The Saguaros’ (11-19) late offense was not quite enough to overcome yet another poor pitching performance as Surprise was edged by the Mesa Solar Sox, 11-10, in the season finale.
Lefty starter Shawn Morimando (TOR), the first of five Surprise hurlers, was tagged for five runs on seven hits and a base-on-balls over three frames. One of the seven hits was a two-run long ball.
But the Rangers’ Joe Kuzia matched that runs yielded number in just 2/3 of an inning. The right-hander gave up four hits and two walks while also throwing a wild pitch. Geoff Hartlieb (PIT) stranded Kuzia’s last base runner before tossing a clean
At the end of Greene’s tenure on the bump, Surprise was in a 10-3 hole. But a mighty rally ensued that was triggered by the Solar Sox hurler’s fielding error. Five unearned runs later, the Saguaros had cut the deficit to 10-8, the scoring capped by Will Craig’s (PIT) three-run bomb. A two-run single in the eighth knotted the game at 10-10 headed into the bottom half of the frame.
Eight of Surprise’s nine starters garnered at least one of the team’s 10 hits with all three of the Cardinals’ representatives having one hit each. Andy Young finished a fine Fall campaign by going 1-for-4 with a walk, double and two runs scored out of the clean-up spot. The second baseman finished with a slash line of .301/.416/.521/.936, (22-for-73) in 20 games.
Lane Thomas also reached base twice, singling once in three at bats with a base-on-balls, touched home once and knocked in two. Young and Thomas were both aboard when Craig went yard in the eighth. The Saguaros’ right fielder’s final line was .262/.385/.328/.712, (16-for-61) in 20 games.
Catcher Jeremy Martinez saw action in 12 games, including the season finale, in which he went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Defensively, the soon-to-be 24-year-old was charged with a fielding error, his second miscue overall, and nailed only one of the four base runners attempting to steal. Martinez put up an offensive mark of .231/.388/.256/.644, (9-for-39) and drew more walks (eight) than he struck out (six).
But the rally went for naught after Joe Barlow (L, 0-2) (TEX) did not retire any of the three ninth-inning batters he faced after pitching a clean eighth. Barlow walked his first batter then yielded back-to-back singles for the walk-off loss.
photo: Tommy Edman (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
In Surprise’s Wednesday loss, Cardinals lefty pitching prospect Evan Kruczynski allowed three runs, though only two were earned due to a Tommy Edman error. The second baseman singled, doubled, scored and drove in two.
Results from the game played Wednesday, November 14th.
St. Louis Cardinals left-handed pitching prospect Evan Kruczynski fell prey to a poor first inning as the Saguaros (11-18) fell to the Solar Sox, 10-6 on Wednesday afternoon.
All three tallies yielded by Kruczynski (L, 2-2) during his three-inning stint occurred in his initial inning of work. Three singles jammed the sacks full without an out being recorded, leaving the southpaw nowhere to put the next batter when he issued a free pass. A pop out to short invoked the infield fly rule for the first out.
It looked like Kruczynski might escape with minimal damage after he induced a grounder to short but second baseman Tommy Edman’s errant throw to first resulted in only one out recorded while two runs scored. The Wisconsin native notched the first of his three strikeouts to end the frame. Kruczynski allowed six hits and two walks in all and finished his AFL stint with a 1.99 ERA.
Connor Jones followed Kruczynski to the mound, pitching the fourth and fifth. Jones was tagged for an unearned run due to a passed ball while permitting a single and two walks with three K’s. St. Louis’ final hurler on the day was Will Latcham, who surrendered an eighth-inning home run and struck out the other two of his three batters faced. Runs were scored against all five Surprise pitchers on the day.
Surprise banged out 13 hits, led by Pittsburgh’s Cole Tucker, who went 3-for-4 with a walk, double and run scored. Edman was one of three Saguaros with two hits each, singling and doubling in five at bats, touching home once and driving in two. Eight of nine Surprise starters garnered at least one hit, the sole exception being designated hitter Andy Young, who was hitless in five at bats out of the five hole. Young did contribute, however, by knocking in a tally.
photo: Lane Thomas (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Surprise ended its three-game losing skid with a convincing Tuesday win over Glendale. Lane Thomas reached base four times via a single, double and two walks. The right fielder and no. 2 hitter scored twice and plated one.
Results from the game played Tuesday, November 13th.
Surprise (11-17) utilized 12 hits and eight walks to waltz past Glendale, 9-2, ending a three-game losing skid. The Saguaros have already been eliminated from the division race.
The Pirates’ Will Craig led a parade of five Saguaros with a multi-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with a walk. The first baseman and clean-up hitter’s three-run home run capped a four-run first for the home team. Surprise added single scores in the third and fourth then finished their scoring with three more in the eighth.
St. Louis’ Lane Thomas was part of that parade and reached base four times. The Saguaros’ number two batter singled and doubled in three at bats, worked two free passes, touched home twice and drove in one. Thomas’ first free pass came in the first, putting him aboard when Craig went yard. The right fielder walked again the next inning but was caught stealing, the second time that frame a Saguaro was nabbed trying to swipe second.
In Thomas’ next at bat, he flied out to right with a runner on second but he reached in the sixth via a two-out single. The Tennessee native finished his day with his double, a line drive to center driving in Cavan Biggio (TOR) who reached via a base-on-balls. Thomas subsequently scored his team’s third and final tally of the frame when Bryan Reynolds (PIT) singled to right.
Tommy Edman, the Cardinals’ only other player in Tuesday’s game, was on the other end of the productivity scale. The third baseman went hitless in five at bats, including grounding into a double play and being caught looking at strike three once. Defensively, he took part in one of Surprise’s two double plays.
Toronto’s Nate Pearson scattered four hits and two walks over five scoreless frames, picking up his second win in four decisions.
Surprise (10-17) could not hold a late three-run lead, resulting in a 5-4 walk-off loss at Scottsdale (12-14).
A fielding error by first baseman Will Craig (PIT) opened the scoring floodgates to start the ninth by allowing the lead runner to reach. Reliever Jackson McClelland (L, 0-1) (PIT) continued his second inning of work by issuing back-to-back free passes to jam the sacks full, resulting in his departure. The Rangers’ Joe Barlow (BS, 2) then yielded an RBI single and two-run double for the loss.
The Saguaros’ seven-hit offense was lead by the Cardinals’ Andy Young, the organization’s sole representative in the game. The second baseman reached base three times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI, thus extending his hitting streak to four consecutive games and five in the last six contests.
The Indiana State product came to the plate in the first with two on and two out but was unable to deliver. His 6-4 force ended the frame. After his team put up a two spot the next inning, aided by two wild pitches by the Desert Dogs’ starter, Young worked a two-out base-on-balls in the third.
The 24-year-old was in the thick of Surprise’s two-run fifth. Young’s line drive single up the middle knocked in Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (walk) from second for the first tally. A 4-3 ground out scored Craig (single) and moved Young to second where he was stranded. He finished his day with a lead-off single to center to kick off the eighth. Young advanced to second via a passed ball but could get no further.
A two-run home run by Andy Young ignited a ninth-inning rally as the Saguaros (10-14) edged the Scorpions, 5-4. The contest was the sole afternoon game scheduled while both of Surprise’s division rivals, Peoria and Glendale, play evening affairs.
