The Redbirds found themselves down 7-3 after four innings and could not mount a comeback against the Storm Chasers Saturday night. Scott McGregor allowed 14 baserunners in five innings with seven of them crossing home plate.
Memphis batters hammered out 15 hits, one more than their hosts, but had trouble putting them together. Adron Chambers' solo home run leading off the game gave the Redbirds their only lead. Designated hitter Jermaine Curtis was on base four times with a walk, two singles and a two-run round-tripper. Chambers and Curtis both scored twice. Jamie Romak and Brock Peterson each added two doubles and an RBI.
The Cardinals mounted an impressive road comeback to take the win. Trailing by one with two outs in the top of the ninth, Springfield struck for a pair of runs on consecutive RBI singles by second baseman Luis Mateo and catcher Audry Perez.
With Keith Butler and Kevin Siegrist having been promoted, Player of the Day Deryk Hooker took the ball in the ninth and sealed the big win by striking out the side. It was Hooker's second save of 2013.
Lefty Anthony Ferrara blanked the RockHounds through his five innings, posting a season-high eight strikeouts, but received no run support. Keith Thomas, who was pitcher of record in the top of the ninth, got the win after Jonathan Cornelius yielded two tallies in his Springfield debut.
Jake Lemmerman started both Cardinals rallies, in the fifth and the ninth, with base hits. The shortstop finished the night 2-for-4 and extending his hitting streak to five games.
Sunday's game: at Midland, 4:00 pm CT, Tim Cooney (2-2, 3.86)
The first-place Miracle crushed the Cardinals, making it a long Saturday night at Roger Dean Stadium.
Palm Beach starter Tyler Melling gave up four runs in the second inning and three more in the fifth before being taken out. Relievers Jacob Booden, Iden Nazario and Travis Miller were touched for the final six tallies, four earned.
Centerfielder Nick Longmire registered a perfect 4-for-4 night, including a double and home run. Designated hitter David Popkins also had a solo shot among his three hits. The rest of the Cardinals had just three hits among them.
Sunday's game: vs. Fort Myers, 5:05 pm ET, TBA
After a rain delay of nearly 90 minutes, the Peoria Chiefs got down to business, winning their fourth straight, all on the road, while tying their season-longest streak.
After starter Joey Cuda allowed a single tally in the third, Peoria came back with two in the fourth and three in the fifth to pull away. Cuda went six innings, allowing just the one run on seven hits. He walked one and struck out seven. Robert Stock (in his Peoria debut), Sam Tuivailala and Mike Aldrete added a scoreless inning each, totaling four strikeouts and no walks.
Sunday's game: at Wisconsin, 1:05 pm CT, Hector Hernandez (2-1, 3.66)
The Cardinals opened the season with a big win, a shutout over their Las Americas co-habitant, the Washington Nationals. The game was scoreless until the Cards put up a single tally in the bottom of the fifth as Magneuris Sierra scored on a Robelys Reyes triple. The Cardinals put it out of reach in the seventh and eighth.
Starter Frederis Parra was given the opening day honor and went 5 1/3 innings on four hits and no walks. The right-hander fanned three. Jose Lara dodged serious trouble despite allowing five hits in 1 2/3 frames. Yeison Medina collected the save with two scoreless frames while fanning two.
Leading off and playing third base, Reyes walked and singled twice along with his three-bagger, drove in two and scored twice. Left fielder Bladimil Franco was also on base four times with a walk and three singles. Cleanup hitter and right fielder Luis Bandes singled, doubled and plated three.
Sunday's game: The league is off Sundays. The two clubs will play again on Monday at the Nats' side of the complex.
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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