The top two teams in the American North division faced off on Friday night at cold Werner Park as Memphis came away with a 3-1 road win over Omaha. Both squads now sport identical 15-12 marks.
John Gast displayed an uncharacteristic lack of control when he issued two free passes in the third that culminated in a Storm Chaser tally on an RBI single. It was the first score of the season against the left-hander in 32 innings. Gast yielded two of the three hits allowed by the Redbirds' pitching staff on the game to go with four base-on-balls and five strikeouts over five.
Memphis loaded the bases in the top of the fifth on s lead-off single by Ryan Jackson plus back-to-back walks to Chad Huffman and J.R. Towles with one out. After Greg Garcia fanned swinging, Justin Christian reached on a fielding error at third that allowed Jackson to cross.
Sam Freeman moved his record to 2-0 with two perfect frames and was the pitcher of record when his team took the lead in the top of the eighth. Kolten Wong singled up the middle and swiped his fourth bag of 2013 before Brock Peterson was intentionally issued four wide ones. Omaha's pitcher lost the strike zone at that point, issuing consecutive base-on-balls to Jackson and Jaime Romak, the latter of which forced in Wong.
The Redbirds added an insurance run in the ninth when J.R. Towles walked to open the frame then crossed on a throwing error by the Storm Chaser catcher during Greg Garcia's sac bunt. Jackson, our co-Player of the Day, was perfect at the plate, singling twice in two at bats with a run scored and two free passes. The third baseman had two of his squad's three hits on the game.
Saturday's game: at Omaha, 7:05 pm CT, Michael Wacha (3-0, 1.86)
Springfield's contest with Northwest Arkansas at Arvest Ballpark was postponed due to inclement weather. It has been re-scheduled as part of a double-header on June 15th in Northwest Arkansas. Second-place Springfield (13-13) heads home to open an eight-game home stand, accompanied by first baseman Matt Adams, who is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment on Saturday.
Saturday's game: vs. first-place Tulsa (14-13) (COL), 6:09 pm CT, Richard Castillo (1-3, 3.67)
Palm Beach's rescheduled double-header with Bradenton because of Thursday's rainout turned into an 8-1 loss plus a postponement due to significant additional rainfall during Friday evening. Friday's second game has been re-scheduled as part of a Saturday double-header of two seven-inning games – if they can get them in.
One of the few bright spots in the Beach Birds' offense was the return of centerfielder James Ramsey, our co-Player of the Day, from the disabled list. Ramsey, who missed almost two weeks with a strained hamstring, singled and doubled in two at bats with a base-on-balls. The lead-off batter scored his team's sole tally in the first on consecutive doubles by Ramsey and Tyler Rahmatulla. Stephen Piscotty doubled once in three at bats to account for the Palm Beach's fourth and final hit.
Travis Miller's record dropped to 0-4 when he permitted four tallies, earned, on six hits and two walks in 4 2/3. Heath Wyatt stranded an inherited runner in the fifth before yielding a run on two hits, a base-on-balls and a sac bunt in the sixth. Iden Nazario coughed up three more in the seventh, two earned, on three hits in the seventh.
Saturday's games: Palm Beach (13-14) vs. Bradenton (10-17). 5:05 pm ET, Kyle Hald (1-0, 3.62), Scott Gorgen (1-1, 8.10)
Friday's scheduled games never took place due to rain. Since this is the final scheduled meeting between Peoria and Lake County for the season, Thursday's suspended contest was rolled back to the final complete inning, the seventh, which leaves it at a 2-2 tie. The other game was cancelled. While individual stats through seven innings are credited, the tie result will not be used in the standings.
Through 29 scheduled games this season, the Chiefs have already faced six postponements with four double-headers planned later this month to partially catch up.
All of the runs in Thursday's game occurred in the first two frames. The Chiefs scoring was an example of textbook execution as leadoff men Charlie Tilson and Alex Mejia singled, were advanced on a sac bunt by no. 3 hitter Jacob Wilson and came home on a double by cleanup hitter Patrick Wisdom. They are Wisdom's 16th and 17th RBI of the season.
Leadoff walks in the first and second, two of four free passes issued by starter Hector Hernandez, led to single tallies for Lake County. The lefty went six innings on six hits and dropped his ERA to 3.38. Dixon Llorens walked two in the seventh, but kept them off home plate.
Saturday's game: Peoria (11-12) vs. Fort Wayne (16-10) (SD), 6:30 pm CT, Kurt Heyer (1-0, 1.62)
© 2013 The Cardinal Nation, thecardinalnation.com and stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.