Four Redbirds' hurlers joined forces to shut out the RedHawks 4-0 in the series opener. Memphis (58-73) and Omaha (KC) remain tied atop the American Northern Division with three games to go for each squad.
Richard Castillo's return to Memphis was a successful one as the right-hander tossed five innings of four-hit, one-walk ball to earn his first Triple-A win in three decisions. Castillo struck out four with seven ground outs, one fly out and one hit batsman.
In his first relief appearance of the season, Tyler Lyons faced the minimum over two while fanning two. Jose Almarante yielded an eighth-inning double and two singles in 1 1/3 in his Triple-A debut, giving way to Keith Butler in the ninth. Butler fanned both batters faced to strand runners at first and second and pick up his second save.
Singles by Adron Chambers, Ryan Jackson and Jaime Romak brought Chambers across in the first, a lead the Redbirds were unable to build upon until the seventh when they plated three more. Chambers went 2-for-4 with a base-on-balls and two runs scored. Greg Garcia singled twice in three at-bats while touching home once.
Saturday's game: at Oklahoma City (80-61) (American Southern Division champions), 7:05 pm CT, Scott McGregor (5-10, 4.85)
The S-Cards (31-36) dropped their sixth straight on Friday, falling at Arkansas 4-1 in the final of four games versus the Travelers.
Two unearned tallies off reliever Zack Russell (L, 0-1) in the seventh broke a one-all tie. Russell struck out two with two free passes issued in 1 1/3. Springfield's defense bit them again in the eighth when another unearned run crossed on Danny Miranda's watch. Miranda yielded three hits over 1 1/3 while fanning one.
Russell and Miranda pitched in relief of Jonathan Cornelius who held Arkansas to a single tally on seven hits through 5 1/3 with five strikeouts. Russell stranded a runner inherited from Cornelius while one of the two runners on base at Russell's exit touched home with Miranda on the mound.
The S-Cards' meager offense mustered just three hits and their sole tally scored without benefit of any of them. Starlin Rodriguez was plunked to open the fifth, moved to second when Jake Lemmerman was issued a free pass, reached third on Matt Williams' sac bunt and touched home on Adam Melker's ground out. Lemmerman, Melker and Xavier Scruggs each singled once.
Saturday's game: vs. Tulsa (31-36) (COL), 6:09 pm CT, Seth Blair (3-9, 5.09)
Three tallies off the Stone Crabs' bullpen powered the Beach Birds to a 4-1 victory on the road. Palm Beach (35-30) evened the series against its division winner at one game each.
Locked at 1-1 after seven, the PB-Cards pushed across three in the eighth off Luis Cabrera, who was making his Florida State League debut. Jacob Wilson, Jonathan Rodriguez and Jesus Montero each had two of their team's eight hits. Wilson singled and doubled in four at bats with a walk and two runs scored. His double was the sole hit that went for extra bases for Palm Beach. Rodriguez drew two free passes, touching home once while Montero drove in two.
Co-Player of the Day Sam Gaviglio's second start since returning from the disabled list was even better than his prior strong effort. The 23-year-old held the opposition to a run on five hits over eight, earning his fourth win against one loss. Gaviglio struck out five with 13 ground outs and six fly outs. He will try to build upon his success as one of St. Louis' seven representatives in the 2013 Arizona Fall League. Ronnie Shaban was perfect in the ninth, picking up his 18th save.
Saturday's game: vs. Charlotte (36-27), 6:35 pm ET, Kyle Hald (5-8, 4.55)
Peoria (29-38) lost the decisive game three of their series versus Clinton 4-2 despite Kyle Helisek's solid effort. The loss officially ended the Chiefs playoff chances in their last home game of the season.
Helisek (L, 7-7) gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits and two base-on-balls in seven. The Villanova product fanned five and threw three wild pitches. Brady Adamek allowed a tally on two hits and three free passes through the final two frames.
Both of the Chiefs' tallies crossed in the fourth. Jordan Walton's 24th double of 2013 brought in C.J. McElroy (lead-off walk) and Walton raced home on Travor Martin's two-out single. Martin added another single to go 2-for-4 for one-third of his team's hits.
Saturday's game: at Kane County (23-43) (CHC), 6:30 pm ET, Cory Jones (7-2. 2.24)
The Spikes battled back from a 4-0 deficit to top the Jammers 6-4 for a three-game sweep of their division rivals. It was the last regular season home game for State College (45-25), which has a magic number of one for the division crown and for the top seed in the play-offs.
The offense was a team-wide effort as all nine starters had at least one hit. Michael Schulze went 3-for-4, touching home once with an RBI while Steven Ramos singled and doubled in five at bats, scoring once. Mason Katz doubled in three at bats with a walk and two RBI. Six other Spikes either scored or drove in one.
Victor De Leon, the second of four Spikes hurlers, was credited with his fifth win in seven decisions after he tossed 2 1/3 shutout frames. De Leon struck out four and allowed two hits. Jhonny Polanco and Jacob Booden kept Jamestown off the board for an inning each with Booden notching his third save.
Jimmy Reed permitted a tally in the third plus three in the fifth, the latter of which were all unearned due to a throwing error by Katz. The southpaw yielded eight hits and a base-on-balls over 4 2/3 and his last two runners crossed on De Leon's watch.
Saturday's game: at Auburn (24-46) (WSH), 6:05 pm ET, Kevin Herget (6-0, 2.93)
Johnson City (36-31) finished the season on an up note by trouncing Burlington 10-3 at home in the season finale.
The Appy Birds' 13 hits included two doubles and two two-run home runs by co-Players of the Day Jhohan Acevedo and Ronnierd Garcia. Acevedo went 3-for-4 with a free pass, double and his first long ball of 2013, touched home twice and drove in three. Garcia added a single to his fifth bomb of the season, scored two runs with three RBI.
Vaughn Bryan and Steve Bean both singled twice with Bryan crossing two times and Bean knocking in one. Justin Ringo singled and scored in his only at bat in the first but was pinch hit for in the bottom of the second.
Dailyn Martinez (W, 4-3) yielded single scores in the second, third and fifth with two of the three runs being unearned. The 20-year-old gave up five hits and a walk over five while striking out four and hitting a batter.
Fernando Baez worked around a hit and five free passes to keep the Royals off the board in the sixth and seventh. Ismael Brito and Kyle Grana each tossed a perfect frame with Brito striking out two and Grana one.
Saturday's game: Season concluded.
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