Around the minors 6.14.11

COLUMBUS 7, BUFFALO3: The loss dropped the Bisons to 1-7 on their home stand entering a day off Wednesday and eight-game road trip starting Thursday in Norfolk. Jason Kipnis (two triples) scored on his own hit in the fourth courtesy of an errant relay throw to third by Luis Hernandez. Kipnis ignited a four-run sixth with his second three-bagger to score Ezequiel Carrera from first base. Jared Head opened the lead with a two-run homer to left, scoring Chad Huffman, who previously plated Kipnis with a single. "It just seems like that one inning always catches up with us and gives them a comfortable lead," manager Tim Teufel said. Huffman later gave the Clippers a 7-2 lead with another two-run homer against reliever John Lujan in the eighth. The Bisons threatened to erase a chunk of that lead with the bases loaded and none out in the bottom of the eighth, but Buffalo managed only one run, on a fielder's choice by Hernandez. In seven innings, Buffalo left-hander Pat Misch allowed five runs (four earned) on six hits with two strikeouts. "Pat Misch pitched a great game up until the sixth inning and really did a nice job," Teufel said. "They just out-hit us at the right time." After his first Buffalo homer Monday, Jason Botts drove in another run with a sacrifice fly against reliever Nick Hagadone after the Bisons knocked starter Scott Barnes out with two hits in the sixth. Barnes allowed one earned run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. Fernando Martinez went 2-for-5 and scored two of the Herd's three runs. First base umpire Jeff Gosney ejected Bubba Bell after the center fielder disputed a groundout call. Jesus Feliciano replaced Bell to start the fourth inning. Michael Fisher extended his hitting streak to nine games with a fourth-inning single, while Luis Figueroa took his streak to 10 games with a single in the ninth. Box

BINGHAMTON 6, RICHMOND 4: Binghamton tied a season-high with five runs in the first inning and Brahiam Maldonado had a season-high with three hits. All 10 runs scored in the contest were plated in the first two innings. Binghamton (21-41) wasted no time breaking through against left-hander Ryan Verdugo. Jon Malo converted an 0-2 count into a single to center. Reese Havens moved Malo to second with a slow groundout to second base. From there, Malo scored on Josh Satin’s single. After Maldonado flied out, Verdugo walked Allan Dykstra. Salomon Manriquez followed and worked the count full before splitting the gap in left-center for a two-run double. Jordany Valdespin and Eric Campbell followed with RBI singles to spot Tobi Stoner a 5-0 lead. Stoner, who was making his fourth Double-A start of the season, gave up a leadoff double to Justin Christian. The right-hander coaxed a groundball to short off the bat of Charlie Culberson, but Valdespin mishandled it and threw wild, allowing Culberson to reach. Johnny Monell batted next and worked the count full. The runners left with the payoff pitch. Monell swung through a Stoner fastball for the third strike and Manriquez put a perfect throw on the bag at third, but Satin could not handle it and the ball trickled into left field. Christian came home to score on the error and Culberson coasted into third. Roger Kieschnick drove the runner home from third with a sacrifice fly, which cut the B-Mets’ lead to three runs. Havens got a run back in the second with a solo homer to right-center off Verdugo. It was the second baseman’s second homer with Binghamton. Richmond (31-32) answered in the bottom of the frame once again. Stoner hit Nick Noonan with a fastball to lead off. Noonan exited in favor of pinch-runner Ryan Lormand. Juan Perez golfed a single into left and Jose Flores followed with a single to load the bases with no outs. Stoner settled in and struck out Verdugo. With one out, Christian scored Lormand with a fielder’s choice. Culberson followed with a two-out infield single, which scored Perez. The scoring ceased for both teams after that. Stoner retired nine of the final 10 hitters he faced to qualify for the win, his second. He allowed four runs (two earned) on four hits and struck out five. Verdugo struck out five of the last six men he faced, but exited to the loss after five innings. Ricky Brooks relieved Stoner in the sixth and offered up two scoreless innings. Eric Niesen recorded one out in the eighth after allowing a single and was replaced by Erik Turgeon. The closer nailed down his fourth save in seven chances by retiring the final five men he faced. The B-Mets outhit the Flying Squirrels, 12-6. In addition to Maldonado, Campbell managed three hits. He went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Wednesday, right-hander Brandon Moore (5-4, 3.92) will start opposite right-hander Henry Sosa (1-0, 0.00). Box

