Results from games played Friday, June 27th.
Joe Kelly took the next step on his road to recovery as the Redbirds (38-43) were clipped by the Express (TEX) 8-7. Fourth-place Memphis has lost the first two of four to second-place Round Rock and trail New Orleans (MIA) by five.
Kelly's first rehab outing began shakily with a balk sandwiched around two free passes issued. A line out to center advanced the lead runner to third, putting him in position to score on a 6-4 force. The frame's third walk ensued before Kelly coaxed a groundout to first.
The righty was greeted by a home run to kick off the second, followed by an infield single to third. Kelly settled down, inducing a 4-6-3 double play before notching a swinging K. He threw 41 pitches, 21 for strikes.
Tim Cooney piggybacked onto Kelly's stint, yielding four runs on four hits, including a solo shot, and three bases-on-balls with four strikeouts over five plus.
Two of Cooney's free passes were issued to his first two batters in the eighth, bringing in Joe Donofrio who retired his only batter faced. Dean Kiekhefer (BS, 1) (L, 0-2) did not fare nearly as well as Donofrio, giving up a run-scoring double and two-run bomb that gave the lead back to the Express. Jorge Rondon kept the opposition from further damage despite two walks in the ninth.
Down 4-1, Memphis exploded for six in the seventh, an inning framed by Ed Easley's two-run long ball and Xavier Scruggs two-run double. Sandwiched in between was Stephen Piscotty's two-run single to left that brought in Jermaine Curtis (walk) and Greg Garcia (single). Pete Kozma singled to open the frame, touching home ahead of Easley while Scruggs drove in Oscar Taveras (intentional free pass) and Piscotty.
Player of the Day Piscotty went-3-for-5 with a solo bomb, two runs scored and three RBI, leading the Redbirds' 10-hit offense. Garcia and Kozma both had two hits while crossing home once, Garcia in five at bats and Kozma four.
Saturday's game: vs. Round Rock (41-40) (TEX), 6:05 pm CT, Boone Whiting (0-5, 4.30)
Jonathan Cornelius went six solid frames in the S-Cards' 6-2 win over the Hooks, clinching a win of the three-game set. Springfield (5-4) is locked with Arkansas (LAA) and Northwest Arkansas (KC) in a three-way tie for first, a game ahead of Tulsa (COL).
Cornelius (W, 7-5) spun 98 pitches, 59 for strikes, giving up three hits and four bases-on-balls that produced two runs in his final inning of work. He struck out three.
Ronnie Shaban interspersed two walks with two outs, giving way to Mitch Harris who recorded the final out of the seventh, stranding two. Harris yielded a hit and free pass in 1 1/3, handing the ball off to Ryan Sherriff who allowed a hit in the ninth.
The S-Cards' balanced 13-hit campaign featured seven of nine players with at least one hit and five generating multi-hit performances. Mike O'Neill spearheaded the attack, going 3-for-4 with a double and triple, one run scored and another knocked in.
Saturday's game: vs. San Antonio, 5:10 pm CT, Kurt Heyer (3-4, 4.86)
Kyle Helisek was torched for seven runs in the first as the Beach Birds fell to the Stone Crabs 10-5. First-place Palm Beach (7-2) took the series 2-1 and lead Bradenton (PIT) by a half-game in the standings.
Helisek (L, 4-3) lasted just three innings, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on nine hits and three free passes. Iden Nazario struck out four in three frames, giving up a run on a hit plus two bases-on-balls.
Left fielder Jimmy Bosco had a perfect night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, walk, one scored and another knocked in. Nick Martini matched Bosco's three hits with a triple, a run scored and drove in one. Four other PB-Cards had one hit each.
Saturday's game: at Fort Meyers, 7:05 pm ET, Nick Petree (4-2, 1.90)
Three tallies in the sixth gave the River Bandits a lead they never relinquished as the Chiefs fell 4-3 in the series' opener. The loss snapped the Chiefs' five-game winning streak, causing them to fall out of first place, a half-game behind Kane County (CHC).
Chase Brookshire managed to keep Quad Cities (HOU) off the board through five but got the hook when the first two reached in the sixth inning. Both crossed with Robert Stock (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) on the mound, who also yielded a run of his own that frame. Brookshire allowed nine hits and a base-on-balls with five strikeouts in five plus. Stock yielded two tallies on three hits and a walk in two.