Down 4-1 with three outs remaining, the home team pounced on Reds’ right-hander Alex Powers (BS, 2) (L, 0-1), who had just entered the game. Cavan Biggio (TOR) led off with a walk, which brought Young to the dish. The Saguaros’ number six batter launched one over the center field wall, trimming his squad’s deficit to one.
First baseman Will Craig (PIT) followed Young’s third bomb of the season with a long ball of his own, knotting the game at 4-4. A one-out triple by Nick Heath (KC) and RBI single by Cole Tucker (PIT) gave Surprise the walk-off victory.
Young’s blast was the third time he reached base, as the second baseman went 1-for-2 with two walks and the previously mentioned home run.
Fellow St. Louis farmhand Lane Thomas also reached base three times while batting clean-up for the Saguaros. Thomas singled once in two official at-bats with a strikeout plus two walks. The right fielder swiped his eighth bag but was also one of three Surprise players to be caught stealing, along with Heath and Biggio.
The Cardinals were represented on the mound by Connor Jones and Will Latcham, two of the six Saguaros’ hurlers sent to the bump. Jones tossed a clean sixth to keep the game tied at one all. The righty retired his first batter on a 4-3 ground out before catching Scottsdale’s lead-off batter looking at strike three. A walk and stolen base put a runner in scoring position but Jones closed the frame with a soft 6-3 ground out.
Latcham pitched the eighth, replacing Joe Kuzia (TEX) after the latter served up a three-run home run the prior inning. Latcham faced the top of the order, notching a swinging strikeout and fly out to left for the first two outs. A single to right was negated when the 22-year-old recorded a force at second.
Right-hander Demarcus Evans (TEX) kept the opposition off the board in the ninth for his first win against one loss.
Thursday’s game: Off
Surprise was eliminated following the evening games.
Stubby Clapp misses his chance for three titles in one year – Pacific Coast League, Triple-A and Arizona Fall League. Peoria won this evening, clinching the AFL West Division and eliminating his Surprise Saguaros.
St. Louis Cardinals second base prospect Andy Young accounted for four tallies as the visiting Surprise Saguaros pummeled the Glendale Desert Dogs, 10-1. The Tuesday victory moves Surprise (9-14) into a second-place tie with Glendale in the East Division. Both squads trail Peoria by six games and have an elimination number of two.
The visitors banged out 14 hits with Young one of four Saguaros generating a multi-hit effort. St. Louis’ sole representative in the game acted as the designated hitter while batting fifth. Young flied out to right for the second inning’s second out but came through in his team’s six-run explosion two frames later.
The 24-year-old came to the plate with runners at the corners with none out and slashed his fourth double of the AFL season. The sharp grounder to left cleared the bases, scoring Bryan Reynolds (PIT) (single) and Cavan Biggio (TOR) (double) to give Surprise a 2-0 lead. Two walks sandwiched around a fly out to right advanced Young to third, putting him in position to score on Santiago Espinal’s (TOR) sac fly to center and driving Glendale’s starting pitcher from the game.
With Surprise leading 6-0 after four, Young ignited a three-run fifth with a lead-off single to left. Pittsburgh shortstop Cole Tucker’s single up the middle moved the North Dakota native to second and triggered another pitching change by the Desert Dogs. Catcher Renae Martinez (ARI) greeted the new hurler with a three-run bomb to left center, his first long ball of the Fall campaign.
Young finished his day by reaching base once more in his final two plate appearances. He grounded into 5-4-3 double play to bring the top of the sixth to a close but worked the second of three consecutive walks to kick off the ninth. Surprise’s final tally scored on a 4-6-3 double play that moved Young to third, where he was stranded.
Meanwhile on the mound, six Saguaros pitchers combined to hold their opponent to a single score on six hits. Starter Scott Blewett (W, 4-0) (KC) tossed the first four innings, permitting a run on four hits. The remaining five hurlers pitched one frame each.
The Saguaros could not hold an early lead at Salt River (14-8), eventually falling 4-3 in 10. Surprise (8-14) has gone 3-7 over their last 10 games and now dwells in the basement of the West Division, seven games behind Peoria.
St. Louis’ Conner Greene absorbed his second loss in as many decisions, yielding an unearned tally in his only inning on the bump, the 10th. The righty began with a runner at second due to the Robinson Rule and proceeded to retire his first two batters on a 4-3 groundout that advanced the runner to third and a pop out to fellow Cardinals farmhand Andy Young at second. But a ground ball single to second resulted in a run scored and the hard-luck loss.
Young was joined in the Saguaros’ starting lineup by three other St. Louis prospects: Lane Thomas, Tommy Edman and Jeremy Martinez. The second baseman went hitless in four at-bats with a strikeout but did score after reaching base in the first via a hit-by-pitch. That put two on for Bryan Reynolds (PIT) who drove in them both via his first triple. A sac fly brought Reynolds home and gave Surprise a 3-0 lead they maintained until the fourth.
Center fielder Thomas garnered one of his team’s six hits overall, a two-out single in the first. The number six batter swiped his seventh base of the AFL campaign before advancing to third on a throwing error by the Rafters’ catcher. The Saguaros mounted another threat when Martinez worked a free pass, putting two on for designated hitter Nick Heath (KC), but a fly out to left ended the frame.
Martinez’ base-on-balls was the first of his two times reaching base despite going hitless in three at bats. The catcher was the runner put at second to begin the top of the 10th but was replaced with a pinch runner.
Surprise’s ninth-place batter was Edman, who doubled once in three at bats with a walk. His free pass came in the 10th, resulting in a bases-loaded opportunity with none out. But the visitors squandered it on a fly out to left, force out at home and fly out to center, the last out made by Young.
Tuesday’s game: at Glendale (9-13), 12:35 pm MST, RHP Scott Blewitt (KC)
Twice, the Surprise Saguaros (7-10) failed to hold the lead in their 7-6 walk-off loss to the first-place Peoria Javelinas. The Saguaros’ modest two-game winning streak came to an end.
The visitors’ first lead came when they plated three second-inning tallies, all of the base runners reaching with two gone. St. Louis’ Jeremy Martinez lined a single to left, advancing Bryan Reynolds (PIT) to third after the latter reached via a free pass. Another single by shortstop Cole Tucker (PIT) drove Reynolds in and moved Martinez to second. Both base runners advanced a base on a balk, putting each in position to capitalize on a two-run double by Texas’ Juan Pablo Martinez.
But starter Nate Pearson (TOR) could not make that lead hold up, as the right-hander yielded four runs on seven hits and a base-on-balls over four. Pearson struck out six.
Southpaw Blake Weiman (PIT) baffled Peoria over the next two innings, facing the minimum and fanning one. That put Weiman in position for the victory after his teammates generated a three-run seventh on consecutive singles by Tucker, J.P. Martinez, Vladimir Guerrero Jr and Cavan Biggio.
Zach Jackson (TOR) took over for Weiman in the home half of the seventh, charged with holding a 6-4 advantage. The righty worked around a two-out single for a clean frame but ran into trouble the next inning, issuing three straight one-out walks which got him the hook.
Texas’ Joe Barlow (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) was unable to escape the bases-loaded jam, surrendering a two-run single that knotted the game at six all. The right-hander was tagged for the walk-off defeat after permitting a lead-off single, sac bunt and RBI single with two out.
Martinez (STL) garnered one of his team’s 11 hits, going 1-for-3 with a strikeout out of the nine hole. He reached once via a hit-by-pitch. Defensively, the catcher was 0-for-2 in his attempts to control Peoria’s running game.
