Six ninth-inning singles were the difference maker as Memphis downed Tacoma 7-4 on the road. The Redbirds (22-17) increased their lead over second-place Omaha (KC) to two games with the win and the Storm Chasers loss.
All of the singles came with two outs and resulted in four tallies that snapped a three-all contest. J.R. Towles' solo shot, his fourth of the season, had kicked off the scoring in the second. A two-run bomb by Ryan Jackson expanded their lead to 3-0 midway through the third. But the Rainiers chipped away with straight numbers in the third, fourth and sixth off Memphis starter Tyler Lyons.
Lyons fanned seven in 5 1/3 with six hits and a base-on-balls yielded. One of his six hits given up was a home run. The southpaw threw 92 pitches, 61 for strikes, with six ground outs and one fly out. He hit one batter. Jorge Rondon retired three of five batters faced with two free passes issued.
Barret Browning (W, 1-2) stranded both of Rondon's runners with 1 2/3 frames of scoreless ball and permitted a hit. Eric Fornataro gave up a run on a hit batsman-ground out-single sequence in the ninth.
Jackson, one of three Players of the Day, continues to swing a torrid bat, going 3-for-5 with two singles and the aforementioned home run to raise his line to .385/.453/.525/.977 overall and .488/.532/.791/1.323 in his last 10 games encompassing 43 at bats. Adron Chambers singled twice in five at bats with two runs scored and one driven in. Justin Christian and Vance Albitz both went 2-for-4 with two singles while crossing once.
Saturday's game: at Tacoma (24-18), 7:00 pm CT, Nick Additon (2-1, 4.00)
Springfield squandered an early 5-0 lead, falling at Arkansas 7-6 in a battle of the top two teams in the Texas League North. The S-Cards (21-18) fell to a game and a half back of the Travelers (LAA) with the loss.
Five of the six tallies by the visitors crossed in the second via two long balls. Luis Mateo smashed his first one of 2013 that plated Xavier Scruggs (hit by pitch) and Adam Melker (single). Three batters later, Starlin Rodriguez sent his third bomb of 2013 over the left field fence with Mike O'Neill (reached on force out) aboard. Scruggs led off the sixth with his 11th home run for his team's final tally.
Anthony Ferrara gave up two long balls that accounted for three of the five runs charged to him over 5 1/3. The lefty allowed five hits in all with two walks and four strikeouts. The last of Ferrara's tallies touched home under Justin Wright's watch after the latter gave up a hit in 2/3 of an inning.
Deryk Hooker (L, 1-1) gave up the lead on two hits and a base-on-balls over 1 2/3. He fanned three. Keith Butler was charged with a blown save when he allowed a single to the first batter faced that resulted in both of the runs charged to Hooker.
Saturday's game: at Arkansas (23-17), 7:10 pm CT, Tim Cooney (1-0, 5.40)
The Beach Birds' continuing offensive struggles resulted in yet another loss, this one 3-1 to roommate Jupiter. Palm Beach (17-23) remains in fourth, 13 back of Fort Myers (MIN).
The PB-Cards repeated a pattern of scoring a single tally in each of their three most recent losses which have come in their last four games. Two of their five total hits occurred in the fourth and tied the game at one. Colin Walsh opened with a free pass, advanced to third on a double by Jonathan Rodriguez and scored on Danny Stienstra's single. Rodriguez was the only Beach Bird with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a single and a double.
In Ryan Sherriff's second start since being activated, he gave up a run on four hits and four walks over five while striking out four. Lee Stoppelman yielded a hit and base-on-balls with four strikeouts over two. Jose Almarante (L, 0-2) gave the Hammerheads the walk-off win when he permitted a run on two hits and an intentional walk in the ninth.
Saturday's game: vs. Jupiter (21-19), 6:35 pm ET, Jonathan Cornelius (1-1, 4.03)
The Chiefs kicked off a 10-game home stand with a 5-1 victory over fifth-place Clinton. Peoria (20-19) moved into fourth with the win, 7 ½ behind Cedar Rapids (28-12).
The only mark against Tyrell Jenkins (W, 3-2) in five innings was a solo shot in the second that gave the LumberKings an early lead. Jenkins held the opposition to four hits while not issuing a free pass with four strikeouts, eight ground outs and two fly outs. Joey Donofrio and Zach Petrick combined for four scoreless frames with Donofrio fanning four over three with a hit allowed and Petrick facing the minimum in the ninth.
Peoria pounded out 10 hits with Jacob Wilson and Charlie Tilson having three apiece. Each doubled twice with a single in four at bats while coming in once as each earned Player of the Day recognition. Wilson added an RBI to his stats. Carson Kelly's first long ball of 2013 plated Patrick Wisdom after the latter reached on a throwing error in the fourth.
Saturday's game: vs. Clinton (20-20), 6:30 pm Ct, Kyle Helisek (3-1, 4.18)
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