The Redbirds could not hold a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the ninth, eventually falling to the RedHawks 5-4 in 11. Memphis (69-74) slips into a first-place tie with Omaha (KC) with both squads playing their regular season finale on Monday. Memphis owns the tie-breaker.
Although Nick Greenwood and Kevin Thomas combined to yield the game winner, Jorge Rondon and Keith Butler (BS, 4) wear the collar for this loss. Rondon began his second inning of work by sandwiching two singles and a double around a double-play ball and departed with two in scoring position. Butler threw gas on the fire by coughing up a double and three-run long ball to knot the game at four all.
Greenwood (L, 2-8) took over for Butler in the 11th and loaded the bases on a single-sac bunt-single-intentional walk sequence that left Thomas with no wiggle room. Thomas gave up the game-winning single to the first batter faced.
Their performances washed away a superb outing by Player of the Day Boone Whiting. The 24-year-old shut down the opposition on six hits and a walk over six for his fourth straight quality start. Whiting struck out three with four ground outs and four fly outs. Lee Stoppelman worked around a hit and base-on-balls for a scoreless seventh.
The Redbirds took the lead with two in the third then padded it with two more in the ninth. Jaime Romak, Jermaine Curtis, Justin Christian and Travis Tartamella each had two of the team's 12 hits. Romak, Curtis and Christian all doubled once with Romak driving in two and Tartamella one. Curtis touched home once. Mike O'Neill went 1-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Ryan Jackson was removed for a pinch-runner after being hit by a pitch in the fifth.
Monday's game: at Oklahoma City (81-62), 11:05 am CT, Eric Fornataro (1-4, 6.61)
Two tallies off starter Tim Cooney in the eighth was enough to send the S-Cards to their eight consecutive defeat, 2-1 at home. Springfield (31-38) has taken over sole possession of the Texas League North cellar with the skid.
Cooney (L, 7-10) limited the Drillers to four hits over the first seven before allowing two runs, one earned, on three hits in the eighth. The southpaw fanned eight and did not walk a batter. Heath Wyatt struck out two of three faced in the ninth.
Stephen Piscotty went 2-for-3 as the only S-Card with more than one of Springfield's five hits. His sac fly brought in Ruben Gotay (walk) in the ninth. Two hit batsmen plus a double-steal put runners in scoring position later that frame but they were left on.
Monday's game: vs. Tulsa (33-36), 12:09 pm CT, Zach Petrick (3-3, 4.04)
The Beach Birds ended their season with a 3-1 defeat by Charlotte at home. Palm Beach (35-32) finished the second-half in third place, four behind the first-place Stone Crabs.
Hector Hernandez permitted two of three eighth-inning tallies for his third loss in six decisions. The lefty allowed two hits and a free pass over 3 2/3 with both runs scoring with Ronnie Shaban on the mound. Shaban served up a three-run long ball for his third blown save of 2013. Joey Cuda tossed the first four innings, yielding two hits while striking out three.
The PB-Cards broke the pitching duel with a run in the bottom of the seventh when Alex Mejia doubled in Jonathan Rodriguez (single). Rodriguez worked a free pass to begin the ninth and raced home in a single by Danny Stienstra. Palm Beach jammed the sacks full but was unable to push across any more scores. The team had more walks (six) than hits (four).
The Chiefs (30-39) were stomped by the Cougars 11-2 on the road on Sunday. The season-ending series stands at one game apiece.
Chris Perry (L, 2-4) was pummeled for six runs, five earned, on three hits and five free passes in just 1 2/3. He threw a wild pitch and plunked one. Joey Donofrio yielded three unearned tallies on three hits and an intentional base-on-balls in 2 1/3.
Peoria banged out nine hits but was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Breyvic Valera continued his solid season with three hits in four at bats with a run scored. Nick Martini went 2-for-4 with an RBI and has a line of .324/.390./.459/.850 in 37 at bats over his last 10 games. Shortstop Juan Herrera had the Chiefs' other multi-hit game, singling and doubling in four at bats.
Monday's game: at Kane County (24-44), 1:00 pm CT, Silfredo Garcia (3-4, 3.93)
Two home runs resulting in seven tallies sunk the Spikes (46-26) as they were trounced 10-0 by the Doubledays at Auburn.
Juan Bautista (L, 1-5) allowed four in the fourth, three of them via a long ball. He put two runners on in the seventh that came home on a grand slam served up by Mike Aldrete. Bautista yielded six runs, five earned, on eight hits and two walks in 5 1/3.
Aldrete coughed up four tallies on four hits and two free passes in just 2/3 of a frame. Kyle Webb struck out two with one hit given up in a scoreless eighth.
State College's offense clearly was not in gear a day after the club clinched its first division title, mustering just three hits. Jimmy Bosco doubled once in four at bats and Matthew Young went 1-for-2 with a walk. A single in three at bats by Dante Rosenberg accounted for the other hit.
Monday's game: at Jamestown (42-30), 4:05 pm ET, Arturo Reyes (1-2, 1.88)
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