ST. LUCIE 11, PALM BEACH 10: The St. Lucie Mets blew a six-run lead but nonetheless moved a step closer to securing the Florida State League’s South Division first-half title with a comeback victory over the Palm Beach Cardinals. The win puts the Mets at 34-31. St. Lucie now has a two-game lead on Fort Myers for first place in the division with five games remaining in the half. Mets starter Armando Rodriguez allowed two runs on four hits while racking up 10 strikeouts in five innings. The Mets were able to jump to an 8-2 lead through five innings. Juan Lagares got the Mets on the scoreboard with a two-run homer in the third. A four-run fourth was keyed by back-to-back two-run doubles by Pedro Zapata and Matt den Dekker, giving the Mets a 6-1 lead. Back-to-back homers by Stefan Welch and Wilmer Flores in the fifth inning gave the Mets an 8-2 lead. The Palm Beach Cardinals would not go down without a fight. Trailing 8-3, the Cardinals scored seven times in the eighth inning against relievers Kyle Allen, John Church and Nick Carr to put the Mets in a late 10-8 hole. Carr surrendered a grand slam after inheriting three runners. St. Lucie would answer right back in the bottom of the frame. Cesar Puello tripled with one out and scored on an RBI single by J.B. Brown, making it a 10-9 score. Pedro Zapata singled with two outs and den Dekker walked to set the stage for Juan Lagares. Lagares doubled in Zapata and den Dekker with the tying and eventual winning runs, giving the Mets the 11-10 lead. Carr then retired the Cardinals 1-2-3 in the ninth to secure the win. Lagares belted his fifth homer and led the Mets with three hits, four RBIs and a run scored. Zapata had two hits while scoring twice and driving in a pair. Flores and Brown both had two hits, two runs and an RBI. Den Dekker drove in two and scored once. The Mets continue their three-game series with Palm Beach on Wednesday. Scott Moviel starts for the Mets. He is 4-4 with a 4.63 ERA in 12 starts. Box

SAVANNAH 2, ROME 1: The Savannah Sand Gnats clinched their second straight South Atlantic League Southern Division first-half championship. “I’m really speechless right now. It’s a really good feeling,” Sand Gnats manager Ryan Ellis said. “I’m just proud of everybody here, all the guys and the coaching staff.” The Gnats have won 19 of their last 23 games and are 31-12 since slipping to 7-14 after a loss at Delmarva on April 29. Ellis credited a team meeting at that point with turning around the season. “We had a nice little heart-to-heart in Delmarva,” he said. “I told the guys we needed everybody to step up and do their jobs, and you see how the guys responded since then, so it’s been outstanding.” The Gnats (38-26) have won seven games in a row, their longest winning streak as a Mets affiliate, a relationship that began with the 2007 season. The Gnats scored their only two runs in the bottom of the second. Left fielder Rafael Fernandez and third baseman Aderlin Rodriguez singled to begin the inning. With one out, catcher Albert Cordero grounded a single through the left side, bringing home Fernandez with the game’s first run and advancing Rodriguez to second. DH Luis Nieves followed by bouncing a ball back to Rome starter Aaron Northcraft, who threw to second base in an attempt to start a double play. However, the relay to first was too slow to retire the speedy Nieves. Rodriguez, who was running hard from second on the play, scored standing up to give the Gnats a 2-0 lead. Savannah starter Gonzalez Germen took a shutout bid into the sixth. He completed seven innings, yielding one run on six hits for his fifth win. The Braves (25-40) scored their only run on a homer from right fielder Robert Hefflinger leading off the sixth. The Gnats forced the Braves to strand the tying run twice in the game’s final two innings. With the score 2-1, Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt led off the eighth with single, chasing Germen in favor of Gnats closer Josh Edgin. After a sacrifice bunt, Edgin struck out two straight hitters to strand Bethancourt at second with the tying run. Edgin allowed a leadoff single in the ninth to Rome DH Evan Gattis, who advanced to third with two outs after a sacrifice bunt and dribbler back to the pitcher. With the tying run at third, and two down, Edgin induced a groundout up the middle from pinch-hitter David Rohm to sure-handed shortstop Wilfredo Tovar to seal the win and the first-half title. Edgin has converted 12 straight save opportunities and has not allowed an earned run since April 26, a span of 18 appearances. By winning the first half, the Gnats will have home-field advantage in the best-of-three Southern Division championship series, which will begin at the home of the second-half champion on Sept. 7. The series then moves to Savannah on Sept. 9 for Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3 on Sept. 10.The Gnats will look for their eighth win in a row when they send right-hander Greg Peavey (6-2, 3.13) to the mound Wednesday in the conclusion of the seven-game home stand against Rome left-hander Carlos Perez (3-6, 5.53). Box

Compiled from team reports