-for-4, actually raising his average to .143, though he and Michael Swinson each threw runners out at second base. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom had an 0-for-4 day with two strikeouts as his average slid to .173.
Sunday's game: at Kane County (CHC), 1:00 pm CT, Tyrell Jenkins (0-1, 5.40)
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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