Held to just six hits and no walks, Peoria maximized its results. C.J. McElroy was in the thick of the scoring, singling and doubling in three at bats while crossing home twice with an RBI. McElroy swiped his 17th bag of 2014. Carson Kelly went 2-for-4 but did not figure in the scoring.
Saturday's game: vs. Quad Cities (4-3) (HOU), 6:30 pm CT, Blake McKnight (3-6, 4.74)
Jhohan Acevedo's and Robelys Reyes' three-hit performances led the Spikes to a 5-2 triumph over the Crosscutters (PHI) on Friday. First-place State College (10-5) leads Batavia (MIA) by a game in the Pinckney Division.
The Spikes banged out 12 hits, all singles, paced by Acevedo and Reyes. Acevedo was a perfect 3-for-3 out of the nine hole, crossing twice while lead-off batter Reyes went 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Each hitter swiped one bag but Acevedo was nailed in a second attempt.
Rowan Wick continues to light up short-season Class A pitchers with a 2-for-2 performance. The right fielder walked and crossed once, driving in one. He joined Acevedo in the "I Got Plunked" club.
Daniel Poncedeleon was credited with the win, his first, in his follow up to his pro debut on the 20th. The righty gave up three hits over two, resulting in a run with two strikeouts.
Poncedeleon pitched in relief of Cody Schumacher, who held the opposition to an unearned tally on two hits over the first four. Tyler Bray fanned three in 1 2/3, yielding a hit and walk. Nick Lomascolo allowed a hit while recording one out. Josh Lucas gave up a hit in his scoreless ninth, earning his third save.
Saturday's game: at Williamsport (6-8), 7:05 pm ET, Austin Gomber (0-0, 0.00)
The JC-Cards' series finale with the Pirates was rained out and has been re-scheduled as part of a double-header at Bristol on August 17th. First-place Johnson City (5-3) leads both Elizabethton (MIN) and Kingsport (NYM) by a half-game in the West Division.
Saturday's game: vs. Kingsport, 7:00 pm ET, Ian McKinney (1-0, 0.00)
Ricardo Bautista's eighth-inning grand slam catapulted the Gulf Birds (6-1) to a 7-3 victory over the visiting Mets. The first-place GCL Cardinals lead both the Mets and Nationals by three games.
Held scoreless through seven, the home team capitalized on a lead-off error in the eighth to plate seven runners. Bautista's big bomb capped the scoring, driving Magneuris Sierra (single), Malik Collymore (force) and Derek Gibson (walk). All three free passes issued by the Mets' pitching staff plus three of the seven hits given up occurred in that inning. Edmundo Sosa was the only Gulf Bird with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Sasha Kuebel tossed two innings of shutout ball, giving up two hits with two strikeouts, to up his record to 2-0. Nick Frey fanned three in his first professional start, working around two hits and a base-on-balls in two. The June 2013 draftee missed the 2013 season having undergone Tommy John surgery.
Drew Reidt gave up a hit over the next two frames, striking out two but hitting one batter. Dylan Hawkins was touched for three tallies on five hits over three.
Saturday's game: at GCL Mets (3-4), 10:00 am ET, Frederis Parra (1-0, 1.50)
Six runs in the ninth transformed a 4-3 win into a 9-4 loss at the hands of the Red Sox. The Dominican Birds (10-14) are tied with the DSL Orioles2 for eighth, five in back of three squads.
Relievers Juan Alvarez and Esteban Vallejo (BS, 1) (L, 0-2) combined to yield eight of the visitors' tallies. Alvarez yielded six hits over 3 1/3, resulting in two runs in the seventh plus one in the ninth, the latter crossing under Vallejo's watch. Vallejo permitted five runs, four earned, on four hits and a walk with one out recorded.
That spoiled a fine performance by Junior Gonzalez who had his best outing to date. The 17-year-old limited the opposition to three hits and a free pass through five before giving up a run on two hits and a walk in the sixth. Gonzalez struck out two with five ground- and five fly-ball outs in 5 1/3.
Saturday's game: vs. DSL Giants (15-9), 10:30 am ET, TBA
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