The only other St. Louis prospect to see action was second baseman Andy Young, who went hitless in five at bats. Surprise’s number five batter grounded out, 6-3, to end the first, flied out to center to begin the third, was caught looking in a strike-‘em-out/throw-‘em-out double play in the fifth and grounded out for the seventh’s first out. The 24-year-old finished the day by striking out swinging to end the Saguaros’ one-two-three ninth.
In other Cardinals AFL news, lefty Evan Kruczynski was named St. Louis’ only representative to the West team in Saturday evening’s Fall Stars Game, to be televised by MLB Network. The starting pitcher has a 1.72 ERA through four appearances.
Tuesday’s game: vs. Peoria (11-6), 12:35 pm MST, Tai Tiedemann (TEX) (0-1, 10.80)
photo: Andy Young (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Andy Young had a huge day at the plate with four hits and three RBI, Jeremy Martinez plated two and Connor Jones tossed two scoreless innings. However, Surprise pitching was bad overall, leading to a 21-8 Thursday defeat.
Results from the game played Thursday, October 25th.
Andy Young’s four-hit performance could not prevent another loss by the Saguaros, this time a 21-8 drubbing by the Desert Dogs (4-10). Surprise (5-9) has now lost five straight and eight of their last nine.
Young led his team with four of their 14 hits overall, going 4-for-5 with a double and solo shot that was one of his two runs scored and three RBI out of the five hole. That effort broke the North Dakota native’s mini-slump of 0-for-5 over his most recent two starts and gives him a .387 batting average, good for third in the league. Defensively, the second baseman took part in two double plays and was charged with his second miscue, a throwing error that did not impact the final score.
The Cardinals’ only other representative in the batting line-up was Jeremy Martinez, who caught and batted eighth. The 23-year-old’s only hit in four at bats came in the Saguaros’ four-run eighth, a two-run single driving in Young and Cole Tucker (PIT), who opened the frame with consecutive singles. Martinez eventually scored on a two-run single by Khalil Lee (KC), which cut Surprise’s deficit to 10-8 after eight.
But that is as close as the home team got, thanks in no small part to some truly egregious pitching efforts, especially at the beginning and end.
Lefty Shawn Morimando (L, 0-1) (TOR) did not finish the first, surrendering six runs on five hits while plunking two and recording just two outs.
It was quiet on the pitching front over the next 3 1/3, thanks to the Blue Jays’ Jackson McClelland and St. Louis’ Connor Jones. McClelland retired four batters, three on strikeouts, gave up a hit, walk and hit batsman while stranding one of two inherited runners. Jones bounced back from a horrific outing against Salt River on Monday, tossing two scoreless frames with two strikeouts and two hits yielded.
Five more Surprise relievers took the mound over the game’s last five innings, none out of the Cardinals’ organization. The contest remained competitive until the ninth when two Rangers’ prospects combined to serve up 11 runs. Southpaw C.D. Pelham was charged with seven runs on four hits and three walks in 2/3 of an inning, the last three runs crossing home with Joseph Kuzia on the mound. Kuzia allowed four tallies on five hits and a base-on-balls before retiring the final batter. It was Kuzia’s Arizona Fall League debut, not a day to remember, however.
Friday’s game: at Scottsdale (7-6), 12:35 pm MST, Scott Blewett (1-0, 1.23) (KC)
photo: Tommy Edman (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Tommy Edman reached base three times and was 1-for-2 in stolen base attempts but did not touch home as Surprise’s losing ways continued on Wednesday. Andy Young walked twice and Lane Thomas singled and swiped a bag.
Results from the game played Wednesday, October 24th.
Surprise’s troubles continued on Wednesday with a 3-2 walk-off defeat at Glendale as the Saguaros fell for the seventh game in their last eight. It was only the third victory in 13 games for the Desert Dogs.
The Saguaros (5-8) struck scoring gold first, pushing across two tallies in the game’s initial frame. St. Louis’ Tommy Edman opened the contest by working his sixth free pass of the Fall campaign but was wiped off the base paths when Juan Pablo Martinez (TEX) ground into a 4-6 force at second. A double by Will Craig (PIT) brought Martinez across home. After Andy Young (STL) was issued the first of his two free passes, a fielding error by Glendale’s left fielder allowed Craig to score from second.
But that was it for the visitors’ scoring as the Saguaros were held to just six hits and went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Edman garnered one of those hits, a second-inning single that went for naught when the shortstop was caught stealing to end the frame. Edman reached base one more time after being hit by a pitch to open the seventh. A stolen base and wild pitch by former St. Louis farmhand Rob Kaminsky advanced the Stanford product to third, where he was stranded.
Right fielder Lane Thomas extended his modest hitting streak to three games with a 1-for-4 effort including three strikeouts and a stolen base. Young was hitless in two at bats with the aforementioned two walks.
Starter Tai Tiedemann (TEX) was charged with two runs on four hits and four walks in three plus innings and fanned four. Blake Weiman (BS, 1)(PIT) was unable to escape the bases-loaded with none out jam left him by Tiedemann and allowed the tying run to score on a sac fly. The southpaw struck out four in three frames, yielding one hit and a free pass.
Toronto right-hander Zach Jackson was impressive during his two-inning stint, retiring all six batters faced, four of them on strikeouts. But Demarcus Evans (L, 0-1) recorded just one out while permitting the walk-off run on a one-out double and two-out single.
photo: Lane Thomas (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)
Lane Thomas reached base twice with a single and a walk and scored once. Will Latcham tossed a perfect inning of relief, but Conner Greene yielded three runs in Surprise’s Tuesday loss, their sixth in the last seven games.
Results from the game played Tuesday, October 23rd.
Surprise (5-7) was unable to dig its way out of an early hole, resulting in a 7-5 loss at Salt River (7-5). It is the Saguaros’ sixth loss in their last seven contests.
Toronto’s Nate Pearson (L, 1-2) gave up single scores in each of his three innings on the bump. The right-hander yielded four hits and three walks and uncorked one wild pitch.
St. Louis’ Conner Greene outdid Pearson by permitting his three tallies in his only inning of work on a hit and four free passes. This was the third time in four AFL outings the tall Californian has been touched for multiple runs.
Down 6-1 through five, Surprise’s offense pushed across a run in the visitors half of the seventh. But in the bottom of the frame, Armaldo Hernandez (KC) gave the tally back in his second inning of work. St. Louis’ Will Latcham retired the side in order, his first clean appearance in four relief efforts totaling 4 1/3 frames. Walker Sheller (KC) worked around one of Surprise’s four miscues for a scoreless eighth.
The Saguaros garnered nine hits in all, generating single scores in the first and sixth through ninth innings. Lane Thomas, the Cardinals’ sole position player, followed up his first multi-hit effort on Monday by singling once in three at bats out of the seven hole. Acting as the team’s designated hitter, Thomas worked a base-on-balls in his first plate appearance then opened the ninth by rapping a sharp single to left. A two-out throwing error by the Rafters’ catcher sent the 23-year-old to third, putting him in position to score on a subsequent wild pitch.
Wednesday’s game: at Glendale (2-10), 12:35 pm MST, Tai Tiedemann (0-1, 14.73) (TEX)
The Saguaros battled but never led in their 8-5 defeat to the Rafters, their fifth loss in six home contests to date. Second-place Surprise (5-6) trails Peoria by two games in the West Division.
