Memphis begins an eight-game road strip with four at Tacoma before traveling to Salt Lake City. The first-place Redbirds (20-17) are one game in front of Omaha (KC).
Thursday's game: at Tacoma (21-18) (SD), 9:00 pm CT, Michael Wacha (4-0, 1.99)
Adam Melker's two-home-run performance paced Springfield to a 5-3 victory over Tulsa on the road. The S-Cards (21-16) remain in first, a half game ahead of Arkansas (LAA).
Melker, our co-Player of the Day, accounted for four of his squad's tallies, going 3-for-5 with two long balls, three runs scored and three knocked in. The right fielder's solo shot in the second knotted the game up at one all. Melker blasted another one in the fourth that plated Jake Lemmerman (walk) and broke the tie. After singling in the sixth, the 25-year-old came home on a single by Richard Castillo. James Ramsey's single with one out in the ninth drove in Starlin Rodriguez (single) for Springfield's final tally. Ramsey went 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls, a sac bunt and his first stolen base in Double-A.
Castillo (W, 3-3) held the Drillers to a run on four hits and two free passes over seven. The righty, our co-Player of the Day, induced 14 ground outs with one fly out and a strikeout. Castillo kept a personal streak intact by completing at least six frames for the sixth straight start and the seventh time in eighth outings.
Nick Greenwood's third Springfield relief appearance went the same way as his previous two as the southpaw yielded multiple runs. Greenwood yielded a double and two singles for three tallies in just 2/3 of an inning. Keith Butler notched the last four outs, stranding an inherited runner and recording his sixth save. Butler fanned two with a hit and walk given up.
Thursday's game: at Tulsa (16-22), 7:05 pm CT, Scott McGregor (4-1. 2.63)
Palm Beach was held to a single run for the second straight day as they fell 5-1 to visiting Lakeland. The fourth-place Beach Birds (16-22) sit 12 games behind Fort Myers (MIN) and will try for a four-game series split with the Flying Tigers Thursday morning.
Jonathan Rodriguez singled and doubled in four at bats for almost half of the PB-Cards' five hits. The Cardinals did not break through until Colin Walsh opened the ninth with a triple to right and crossed on a ground out by Stephen Piscotty. Piscotty had his own triple in three at bats with a base-on-balls but was also caught stealing. A single by Danny Stienstra extended his hitting streak to 11 games.
Kyle Hald gave up three tallies on eight hits and two walks over five. It was the lefty's third loss in four decisions. Heath Wyatt permitted a run on two hits in the sixth before posting a perfect seventh with two strikeouts. Dean Kiekhefer yielded a tally for the second time in three appearances since being re-assigned from Double-A. Kiekhefer gave up one on two hits and a walk in the eighth. Brandon Creath tossed a scoreless ninth, issuing one free pass.
Thursday's game: vs. Lakeland (15-22), 10:35 am ET, Scott Gorgen (2-1, 5.30)
The Chiefs were shut out for the second time in three games on Wednesday as they were topped by the Cougars 4-0 on the road. Peoria (18-18) is locked with Kane County (CHC) and Wisconsin (MIL) in a three-way tie for fifth, seven games behind Cedar Rapids (MIN).
The visitors' offense consisted of singles by Casey Ramus and Nick Martini plus a double by Charlie Tilson. Breyvic Valera and Jordan Walton both worked a free pass but the Chiefs went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.
Joey Cuda (L, 2-2) was saddled with the loss as he permitted three tallies, two earned, on seven hits in 6 1/3. Cuda whiffed nine with six ground outs and a fly out. One of the runs came across with Joe Scanio on the mound. Scanio gave up four hits and two base-on-balls and was charged with a run over 1 2/3.
Thursday's games: at Kane County. Game one – 11:30 am CT (Kurt Heyer, 2-1, 2.63); Game two, following game one (Silfredo Garcia, 0-0, 3.00)
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