Timely hitting by Iowa led to the Redbirds' 2-0 defeat on the road. With the loss, Memphis (64-70) failed to gain ground on first-place Omaha (KC) who also lost, a team they trail by two games.
All three hits allowed by Eric Fornataro came in the fourth, his last inning on the mound, and resulted in two tallies. Fornataro was thrown into the start due to St. Louis' call-up of Carlos Martinez, the previously-scheduled starter. The righty struck out four, issued a free pass and threw two wild pitches.
Saturday's game: at Iowa (60-74), 7:05 pm CT, Nick Greenwood (2-6, 5.96)
The S-Cards were pounded out of first place by Northwest Arkansas 12-0 on Friday as Springfield lost both the contest and the series, three-games-to-one. The Cardinals (30-30) and the Naturals are tied for second, a game behind Arkansas (LAA).
Three of the four runs permitted by Anthony Ferrara (L, 7-5) in 4 1/3 were on two long balls with the final tally charged to him after he left the game. Ferrara allowed seven hits and two free passes with four strikeouts. Heath Wyatt gave up three hits in 2 1/3, resulting in one of two inherited runners touching home. Wyatt walked one and struck out another.
The game blew wide open under the watch of Danny Miranda and Zack Russell with the low-light being the grand slam served up by the latter. Miranda gave up five runs on three hits and two base-on-balls in 2/3 of an inning and Russell yielded three hits that brought across three more runs of his own in 1 1/3.
Springfield kicks off a seven-game road excursion with three at fourth-place Tulsa before heading to Arkansas for a four-game showdown with the Travelers.
Saturday's game: at Tulsa (28-32) COL), 7:05 pm CT, Jonathan Cornelius (5-6, 5.02)
Ronny Gil's third single of the night brought in Anthony Garcia in the 12th as the Beach Birds walked off with a 2-1 victory over the Marauders in the series opener. Second-place Palm Beach (31-27) gained a game on Charlotte (TB), which leads by three.
Gil accounted for both of his team's scores as he singled to begin the sixth, eventually touching home on a single by Jacob Wilson. Gil's three hits in five at bats represented almost half of his team's eight.
The only damage against Ryan Sherriff over seven frames was a second-inning home run. The southpaw limited Bradenton to four hits and a free pass with four strikeouts.
Iden Nazario (1 1/3) and Logan Billbrough (1 2/3) retired every batter faced while fanning two. Dean Kiekhefer (W, 4-3) worked around three hits to keep the opposition off the board over the final two frames. He struck out four.
Saturday's game: vs. sixth-place Bradenton (26-29), Sam Gaviglio (3-1, 3.67)
A three-run bomb in the second sent the Chiefs to a series-deciding 3-0 loss at home. Peoria (28-32) trails division-leading Cedar Rapids (MIN) by 12 but is still only three games out of a playoff berth.
Mike Mayers permitted seven hits and a walk through six for his second loss in as many decisions. He fanned five. The only batter to reach base against Steve Sabatino in two innings was via a free pass and Brady Adamek walked two in the ninth.
Designated hitter Trevor Martin went 3-for-4 with a double while four more hits were scattered among four other Chiefs.
Saturday's game: at Cedar Rapids (40-20), 6:35 pm CT, Kyle Helisek (7-5, 3.28)
The Spikes scored in five straight frames as they rolled over Auburn 9-3 in the series opener. State College (39-23) won for the eighth consecutive time and widened their lead over second-place Jamestown (PIT) to two games.
The home team's 14-hit attack was led by a troika of Spikes who had three hits apiece: Steven Ramos, Carson Kelly and Michael Schulze. Ramos was a long ball shy of the cycle and joined Kelly and Schulze as all touched home twice. Ramos and Kelly both knocked in one and Schulze tripled once with two RBI. Matthew Young went yard for the second time this season, driving in three.
Nick Petree (W, 3-1) squashed the Doubledays on three hits with the only blemish being a solo blast in his seventh and final inning of work. Petree struck out three and did not issue a free pass.
Mitch Harris struggled in the eighth, giving up two hits and two base-on-balls plus a hit batsman and wild pitch that resulted in two tallies in just 2/3 of an inning. Jeff Rauh notched the final out in the frame to strand the bases full, this limiting the damage to Harris. Rauh retired all three faced in the ninth, fanning three in 1 1/3.
Saturday's game: vs. sixth-place Auburn (22-41), 7:05 pm ET, Jimmy Reed (3-2, 2.36)
The Appy Birds overcame a 2-0 deficit, coasting to a 9-4 triumph over host Burlington to lead the series two-games-to-none. Despite the win fourth-place Johnson City (32-28) saw their elimination number reduced to six as first-place Kingsport (35-25) (NYM) and second-place Greeneville (35-26) (HOU) both won.
The JC-Cards tallied in five consecutive innings to build a 9-2 advantage through eight. Kenny Peoples-Walls went 3-for-5 with a two-run bomb that plated Rowan Wick. Earlier Justin Ringo sent one over the left field wall, scoring Vaughn Bryan (throwing error). Ringo added a single in four at bats while touching home twice.
Alex Reyes (W, 5-3) struck out eight through five, allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits and five free passes. Norge Paredes walked one in two innings before Anderson Gerdel struck out two of three faced in the eighth. The Bees' last two runs came on three hits and a base-on-balls off Ismael Brito in the ninth.
Saturday's game: at Burlington (26-34), 7:00 pm ET, Dailyn Martinez (3-3, 2.70)
Dylan Hawkins tossed five shutout frames as the Gulf Birds (23-32) flew past the Marlins 6-2.
Co-Player of the Day Hawkins, starting for the first time in 10 appearances, retired 15 of 17 batters faced to raise his record to 3-1. The only blips for Hawkins were a base-on-balls in the second and a hit batsman in his fifth and final inning of work. The 20-year-old struck out four with four ground outs and six fly outs over five.
Stalyn Lopez was shaky in the sixth, giving up both Marlins' tallies on three hits, a free pass, one wild pitch and a plunked batter. Jonathan Escudero walked one in two frames while Hector Salazar allowed two hits in the ninth.
"Three" was the magic number for third baseman Leobaldo Pina, our co-Player of the Day, who went a perfect 3-for-3 with three RBI, a base-on-balls and run scored. Shortstop Oscar Mercado singled twice in three at bats with a walk while crossing home once. Left fielder Anthony Ray touched home plate twice, going 2-for-5 in the lead-off slot.
Saturday's game: at GCL Marlins (23-32), 10:00 am ET, TBA
Tandem mates Will Changarotty and Derian Gonzalez held the Nationals to four combined hits as the DSL Cardinals downed the DSL Nationals 5-2 at home. The Dominican Birds (34-36) play their final game of the season Saturday.
Changarotty (W, 5-3) limited the opposition to a single tally in the sixth on two of the three hits and one of two base-on-balls yielded by the 17-year-old in six. Changarotty struck out four. Gonzalez gave up a hit and two walks over three, resulting in one run while fanning three.
First baseman Jorge Baez' second home run of the season came with catcher Joshua Lopez aboard in a three-run seventh. Baez went 2-for-3 with a double, long ball, one run scored and three RBI. Second baseman Ruben Encarnacion singled twice in three at bats with a base-on-balls while crossing once.
Saturday's game: at DSL Nationals (38-30), 10:30 am ET, Ramon Santos (3-4, 2.58)
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