St. Louis’ pitching was squarely responsible for the loss as all eight tallies were yielded by either Evan Kruczynski or Connor Jones. Kruczynski (L, 1-1) went the first 4 2/3, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits and a base-on-balls. Two of the four runs resulted from a long ball that gave Salt River a first-inning lead they never relinquished. The unearned scored charged to the lefty was due to his own miscue on an errant pickoff attempt.
Jones left his fellow Cardinals farmhand’s final runner aboard but was touched for a sixth-inning tally plus three more in the seventh on six hits and a free pass over 1 1/3 plus frames. Jones was charged with two wild pitches as well.
Right-hander Grant Gavin (KC) hurled two clean frames, yielding a hit and walk but stranding an inherited runner. The Rangers’ Joe Barlow retired the side in order in the ninth.
The Saguaros’ offense consisted of three Cardinals prospects who comprised the bottom third of the batting order: Andy Young, Lane Thomas and Jeremy Martinez. Young was hitless in three at bats but contributed with a sixth-inning sac fly, scoring designated hitter Bryan Reynolds (single) (PIT) to make the score 5-4 after six.
Thomas generated a two-hit performance, his first multi-hit effort since October 10th. The right fielder singled twice in four at bats and scored his squad’s final run in the ninth.
Catcher Martinez went 0-for-4.
The only other Saguaro with more than one of the team’s 11 hits was lead-off hitter Juan Pablo Martinez (TEX), who hit for the cycle and was a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate. The left fielder added a free pass to his four hits, touched home twice and drove in two.
Tuesday’s game: at Salt River (6-5), 12:35 pm MST, Nate Pearson (1-1, 14.54) (TOR)
The (4-4) Saguaros’ losing skid reached four games as they were pounded by the Solar Sox, 18-2.
Starter Nate Pearson (L, 1-1) (TOR) retired only three of his 13 batters faced, yielding eight runs, seven earned, on five hits and four walks over one plus. One of his five hits allowed was a three-run home run. Rangers’ righty Joe Barlow allowed two more tallies on two hits and two free passes while recording five outs, three of them strikeouts.
Amaldo Hernandez (2 1/3 IP) (KC) and Grant Gavin (2 IP) (KC) proved that it was possible to pitch without giving up any runs but that ended when Walker Sheller (KC) took the mound to begin the eighth. Sheller was shelled for five scores on three hits and two walks, including another three-run bomb, in just 2/3 of an inning.
Sheller’s final run scored with St. Louis’ Will Latcham on the mound. Latcham surrendered yet another three-run long ball before the eighth was over. The right-hander permitted a walk, RBI double and home run to right center before retiring four straight.
The team did not fare much better at the plate, a huge tell being the differential between their total hits and errors coming in at plus 1. Andy Young, St. Louis’ sole starter, garnered one of his squad’s four hits, an RBI single to left that drove in third baseman Charles LeBlanc (single) (TEX) to get Surprise on the board. Two miscues on the play allowed catcher Meibrys Viloria (walk) to follow LeBlanc across home. Young ended up with a line of 1-for-4 with an RBI and strikeout while batting sixth.
There was a brief Lane Thomas sighting late in the game when he took over in left to start the eighth. Thomas struck out swinging to kick off the ninth in his only plate appearance. Defensively, the Saguaros were charged with three errors – a fielding miscue by first baseman Cavan Biggio (TOR), a missed catch by Viloria and another fielding error by right fielder Khalil Lee (KC).
Friday’s game: at Mesa (5-3), 6:35 pm MST, Scott Blewitt (1-0, 0.00) (KC)
The Saguaros dropped their second straight decision to the Rafters, this one a 7-2 defeat that dropped Surprise (4-3) into second place in the West Division, a game behind Peoria (5-2).
Texas’ Tai Tiedemann (L, 0-1) did not finish the first, surrendering a three-run bomb while recording two outs. The righty gave way to the Cardinals’ Connor Jones after yielding his third hit to go with two walks.
Jones got out of the first via a swinging K, one of his four strikeouts over 2 1/3. The Connecticut native was tagged for a score the next inning on a one-out single, stolen base, ground out and infield single. Jones allowed three hits in all and was the only St. Louis farmhand to take the mound on Wednesday.
The home team’s offense was limited to just five hits with two Cardinals representatives garnering one hit each. Tommy Edman accounted for both of Surprise’s tallies, going 1-for-4 with a walk, run scored and RBI. The shortstop and leadoff hitter also swiped his third bag of the Fall campaign.
Second baseman Andy Young reached base three times out of the eight hole and had the squad’s only extra-base hit. Young doubled once in two at bats with two walks and took part in a double play. Centerfielder Lane Thomas was hitless in four at bats with two strikeouts while batting sixth.
Thursday’s game: vs. Mesa (4-2), 12:35 pm MST, TBA
The Saguaros’ bullpen was pounded for 16 runs in their 16-8 road loss at Peoria. The defeat drops Surprise (4-2) into a first-place tie with the Javelinas.
St. Louis’ Conner Greene (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) was handed a 4-0 lead to begin the sixth but could not make it out of the inning. The tall righty was pounded for six runs on five hits and two walks while collecting just two outs. The big blow was a three-run blast by Ian Miller (SEA), Peoria’s ninth-place batter.
Zach Jackson (TOR) retired two batters, stranding Greene’s final runner, but was touched for three tallies on a hit and two walks. Will Latcham (STL) followed Jackson to the mound and simply imploded, allowing all three of Jackson’s base runners to touch home plus five of his own on three hits and three free passes before recording his only out. Joe Barlow (TEX) struck out his only batter to end the nightmare seventh and strand an inherited runner. Bucs’ right-hander Matt Eckelman surrendered a two-run long ball the next inning.
The Cardinals’ Evan Kruczynski tossed the initial 3 2/3, tiptoeing around three hits and three walks for a clean outing. The southpaw fanned three with five ground- to one fly-ball out. Pittsburgh lefty Blake Weiman pitched 1 1/3 scoreless frames, leaving an inherited runner aboard, before handing the ball to Greene.
Surprise generated 12 hits, led by left fielder Nick Heath (KC) and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (TOR), who each went 3-for-4. Heath worked two free passes, swiped three bases and scored two runs while Vlad Jr., the AFL Player of the Week, walked and doubled once with a stolen base and three RBI.
None of the four St. Louis position players took part in the game.
Wednesday’s game: vs Peoria (4-2), 12:35 pm MST, TBA
Andy Young drove in the go-ahead run as Surprise edged Scottsdale, 2-0, on Monday evening. The Saguaros (4-1) sit in first place in the West Division, a game ahead of Peoria and four up on Glendale.
The visitors generated eight hits, two by Young. In his first plate appearance, the number five batter lined a two-out single to right with runners on first and second, driving in Cole Tucker (single) (PIT). That run gave Surprise a 1-0 lead through one.
After absorbing a swinging K, Young again came up to bat with runners on first and second in the fifth and beat out an infield single to short, jamming the sacks full. Thanks to his single, the team was able to capitalize on a 4-3 ground out that brought Cavan BIggio (walk) (TOR) across home for the final score. Young grounded into a force at second to finish his night at the plate. Defensively, the second baseman took part in one double play.
(As an aside, Young was scheduled to be St. Louis’ representative in Friday night’s Bowman Hitting Challenge, however, the event could not be held due to rain and will not be rescheduled.)
