Results from games played Monday, May 1.
A quality start twirled by Mike Mayers and a pair of long balls fueled the Redbirds to a 4-1 win over the Express on Monday to wrap up the teams’ five-game series, one that produced four wins for the Redbirds.
Mayers, who picked up his second win of the year, held the Express off the scoreboard through his six innings of work. Although he limited the Express to a mere two singles in his outing, Mayers’ pitch count reached 100 by the seventh inning as the result of four walks and two errors behind him, leading to his removal.
From there, three arms out of the Redbirds’ bullpen combined to fire three innings of one-run ball to secure the win for Mayers, as Rowan Wick, Ryan Sherriff, and Sam Tuivailala held the Express to one run on four hits over the game’s final three innings.
As for the offense, the left side of the infield - Paul DeJong and Patrick Wisdom - continued their recent success. After DeJong hit two homers on Sunday - one, of which, came following consecutive long balls from Wisdom and Harrison Bader - the Memphis shortstop went yard for the fifth time this season in the eighth inning. That was just two innings removed from when Wisdom hit his fourth bomb of the year in the sixth.
Tuesday’s game: Josh Zeid (1-1, 5.75) at Omaha Storm Chasers, 6:35 PM Central time.
A back-and-forth affair was ultimately capped off by five Travelers tallies in the top of the seventh inning, as Arkansas took Monday’s series finale from the Cardinals in Springfield, 8-7.
Cardinals starter Sandy Alcantara was removed from the game before the start of the seventh inning, with a quality start and six strikeouts under his belt. This was the turning point in the game for both sides: Daniel Bard entered the game in relief of Alcantara and walked all three batters he faced - on 14 pitches - before Blake McKnight was called upon to try to wiggle out of the toughest of scenarios: the bases loaded and nobody out.
Marcus Littlewood drove in two with a double, Chantz Mack and Joey Wong walked to force in one run, and Jay Baum and Nelson Ward each followed with run-scoring base hits to give the Travelers an 8-6 lead that would hold up just enough for a win.
Despite the loss, there were plenty of positive takeaways from Springfield’s batting order on Monday, particularly shortstop Alex Mejia and centerfielder Oscar Mercado. Mejia went 4-for-5 with a double and a home run, finishing a triple shy of the cycle. The shortstop scored three times. As for Mercado, the speedy outfielder picked up three hits in five at-bats, including his second triple of the season and extending his hitting streak to 16 games.
Tuesday’s game: Austin Gomber (1-2, 4.50) vs. NW Arkansas Naturals, 6:30 PM Central time.
A big night at the top of lineup for centerfielder Magneuris Sierra as part of a collective 12-hit effort for Palm Beach lifted the Cardinals to an 8-6 home victory over the Fire Frogs on Monday evening.
Sierra, our Player of the Day, went 4-for-5 with two RBI, a double, and two triples, finishing a home run shy of the cycle. Sierra’s pair of three-baggers give him four on the season, already tying the four triples he had in 122 games in all of 2016. It would take Sierra’s two runs scored, two runs batted in, and then some to make up for the Cardinals’ sloppy defense behind their starting pitcher.
With three errors in the early going - committed by Edmundo Sosa, Sierra, and Danny Diekroeger - the Fire Frogs put up six runs on Cardinals starter Jake Woodford, with only one earned with five of the six runs coming home in the top of the sixth. That was all the Fire Frogs could muster, as Steven De La Cruz and Ian McKinney paired up for 3 1/3 frames to close out the game following Woodford’s departure with two outs in the fifth. De La Cruz was credited for the win - his first - and McKinney earned his second save.
On top of Sierra’s big day, additional Palm Beach offense was delivered by Jose Godoy. The catcher’s four hits in as many at-bats pushed across two runs and raised his batting average up to .321.
Tuesday’s game: Junior Fernandez (1-0, 3.33) vs. Florida Fire Frogs, 5:30 PM Central time.
Peoria Chiefs off
The Chiefs were off on Monday and are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday evening against the Lansing Lugnuts. Jordan Hicks (3-0, 2.42) is slated to take the hill for the Chiefs in the 6:05 PM Central time start.
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