Five tallies in the first set the Redbirds up for an 11-5 victory over the Cubs in the decisive game five of their series. Memphis (65-71) remains two behind Omaha (KC) with seven games remaining, all on the road.
Vance Albitz' first Triple-A home run capped the first, plating Chad Huffman (walk) and Audry Perez (fielder's choice). Albitz joined Ryan Jackson and Brock Peterson with two hits apiece in five at bats. Jackson and Peterson both doubled while touching home once with two RBI and Albitz scored twice.
Chad Huffman went yard twice, going 3-for-4 with a walk, three runs scored and three knocked in. Chris Swauger has three hits as well while scoring twice.
Keith Butler kicked off the bullpen-by-committee start, the first start in his 179 appearances as a pro. Butler kept Iowa off the board through three on two hits and a base-on-balls while fanning three.
Michael Blazek (W, 1-2) and Sam Freeman each yielded two runs on two hits in 1 2/3 with Blazek issuing four free passes and Freeman one. Freeman struck out three. Jorge Rondon permitted an unearned tally on two hits over 1 2/3 before Fernando Salas fanned two of three faced in the ninth.
Monday's game: at New Orleans (68-68), 7:00 pm CT, Scott McGregor (5-9, 5.08)
The S-Cards dropped the second of three at Tulsa, 10-8, to even the series at one game each. Springfield (31-31) failed to gain ground on first-place Arkansas (LAA) which also lost. The Cards are tied with Northwest Arkansas (KC) for second, a game back. They begin a four-game series at Arkansas on Tuesday.
Richard Castillo gave up five runs on 10 hits and an intentional base-on-balls in five with a hit batsman and three strikeouts. Justin Wright tossed a scoreless sixth. Castillo escaped the loss when his teammates pushed across three in the top of the seventh to knot the game at five all.
However, Danny Miranda coughed up a grand slam that was part of the Drillers' five-run seventh for his first loss. Miranda allowed four hits and a walk while plunking one over the final two innings.
Four S-Cards each had two of their team's 13 hits: James Ramsey, Ruben Gotay, Xavier Scruggs and Stephen Piscotty. Gotay had one of two extra-base hits, a two-run bomb in the ninth. He and Ramsey touched home twice while Ramsey added a base-on-balls and an RBI. Piscotty scored one and drove in another.
Monday's game: at fourth-place Tulsa (29-33), 7:05 pm CT, Seth Blair (3-9, 5.05)
The Beach Birds came out on the wrong end of a pitching duel, 2-1 in 11, that prevented a three-game sweep of the Marauders. Second-place Palm Beach (32-28) drops to four behind Charlotte (TB) with an elimination number of four. Their final four games of the season come against the Stone Crabs but the PB-Cards need to get through a three-game set at Fort Myers first.
Iden Nazario (L, 1-4) and Logan Billbrough combined to give up Bradenton's winning score. Nazario fanned two of three faced in the 10th but a single, sac bunt, passed ball and intentional free pass left runners at the corners with one out for Billbrough. Billbrough yielded a single to the first batter faced to bring the runner in from third.
The PB-Cards managed seven hits with Jesus Montero having two of them, both singles. Alex Mejia's ground-rule double in the ninth drove in Patrick Wisdom (single) to send the game into extras. Palm Beach got a runner to third with one out in the 11th but could not get him across.
Monday's game: at Fort Myers (30-30) (MIN), 7:05 pm ET, Hector Hernandez (3-2, 3.68)
The Chiefs were stomped by the Kernels 9-1 on the road for their second loss of the three-game set. Peoria (28-34) has been eliminated from play-off contention.
On his first start off the disabled list, Cory Jones (L, 7-2), could not finish the fourth, yielding six runs, five earned, on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3. Jay Voss allowed one of three inherited runners to cross on two hits in 2/3 of an inning plus.
Joe Scanio was perfect in the fifth to leave two of Voss' runners on but gave up thee tallies on three hits and two bases-on-balls in the sixth. Brady Adamek and catcher Gerwuins Velazco each tossed a scoreless frame.
Bruce Caldwell worked a free pass to open the sixth, eventually scoring on a sac fly by Breyvic Valera. Trevor Martin singled and tripled in four at bats, representing almost half of his squad's five hits.
Monday's game: at first-place Cedar Rapids (42-20), 6:35 pm CT, Chris Perry (2-2, 3.32)
The Spikes continue to keep their foot on the gas pedal, winning their tenth straight, by a 10-5 score. State College (41-23) leads the Pinckney Division by two over Jamestown (PIT).
The home team pushed across five in the first, one in the third plus two each in the seventh and eighth. Carson Kelly and David Washington both went 2-for-3. Kelly walked, doubled and smashed a solo shot while touching home twice. Washington scored twice as well with two bases-on-balls, a double and two RBI.
Kevin Herget was credited with the win despite tossing his shakiest outing in over a month. Herget allowed four runs on eight hits and a free pass in five with four strikeouts.
Monday's game: at fourth-place Williamsport (30-34) (PHI), 7:05 pm ET, Juan Bautista (1-3, 3.57)
The Appy Birds kept their play-off hopes alive by downing host Danville 4-1 in the series opener. Third-place Johnson City (33-29) trails Greeneville (HOU) by 2 ½ and Kingsport (NYM) by two in the standings with the top two squads advancing to the post-season.
Johnson City's bullpen earned Player of the Day honors for their performance on Sunday. Brandon Lee (W, 1-1) was rushed into action when starter Michael Holback left the game after walking the first batter faced. Lee shut down the Braves on four hits while not issuing a free pass over five, striking out three.
The only batter to reach against Kyle Grana over three frames was on a base-on-balls but he was nailed by Steve Bean on an attempted steal of second. Grana fanned four. Fernando Baez struck out two in the ninth for his fifth save.
Monday's game: at Danville (26-34), 7:00 pm ET, Will Anderson (1-3, 5.11)
Monday's game: GCL Cardinals (23-23) vs. GCL Mets (18-38), 12:00 pm ET, TBA
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