St. Louis’ other Monday representative was catcher Jeremy Martinez, who hit out of the eight hole. Martinez reached base in all four of his plate appearances, working four free passes. Defensively, Scorpions runners swiped three bases in three attempts against him.
A quartet of Royals’ hurlers combined on a four-hit victory. Right-hander Scott Blewett (W, 1-0) used four strikeouts to work around two hits and a walk for four scoreless frames in his Arizona Fall League debut. Venezuelan righty Arnaldo Hernandez yielded two hits during his two-inning stint and picked off one at first. Missouri native Grant Gavin fanned three in two innings while Walker Sheller faced the minimum in the ninth for his second save. Cincinnati right-hander Austin Orewiler took the loss.
The Surprise Saguaros continue to punish the baseball, coming back from a seven-run deficit to edge Glendale in 10 innings Thursday. Leadoff man Tommy Edman was on base five times, drove in one, stole two bases and scored.
Results from the game played Thursday, October 11th.
The Saguaros (2-1) rallied from a seven-run deficit to top the Desert Dogs, 10-9, in 10. The Surprise offense has racked up 29 runs in their first three AFL games.
St. Louis’ Tommy Edman did exactly what a lead-off batter is supposed to do, get on base. The second baseman reached base five times, going 2-for-4 with three walks, a run scored, one driven in and two stolen bases. TCN’s Springfield co-Player of the Year was one of five Surprise players with two hits apiece and defensively, took part in one of his squad’s two double plays.
Jeremy Martinez garnered one of the Saguaros’ final two hits, singling once in four at bats with two strikeouts and reached base once via a hit-by-pitch. After being plunked in the eighth, the number eight batter left the game for a pinch runner who subsequently scored. Normally a catcher, Martinez played his first official career game at first base, late in his third professional season.
Lane Thomas was hitless in four at bats as his team’s designated hitter but did reach base twice via free passes. Thomas swiped his first bag of the AFL campaign, one of six stolen bases by the Saguaros.
It took six Surprise pitchers to navigate the game’s 10 frames, with most coming from the Texas organization. The Rangers’ Tai Tiedemann and Joe Barlow combined for eight tallies allowed in 4 2/3, putting their team in an 8-1 hole through five. But the next trio of hurlers held Glendale over the next four innings while the Saguaros bats erupted for three in the sixth and four more eighth-inning scores, sending the game into extras.
Surprise pushed across two unearned runs in the visitor half of the 10th to give lefty C.D. Pelham (TEX) his first win. Royals righty Grant Gavin was credited with his first save despite yielding an unearned tally.
photo: Connor Jones (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Day 2 of the 2018 Arizona Fall League marked the first win for manager Stubby Clapp’s Surprise Saguaros, as they edged Salt River in a slugfest. Five of eight Cardinals appeared, with Lane Thomas and Connor Jones leading the way.
Results from the game played Wednesday, October 10th.
The Saguaros (1-1) used 18 hits to overpower the Rafters (1-1), 11-9, on Wednesday evening, for their first victory of the early season.
Eight of nine Surprise starters got into the hitting action, paced by second baseman Charles Le Blanc (TEX) who went 4-for-5 with a run scored and RBI. Left fielder Nick Heath (KC) and third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr had three hits apiece.
Right fielder Lane Thomas was St. Louis’ sole position player in the starting line-up. The number five batter singled twice in five at bats with an RBI in his first start. Thomas flied out to right in the first, leaving a runner at second, but came through the next frame when his sharp line drive single up the middle knocked in first baseman Yanio Perez (TEX). Another single advanced Thomas to second where he was stranded.
After opening the fourth and sixth with a fly out to left and pop out to first, Thomas grounded a single to right to begin the eighth. Three subsequent outs left the 23-year-old on first.
The Cardinals had far better representation on the mound although the four pitchers’ results were mixed. Evan Kruczynski (W, 1-0) tossed the first 2 1/3, yielding five unearned tallies with six hits, a ball and a hit batsman allowed. Four runs occurred in his initial inning of work and were unearned due to a throwing error by his battery mate on a swinging K by the initial batter followed by the first of the southpaw’s two miscues on attempted pick offs. Kruczynski worked around a lead-off single the next inning but ran into more trouble after another lead-off single and errant attempted pick off left his final runner at third. A 6-3 ground out brought that runner across, at which point the starter’s day was done.
Connor Jones generated the best performance of the quartet, tossing two clean innings with one hit given up and one strikeout against the heart of Salt River’s lineup. Will Latcham followed Jones to the mound and navigated around a two-out seventh-inning double but was undone by back-to-back walks to open the eighth. Latcham retired his next two batters before exiting in favor of Conner Greene.
But Greene’s effort was nothing short of horrific. The righty got out of the inning but not before allowing a hit and issuing four free passes resulting in two runs charged to Latcham and plus two more of his own. Royals right-hander Walker Shelter worked around a two-out single followed by a plunked batter for his first save.
Thursday’s game: at Glendale (0-2), 12:35 pm MST, Tai Tiedemann (0-0, —) (TEX)
The Surprise Saguaros began the 2018 Arizona Fall League schedule by absorbing a 10-8 home loss to Salt River.
Manager Stubby Clapp used four hurlers who yielded a combined 14 hits, resulting in 10 runs, nine earned. All four pitchers come out of the Pittsburgh organization. Right-hander Dario Agrazal made the start and gave up five tallies on eight hits during his five-inning stint. All five runs crossed home during the fourth inning.
Bucs southpaw Blake Weiman tossed a clean sixth, putting him in line for a possible win after his teammates knotted the game up in the home half of that frame. Instead, Weiman (L, 0-1) was touched for two tallies, one earned, while retiring just two seventh-inning opponents. Two more righties, Geoff Hartlieb and Matt Eckelman, tossed the last 2 1/3, yielding two and one run, respectively.
The Saguaros offense banged out 12 hits, led by Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero, Jr who went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and three knocked in. St. Louis was represented by second baseman Andy Young and catcher Jeremy Martinez, who both got the start at their positions. Number six hitter Young’s only hit in four at bats was a sixth-inning triple, scoring Guerrero to close the gap to 5-4. Young raced home on the play on an errant throw by the Rafters’ center fielder Monte Harrison (MIA).
But what Young earned with his bat, he took away with his glove. His fielding error in the seventh led to the unearned score charged to Weiman. Martinez was also charged with a passed ball during his nine innings behind the dish. The California native went hitless in four at bats while batting in the number eight spot. Martinez left one runner in scoring position and grounded into a double play.
The final Cardinals’ farmhand to see action was Lane Thomas. Thomas entered as a pinch runner for Guerrero after the latter’s two-out double in the ninth drove in two and closed the gap to 10-8. Thomas took third on defensive indifference but went no further after Cavan Biggio (TOR) grounded out to first to end the game.
Wednesday’s game: at Salt River (1-0), 6:35 pm MST, Evan Kruczynski (AFL debut)
A career night by Alex Mejia led the Memphis Redbirds to a 14-4 victory over the International League champion Durham Bulls (TB) at Huntington Park, home of the Columbus (OH) Clippers. It is the first Triple-A Championship win in Redbirds franchise history, achieved in their third try.
Mejia went a perfect 5-for-5 out of the three hole, doubling once while accounting for eight of Memphis’ tallies by scoring three runs and driving in five. His effort resulted in the designated hitter being named the contest’s Most Valuable Player and our Player of the Day.
