The Redbirds (3-2) scored first and last but not enough in between as they were clipped by Storm Chasers 3-2 in the series' opener at Omaha.
The first of Stephen Piscotty's two hits doubled in Randal Grichuk in the first after the latter drew a one-out free pass off former Cardinal Brett Tomko. The home team responded with two in the second plus one in the third off Scott McGregor (L, 0-1).
That was it for the scoring until the seventh when Joey Butler opened with a double and came around to score on successive groundouts. Butler, our Player of the Day, was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk and two doubles. A single by Oscar Taveras accounted for Memphis' other hit.
McGregor could not finish the fourth, yielding three tallies on seven hits, including a solo blast. The righty issued one free pass with two strikeouts. Nick Greenwood went the next 2 1/3, giving up two hits while fanning three and stranding one inherited runner. Sam Freeman allowed two hits and a base-on-balls over the final two frames.
Tuesday's game: at Omaha (3-2), 6:35 pm CT, Boone Whiting (0-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. P.J. Walters (0-0, 0.00)
Springfield's (1-4) dismal 2014 start continued as they lost their third straight and second game of the series, 8-5 to visiting Corpus Christi.
Pitching has been the team's Achilles heel as the Cardinals' staff has yielded five or more tallies in each of their defeats. On Monday, Jonathan Cornelius (L, 0-1) was tagged for five runs on five hits, one walk and a hit batsman in five.
The only hit allowed by Logan Billbrough over 1 2/3 was a solo bomb. He did not issue a free pass. Danny Miranda permitted two runs on three hits, a base-on-balls and plunked batter in his two innings of work. Justin Wright fanned his only batter faced to leave the sacks full.
The S-Cards' offense banged out 16 hits, led by right fielder Rafael Ortega's and first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez' three hits apiece. Ortega's big hit was a two-run long ball in the fourth that plated Patrick Wisdom (single), one of two times Ortega touched home. Rodriguez doubled once with an RBI. Both centerfielder James Ramsey (home run) and shortstop Matt Williams (double) went 2-for-4 while crossing home plate once. Ramsey drew a base-on-balls.
Tuesday's game: vs. Corpus Christi (4-1), 11:10 am CT, Kurt Heyer (0-1, 11.67)
Palm Beach - off
Tuesday's game: Palm Beach (3-1) begins a three-game set at Bradenton (3-1) (PIT), 6:30 pm ET, Kyle Helisek (A-Advanced debut)
Peoria - off
Tuesday's game: Peoria's (2-2) home opener is the first of three versus Dayton (2-2) (CIN), 6:30 pm CT, Nick Petree (full season debut)
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