Nashville Sounds 8, Memphis Redbirds 5
Evan Kruczynski (SP) - 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Tommy Edman (2B) - 2-5, HR, RBI
Drew Robinson (CF) - 3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
John Nogowski (1B) - 1-3, 2B, BB
Lefty Evan Kruczysnki got the start Thursday, his second in Memphis since being promoted from Double-A. The former East Carolina Pirate was solid through four frames before being dinged for a home run in the fifth, and ultimately knocked out during the sixth. Kruczynski ran into trouble when a two-out walk loaded the bases following a pair of singles. Nashville first baseman Matt Davidson capitalized, doubling to left and clearing the bases for three runs. Kruczynski left the game tied 4-4.
Memphis and Nashville traded scoreless frames until the fun began in the bottom of the eighth. Jesus Cruz took over for Dominic Leone, who had just worked 1.1 innings of scoreless baseball. Cruz allowed a single and a pair of walks, sandwiching in a strikeout and a flyout to load the bases with two outs. After a mound visit, outfielder Zack Granite pounced on the first pitch of his at bat, pulling a grand slam over the right field wall. Down 8-4, Jesus Cruz hit Scott Heineman of the Sounds in the middle of the back in a 3-1 count. Cruz was ejected for the HBP, as was Memphis manager Ben Johnson and first baseman John Nogowski, who entered the fray and exchanged words with both Nashville and the umpires. Tommy Layne came in to replace Cruz and recorded a groundout to end the inning.
Memphis got one run back in the ninth off a Tommy Edman home run, but any hope of a rally ended there.
The loss drops Memphis below .500, to 23-24. The series against Nashville continues tonight at 6:35pm CDT.
Arkansas Travelers 4, Springfield Cardinals 1
Angel Rondon (SP) - 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K
Seth Elledge (RP) - 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB
Conner Capel (LF) - 1-3, RBI
Another game, another bullpen blowup.
Starter Angel Rondon spun six innings of one run ball, putting down nine Travelers on strikes and allowing only five hits. The lone run allowed by Rondon came on a leadoff home run to start the game, a home run which Rondon responded to with a trio of K’s to end the frame. The other four hits against Rondon were all singles, and he needed a total of 103 pitchers to complete the outing.
Offense was hard to come by on Thursday, and Springfield entered the eighth trailing 1-0. Johan Mieses opened the innings, stepping into the box against right hander Darin Gillies. After a Mieses groundout, Evan Mendoza singled up the middle to put one on with one out. Mendoza advanced to scoring position on a Elehuris Montero fly ball to right, then took third on a wild pitch. Conner Capel came through with two outs, singling in Mendoza to tie the game.
The tie was short lived. Seth Elledge took the ball to open the frame, starting with a lineout on a 2-2 count. The wheels came off from there, though, with a walk, a steal, a wild pitch, and a second walk putting runners on the corners with one out. A trio of singles allowed two to score and drove Elledge out of the game. Kodi Whitley took over, inheriting runners on second and third. Whitley allowed a single of his own, bringing in Arkansas’s third run of the inning. Whitley struckout Andrew Knapp to end the threat, leaving Springfield staring down a 4-1 deficit.
Springfield went down quietly in the ninth. Irving Lopez and Dylan Carlson both grounded out before Randy Arozarena went down swinging to end the game.
After the loss, Springfield is now 18-29 on the year. They’ll take on Arkansas again tonight at 7:10pm CDT.
Palm Beach Cardinals 5 @ Charlotte Stone Crabs 4
Alex Reyes (SP) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
Bryan Dobzanski (RP) - 1.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Julio Rodriguez (C) - 1-5, HR, RBI
Nick Dunn (2B) - 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Alex Reyes returned to the mound, making his first start since fracturing his left pinkie in Memphis. Reyes made his case to return to the rotation, dicing up nineteen High-A hitters in 70 pitches. Stuff wise, his fastball sat around 97 mph for most of the outing and bumped 99 mph on occasion.
The rough plan is to give Reyes two starts at Palm Beach, taking advantage of the DH to further protect the fractured finger. From there, Girsch has indicated that Reyes will work his way back to the majors with eyes on his results in the upper minors.
Following Reyes’s lead, the Palm Beach offense grabbed an early advantage in the top of the second. Catcher Julio Rodriguez led of with a full-count home run, his fifth of the year. The Cardinals followed up by ambushing Charlotte early in the count, tallying five singles between Luken Baker, Yariel Gonzalez, Nick Dunn, Jose Martinez, and Justin Toerner. In all, Palm Beach brought around three to score.
After a Charlotte RBI sac fly in the sixth and a Palm Beach RBI single in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals entered the bottom of the frame leading 4-2. Ramon Santos, who worked a scoreless eighth, stayed in to close the game. Santos got in trouble early, allowing a walk and single before exiting with runners on first and second with just one out. Bryan Dobzanski took over and allowed a pair of singles, leading one to score and leaving runners on the corners. Dobzanski escaped the jam with a pair of strikeouts.
To start extras, Julio Rodriguez began on second with Luken Baker at the plate. Baker singled on a grounder to right, putting runners on the corners. Rodriguez came in to score on a Nick Dunn single, giving Palm Beach the slight edge. The Cardinals failed to extend the lead by popping out twice.
Dobzanski remained in to start the tenth. He faired better in his save bid than Santos, inducing three ground outs to close out the win.
The win improves Palm Beach’s record to 29-17. Game 2 against Charlotte begins tonight at 5:30pm CDT.
Peoria Chiefs 6 @ Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 5
Kyle Leahy (SP) - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Ivan Herrera (C) - 3-5, 2B, 2 RBI
Nolan Gorman (DH) - 2-3, 2 RBI, BB, K
Josh Shaw (1B) - 1-4, 2B, RBI, BB, K
Peoria jumped out to an early lead and never let go.
The Chiefs opened hot, drawing a walk and recording two singles and a double before making their first out. The effort was good for a four run lead. The lead was extended in the second, after Delvin Perez scored first to third on a throwing error from right field. The 5-0 lead would be Peoria’s largest of the day.
Wisconsin began to claw back in the fourth, opening up with a triple and a single before taking advantage of a Malcom Nunez error at third. The Timber Rattlers capitalized with a Leugim Castillo double, ultimately scoring three in the frame.
The Timber Rattlers threatened once more late in the game, again aided by a Peoria error. The late rally wasn’t enough, however, and Edgar Escobar closed out the Chiefs win 6-5.
The win improves Peoria to 20-26. They open a series against Cedar Rapids tonight at 7:35pm CDT.
MEM: Jake Woodford
SPR: Austin Warner
PMB: Alex Fagalde
PEO: Cole Aker