Right behind Mejia in the offensive effort was Lane Thomas, who took part in six runs. The center fielder made the play of the game defensively on a catch in short center and at the plate was 3-for-5 with a triple and massive three-run bomb that was part of his five knocked in. The blast capped a four-run eighth that essentially sealed the victory.
The final three Memphis players with a multi-hit performance were Randy Arozarena, Rangel Ravelo and Andrew Knizner. Two of Arozarena’s three hits in five at bats were doubles, leading to two runs scored and two RBI. Ravelo and Knizner had two hits apiece. Ravelo added a walk and touched home three times in five at bats while Knizner went 2-for-4 with a double. Memphis generated 17 hits in all, went 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left just six men on base.
Not to be overlooked in this offensive onslaught is the performance of starter Kevin Herget (W, 10-11) who baffled the International League champions during most of his 5 1/3 innings of work. The righty allowed just five hits in all, exiting the game to the applause of both spectators and teammates with his team up 10-1 and a runner on first.
But his replacement Tommy Layne was not effective, yielding an RBI double which plated Herget’s final runner plus a single and sac fly. The southpaw got the hook after plunking a batter, giving way to Edward Mujica. The veteran right-hander was touched for a bloop single that landed between the second baseman and right fielder and scored one of two inherited runners before he recorded the sixth’s last out.
Lefty fireballer Genesis Cabrera displayed both his considerable talent and wildness during his 1 1/3 scoreless frames, issuing three free passes, two of which included very close calls on ball four. Chris Ellis retired both batters faced, stranding two of Cabrera’s runners. Giovanny Gallegos allowed a single to left to open the ninth but the base runner was erased on a 4-6-3 double play and the celebration was on.
What is next
This wraps up The Cardinal Nation’s daily notebooks for the 2018 minor league season. But we swing back into action for the Arizona Fall League campaign, which gets underway on Tuesday, October 9th, and we look forward to seeing you then.
In the meantime, follow our daily announcements of the Relievers, Starting Pitchers and Players of the Year for 2018 at each level of the Cardinals system.
Zach Prendergast struck out seven in 6 2/3 scoreless innings as Peoria edged Bowling Green, 2-1, evening the best-of-five finals series at one game apiece with three to play.
Player of the Day Prendergast tossed a dominating effort, retiring his first 11 Hot Rods (1-1) (TB) before issuing his only free pass. The Pennsylvania native gave up just two hits, a lead-off double in the fifth and single to open the seventh, and threw 64 of his 97 pitches for strikes. The right-hander has now fanned 18 in 11 2/3 postseason frames covering two starts and is yet to yield an earned tally.
An errant pickoff attempt by Patrick Dayton (W, 1-0) put Prendergast’s final runner within 90 feet of home plate but a swinging K ended that threat. Peoria began the home half of the inning with consecutive singles by Nick Dunn, Nolan Gorman and Rayder Ascanio with Ascanio’s liner to right driving in Dunn. Gorman scored what proved to be the winning run when Nick Plummer grounded into a 4-3 double play.
But the Chiefs’ 2-0 lead was immediately halved after Dayton gave up back-to-back singles to kick off the eighth, an event leading to the lefty’s departure. Kodi Whitley jammed the sacks full on a bunt single to his first batter, setting up a sac fly. Whitley (S, 1) recorded another five outs but not before a walk and single put the potential tying and go-ahead scores on base in the ninth.
The Chiefs generated eight hits, led by Yariel Gonzalez who went 3-for-4 with a double out of the two hole. Lead-off batter Justin Toerner and Luken Baker, the number three batter, each had a hit as well.
Friday’s game: off (Game 3 will be held on Saturday night)
photo: Tommy Edman (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Tommy Edman’s hot bat lifted Memphis to victory in Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League Championship Series. Peoria was idle before hosting the first two games of the Midwest League Championship starting Wednesday night.
Results from the game played Tuesday, September 11th.
Tommy Edman’s four-hit performance led the Redbirds to a 10-4 road victory over the Grizzlies in the opener of the best-of-five Pacific Coast League Championship.
Player of the Day Edman finished a triple shy of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with a double, home run, two runs scored and three RBI. The second baseman opened the game with a blast over the right field wall, giving the visitors a lead they never relinquished.
Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar singled three times in four at bats while batting ninth, crossed home once and drove in two as the only other Redbird with more than one of the team’s 12 hits. Eight of nine starters either got a hit or scored at least one run, the sole exception being centerfielder Lane Thomas, who was credited with an outfield assist at third.
Kevin Herget (W, 1-0) blanked Fresno through the initial four frames before yielding two tallies each in his last two innings of work. Three of the four hits allowed by the right hander in 5 2/3 were RBI doubles, to go with three free passes issued. Herget struck out six.
Herget’s final runner scored under Tommy Layne’s watch. Layne yielded four hits and a walk over 2 1/3. Seth Elledge used two strikeouts to work around a hit and base-on-balls for a clean ninth.
The Chiefs’ quest for a second Midwest League Championship, and first since 2002, gets underway on Wednesday at Dozer Park where they will host Eastern Division champions Bowling Green (TB) in the best-of-five series. Game 2 will take place at Peoria on Thursday before the series moves to Bowling Green for the last three contests as needed.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Bowling Green (0-0) (HOU), 6:30 pm CT, Johan Oviedo (—)
The Redbirds began their quest for a second straight Pacific Coast League Championship by splitting a twin bill at Oklahoma City, grabbing the opener, 4-2, but dropping the finale, 5-4. The best-of-five series shifts to Memphis (1-1), where the balance of the contests will be played.
Kevin Herget and Giovanny Gallegos combined on a two hitter in Game 1 with each pitcher yielding a tally. Herget fanned six through the initial five innings, the sole score charged to him coming on a two-out walk, stolen base and RBI single in his final inning of work. Herget issued three free passes in all to go with his one hit allowed.
That run put the home team up 1-0, but the Redbirds responded with two the very next frame. Randy Arozarena singled home Andrew Knizner (walk) and Max Schrock (double) after the latter two reached with two gone.
But Giovanny Gallegos (BS, 1) (W, 1-0) surrendered a home run in the home half of the sixth to knot the game at 2-2. Four of the six outs recorded by the right-hander were strikeouts, including all three outs that sealed the win.
The offense got right back to work when Wilfredo Tovar and Rangel Ravelo hit back-to-back singles, putting runners at the corners for Alex Mejia. Mejia reached on a fielder’s choice that scored Tovar with Ravelo going to third on a throwing error by the Dodgers’ second baseman. Lane Thomas’ 5-4 force out brought Ravelo across home for the winning margin.
The visitors generated eight hits in total, with two each by Tommy Edman and Arozarena. Edman singled twice in four at bats at the top of the order while Arozarena reached base all three times he came to the plate. The left fielder, and number eight batter, went 2-for-2 with a walk, two driven in and a stolen base.
Memphis’ offense used eight more hits to put four more tallies on the board in Game 2 but it was not enough to overcome their pitching staff’s home-run prone performance. All three runs charged to Tyler Lyons (L, 0-1) in four innings resulted from two long balls, two of the four hits and one base-on-balls the southpaw permitted.
Edward Mujica served up another two-run bomb while recording just two outs, putting his team in a 5-2 hole. Tommy Layne limited further damage by retiring his only batter faced and stranding an inherited runner. Conner Greene tossed a one-two-three sixth.
