Two hits were all that the home team could muster as the Redbirds were shut out 2-0 by Albuquerque, who took the series three games to one.
Richard Castillo absorbed the tough-luck loss, his first at Triple-A, when he yielded a solo bomb in the fourth and another tally in his seventh and final frame on the mound. Castillo gave up six hits and three base-on-balls in all with four strikeouts, 10 ground outs and five fly outs on 97 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Marc Rzepczynski recorded the final out in the seventh, stranding a runner of Castillo's, although he gave up a single to the first batter faced that inning to advance the runner to second. Rzepczynski retired the side in order in the eighth before giving way to Michael Blazek, who faced the minimum in his first appearance in Memphis this season.
Saturday's game: First-place Memphis (27-26) at second-place Omaha (24-28) (KC), 7:05 pm CT, Scott McGregor (1-1, 4.91)
Springfield (26-26) came out on top of a slugfest at Midland, downing the RockHounds 15-5 to take the opener of their three-game set.
Both squads had their hitting shoes on as the S-Cards only out hit their hosts 16-12, but the Cardinals hurlers limited the extra base hits. While half of Springfield's hits went for extra bases, including three home runs, Midland managed only two doubles and one long ball.
Adam Melker lacked a triple of hitting for the cycle to lead the hit parade. Melker worked a base-on-balls, touched home twice and his solo bomb in the ninth was the second long ball that frame. Ruben Gotay's third home run of 2013 preceded him, a two-run blast that plated Tommy Pham. That was Gotay's only hit, although he drove in another on a sac fly with a walk and two runs scored.
Pham had a good day at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a double, two free passes and two runs scored. Starlin Rodriguez' only hit was a grand slam in the third that turned a close 3-1 contest into a rout. Audry Perez joined Melker in the three-hit club with two doubles and a single in five at bats while crossing home twice. Xavier Scruggs went 1-for-3 with two base-on-balls and touched home three times.
Ryan Sherriff evened his record to 1-1 by allowing a run on six hits and two walks over five in his second Double-A start. He fanned three and hit a batter. Justin Wright tossed a scoreless sixth but permitted the first two to reach in the seventh. Wright gave up two hits and a free pass in one plus frames before giving way to Heath Wyatt.
In the seventh, both of Wright's runners crossed plus two of Wyatt's. Wyatt yielded four hits including a single to start the eighth. Lee Stoppelman's third Double-A appearance went the same way as his previous two, scoreless. The only batter to reach against the southpaw over the last two innings was via a base-on-balls. Stoppelman fanned two.
Saturday's game: at Midland (27-27), 7:00 pm CT, Anthony Ferrara (4-3, 6.93)
Palm Beach (21-31) held juggernaut Fort Myers (38-15) to five hits for their fourth win over their division rivals in seven games to date.
Juan Bautista, our co-Player of the Day, gave up a single, walk and sac fly in the first but held the Miracle to just two more hits and another base-on-balls over the next five frames. Bautista struck out three in six innings with four ground outs and six fly outs plus a hit batsman.
Danny Miranda picked up his second win in as many decisions when the Beach Birds took the lead in the seventh. Miranda struck out three over two innings with two hits permitted. Ronnie Shaban earned his sixth save while issuing a free pass with a strikeout in the ninth.
Left fielder David Popkins had a perfect day at the plate with three singles and a double in four at bats. Popkins, our co-Player of the Day, accounted for three of his team's four tallies, scoring the go-ahead run in the seventh and driving in Alex Mejia and Colin Walsh in the eighth.
Although Mejia remains hitless in eight at bats over three games at this level, his base-on-balls allowed him to take advantage of Popkins' hit. Stephen Piscotty singled home Ronny Gil (single) to tie the game in the sixth.
Saturday's game: vs. Fort Myers, 6:35 pm ET, Tyler Melling (1-1, 2.49)
Peoria (28-24) pounced on Wisconsin's bullpen for 10 tallies over the final four frames for an 11-5 road victory in game one of four at Wisconsin.
Held to a run on five hits through five by the Timber Rattlers' starter, the Chiefs broke through with two in the sixth, one in the seventh, three in the eighth plus four in the ninth, all against their host's bullpen. Charlie Tilson and Adam Ehrlich each went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Tilson knocked in one while Ehrlich doubled and drove in two.
Jacob Wilson singled twice in five at bats with three RBI. Although Carson Kelly went hitless in four at bats, he worked a free pass and touched home three times. Michael Swinson struck out swinging in his only at bat in the second before being replaced by Nick Martini in the top of the third.
After shutting out Wisconsin over seven on May 25th, Kyle Helisek struggled in the return engagement. Helisek kept the opposition off the board over the first three frames but yielded four tallies in the fourth on seven hits in all plus two walks, one intentional, in 3 2/3. Helisek struck out three and hit a batter.
Joe Scanio limited the damage by stranding two inherited runners in the fourth but gave up a solo home run in the fifth. Scanio allowed three hits over 2 1/3. Thomas Lee (W, 2-0) struck out four in two innings with a base-on-balls, wild pitch and hit batter. Joey Donofrio tossed a one-two-three ninth.
Saturday's game: at Wisconsin (23-27), 6:35 pm CT, Joey Cuda (2-3, 5.80)
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