Mejia produced the most results in the nightcap as his two-hit effort resulted in three runs. The right fielder singled and doubled in three at bats, touching home once and knocking in three. Thomas was the only other Redbird with a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Arozarena did not play.
Friday’s game: vs Oklahoma City (1-1) (LAD), 7:05 pm CT, Chris Ellis (0-0, —)
ICYMI: @MichaelWacha is scheduled to start tonight on an injury rehab assignment!
Zach Prendergast (W, 1-0) fanned a record 11 as the Chiefs rode a four-run sixth to a 7-2 victory at Quad Cities (HOU), sweeping the River Bandits from the best-of-three quarterfinals. The victory was only the second win at Modern Woodman Park in seven tries during the second half for Peoria and just the fourth in 14 regular season games there. As winners of the First Half showdown, Peoria has chosen to host the final two games of the best-of-three Western Division Championship series, which begins on Saturday, September 8th, at either Cedar Rapids (MIN) or Beloit (OAK).
Prendergast’s 11 strikeouts tied a postseason single-game franchise record set first by Britt Reames in 1996 and matched by Justin Pope in 2002. The Seton Hall product allowed three hits and a free pass over five innings. Both tallies charged to him were unearned due to two third-inning miscues by first baseman Yariel Gonzalez. Prendergast required 96 pitches to navigate those fine frames, throwing 65 strikes.
Peoria was down 2-1 at the end of the righty’s stint but erupted for six runs over the next two frames. Catcher Dennis Ortega led his squad’s 11-hit attack, going 3-for-4 with a walk and run scored while batting fifth. Number four hitter Gonzalez and Andres Luna, the number nine batter, had two hits apiece and crossed home twice each, with Luna knocking in one. Luken Baker singled once in three at bats, drew two free passes, scored once and drove in one whole Nolan Gorman went 1-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and a stolen base.
The Chiefs’ bullpen was solid over the game’s final four innings, which were split between C.J. Saylor and Fabian Blanco. Saylor struck out three in 2 1/3, yielding two hits, and Blanco retired all five batters faced, fanning three.
Behind their top starter, Jake Walsh, the Palm Beach Cardinals held Fort Myers to three runs, but scored just one in their playoff opener loss Tuesday night. Memphis and Palm Beach begin post-season play Wednesday evening.
Results from the game played Tuesday, September 4th.
Memphis – off
The American Southern Division champion Memphis Redbirds begin their quest for a second consecutive Pacific Coast League Championship on Wednesday evening with the opener of the best-of-five semi-final series versus Oklahoma City (LAD), the American Northern Division title holders.
The Dodgers host the first two contests before the balance of the series shifts to AutoZone Park. The Redbirds’ .593 regular season winning percentage is tops in the league but the nucleus of many of those victories now don the St Louis Cardinals’ uniform.
Wednesday’s game: at Oklahoma City (0-0) (LAD), 7:05 pm CT, Kevin Herget (0-0, —)
The Beach Birds dropped their first-round series opener at Fort Myers, 3-1. Palm Beach (0-1) will need to win both of the next two games to advance to the Florida State League Championship Finals.
Jake Walsh (L, 0-1) struck out seven over five innings but was touched for three runs on five hits and a walk. One of the five hits was a solo home run. Colton Thomson fanned three in two perfect frames before Griffin Roberts’ Florida State League debut consisted of an infield groundout, single up the middle, line out to center and fly out in foul ground.
The visitors squandered numerous scoring opportunities as they were hitless in nine at bats with runners in scoring position and left six on. The team’s five hits were divided between two players: Elehuris Montero and Dylan Carlson. Montero went 3-for-4 with a double out of the five hole while Carlson added a double to a single in four at bats and scored the sole tally. A 6-4 force out by Stefan Trosclair with the sacks jammed generated the PB-Cards’ only RBI.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Fort Myers (1-0) (MIN), 6:30 pm ET, TBA
Peoria – off
The Chiefs’ ticket to postseason play was punched when they clinched the Western Division’s first half Wild Card slot. Peoria hosts the first game of their best-of-three quarter-final series versus Quad Cities (HOU), winners of the first-half division race. Action then swings over to Davenport’s Modern Woodman Park for remainder of the series.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Quad Cities (0-0) (HOU), 6:30 pm CT, Johan Oviedo (0-0, —)
The Redbirds finished the regular season with a 6-5 road loss to the Sounds (72-68). Memphis (83-57), the American Southern Division Champions, will face Oklahoma City (LAD), winners of the American Northern Division in the best-of-five semi-finals which begins on Wednesday in the Dodgers’ park. The Redbirds will host games three through five (as needed).
The visitors were up 5-2 with six outs to go but Andrew Morales (BS, 2) (L, 2-4) was unable to successfully navigate the eighth. The righty gave up four runs on three hits, a walk and a plunked batter in just 2/3 of a frame. Giovanny Gallegos retired his only batter, stranding Morales’ last runner.
The first six frames were split evenly between Chris Ellis, Genesis Cabrera and Conner Greene. Ellis twice retired the side in order before handing off to Cabrera who struck out three and walked one during his two-inning Triple-A debut stint. But Greene could not keep Nashville off the board, yielding two tallies on three hits and a base-on-balls in the first of his two innings on the bump. Landon Beck worked around a one-out single for a clean seventh.
Six Redbirds divvied up the team’s nine hits, led by Lane Thomas, Rangel Ravelo and Wilfredo Tovar who had two hits apiece. Both of Thomas’ hits went for extra bases, as the center fielder added a double to his sixth Triple-A home run. The bomb was a three-run shot with Tovar and Ravelo aboard. Ravelo went 2-for-3 with a double, run scored and an RBI as the designated hitter but was pinch hit for in the seventh. Tovar singled twice in five at bats, touching home once. Ramon Urias’ only hit in four at bats was a solo shot.
The S-Cards ended a disappointing 2018 campaign with a 6-2 loss to Tulsa (40-29), winners of the second-half division title. Springfield (27-42) (60-79) lost six of their final seven games, including four in a row at season’s end.
Home runs were the home team’s bugaboo as the pitching staff served up three, accounting for four runs. Half of the four tallies charged to starter Evan Kruczynski (L, 2-3) in five innings resulted from one bomb that was one of the four hits and four walks allowed.
Ramon Santos pitched two scoreless innings, fanning two with a hit and walk given up before Roel Ramirez faced the minimum in the eighth. Seth Elledge was touched for two solo shots that put the Drillers up 6-0 with three outs to go.
John Nogowski was responsible for the S-Cards’ two runs as the first baseman went yard with Johan Mieses (force) on. It was his only hit in four at bats. Jose Martinez and Evan Mendoza both went 2-for-4 with a strikeout, Martinez doubling once.
Palm Beach – off
Palm Beach, winners of the first half division race, take on second-half winner Fort Myers (MIN) for the South Division title in a best-of-three series. As winners of the first half, the Beach Birds had a choice of either hosting game one or games two and three and chose the latter option. Therefore, Fort Myers will be the site for Game 1 on Tuesday, September 4th, before the series moves to Roger Dean Stadium for Games 2 and 3, the latter if needed.
Tuesday’s game: at Fort Myers (0-0), 6:30 pm ET, TBA
The Chiefs fell to the River Bandits, 2-1, for a three-game road series sweep by the same team Peoria will face in the play-offs. The best-of-three series will begin at Dozer Park on Wednesday, September 5th.
Jake Dahlberg (L, 4-3) was charged with the tough loss despite tossing seven strong frames. The southpaw permitted two runs on three hits and three walks while fanning three. Both tallies were generated in the same inning. Fabian Blanco hurled a one-two-three eighth.
The Chiefs outhit their opponents, seven to three, but went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. While Yariel Gonzalez and Luken Baker had two hits apiece, the team’s only score came off Rayder Ascanio’s bat. Ascanio began the fifth with a home run, only his fourth long ball of 2018. Defensively, right fielder Gonzalez was credited with an outfield assist at home.
A late unearned run lifted the Spikes over the Crosscutters, 1-0, for a two-games-to-one series win in their season finale.
With each pitching staff dueling the other to a draw through seven, the game came down to a fielding error by Williamsport’s eighth-inning reliever. That miscue put Jonatan Machado aboard and advanced Cameron Knight (walk) to second. A single by Edwin Figuera jammed the sacks full with no outs before a 6-4-3 double play drove Knight in.
Hector Villalobos picked up his second win in four decisions by tossing a clean seventh and eighth. Kevin Hamann worked around a single and two walks, one intentional, for his 10th save.
Winston Nicacio pitched the first three innings, striking out four while allowing a hit and base-on-balls. Jim Voyles gave up a hit and free pass during his two innings on the bump before handing the ball off to Troy Montemayor. Montemayor gave up two hits and a walk but was aided by a caught stealing to keep Williamsport (PHI) off the board in the sixth.
On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 2-for-4. Player of the Day Conner Capel went 4-for-8 including a triple, run scored and RBI in Palm Beach’s twin bill split. State College was eliminated from playoff contention.
Results from the games played Thursday, August 30th.
The Redbirds could not overcome an early deficit, falling at Round Rock, 9-3. Memphis (81-55) dropped the road series, one game to two.
Kevin Herget (L, 9-11) put his team in a 7-0 hole after two innings, yielding nine runs, six earned, on 12 hits and a walk through 4 1/3. Conner Greene, newly named to St. Louis’ 2018 Arizona Fall League contingent, tossed 2 2/3 scoreless frames, yielding two hits and a base-on-balls while stranding an inherited runner. Tommy Layne faced the minimum in the eighth.
Two newly decorated Redbirds led the team’s seven-hit effort with two hits apiece: Tommy Edman and Lane Thomas. Both players will participate in the Arizona Fall League while Thomas was the only Springfield player named to the Texas League’s post-season All-Star squad. Edman smashed his first Triple-A triple, touching home once and Thomas’ solo shot was his fifth for Memphis.
Friday’s game: at Nashville (70-66) (OAK), 7:05 pm CT, Austin Warner (1-1, 3.73)
Chris Chinea’s three-run blast launched the S-Cards to a 6-3 victory over Arkansas. Springfield (27-38) trails in the home series, one game to two, with one contest to play.
Chinea’s 14th home run of the season capped his squad’s five-run first and was his only hit in four at bats to go with three strikeouts. John Nogowski was the only Springfield player with a multi-hit performance, going 3-for-4 and scoring his only tally on Chinea’s bomb. The S-Cards had nine hits in all.
Genesis Cabrera hurled six solid innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a base-on-balls for his first S-Cards victory in four decisions. Both tallies came in his final inning of work when the lefty yielded two singles sandwiched around a walk and wild pitch.
Roel Ramirez gave up a run via a walk and RBI double in his only frame on the bump. Seth Elledge fanned three over the last two innings for his fourth save.
Friday’s game: vs. Arkansas (34-31) (SEA), Anthony Shew (6-8, 4.46)
The Beach Birds split a twin bill at Dunedin (36-30) (TOR), suffering a 3-2 walk-off loss in the opener but claiming the finale, 4-1. Palm Beach (34-30) split the four-game set.
The visitors led 2-1 with three outs to go in Game 1, but Will Latcham (BS, 4) could not seal the deal, permitting a game-tying tally in the home half of the seventh. Austin Sexton (L, 2-3) gave up the winning margin on two intentional free passes plus a single.
Starter Jesus Cruz retired his first batter before departing due to an arm injury. Mike O’Reilly held the Blue Jays to a solo long ball from rehabbing Major Leaguer Josh Donaldson comprising one of the four hits he allowed in 4 2/3. Latcham tossed a one-two-three sixth before running into trouble.
Conner Capel had half of his team’s four hits, going 2-for-4. His triple scored Ryan McCarvel, who reached on a fielding error. Scott Hurst’s sac fly knocked in Kramer Robertson (force) for Palm Beach’s first run.
In the nightcap, a makeup of Wednesday’s contest postponed due to rain, the PB-Cards fell behind early when Jake Walsh (W, 7-4) surrendered a home run in his initial inning of work. Walsh shut down the opposition the next four frames, striking out six in five innings with four hits and a base-on-balls permitted. Jacob Patterson worked around two hits for two scoreless frames, notching his fourth save.
Palm Beach banged out 11 hits, paced by three players with two hits apiece: Capel, Juan Yepez and Zach Jackson. Capel and Yepez each singled twice in four at bats, Capel crossing home once and Yepez knocking in one. Jackson, making his A-Advanced debut after a leap from Rookie League Johnson City, went 2-for-3 with a run scored while batting ninth. A double by Elehuris Montero, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored and RBI, was the only hit to go for extra bases.
Friday’s game: at Lakeland (35-25) (DET), 6:30 pm ET, TBA
The misfiring Chiefs’ offense resulted in a 3-1 home loss to the Cougars. Peoria (37-28) has lost the first two of the three-game series.
Peoria matched Kane County’s seven hits but squandered numerous scoring opportunities, going 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Their sole tally was unearned, occurring when Rayder Ascanio reached on a throwing error, advanced to third on Nolan Gorman’s double and scored via a ground out by Julio Rodriguez. Nick Plummer was the only Chief with more than one hit, singling twice in four at bats out of the eight hole.
Johan Oviedo (L, 10-10) held the Cougars scoreless over his first four innings but was tagged for three runs, two earned, in the fifth. The right-hander gave up six hits and two walks over five, including a solo long ball. C.J. Saylor (1.2 IP), Patrick Dayton (1.1 IP) and Ben Yokley (1 IP) shared scoreless pitching results the rest of the way.
Friday’s game: vs. Kane County (35-30) (ARI), 6:30 pm CT, Zach Prendergast (7-3, 2.83)
The Spikes (34-38) fell to the Black Bears, 5-3, their second loss of the three-game series. More importantly, the defeat officially eliminated State College from postseason contention.
Diego Cordero took the loss, his fifth against two wins, after yielding four runs on nine hits and two free passes over 5 1/3. Michael Baird left Cordero’s last runner on base but was touched for an unearned tally during his 3 2/3 innings of work. Baird fanned five with two hits allowed.
Edwin Figuera had the best night of any Spike at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a triple, run scored and one driven in. His only other teammate with more than one of the team’s seven hits was Alexis Wilson, who singled twice in four at bats. Defensively, Figuera, Wilson and Delvin Perez each committed miscues.
Friday’s game: vs. West Virginia (30-42) (PIT), 7:05 pm ET, Jacob Schlesener (2-5, 3.44)
photo: Scott Hurst (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)
On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 2-4 with the GCL playoff game suspended and DSL Cards Blue eliminated. Outfielders Scott Hurst and Conner Capel are our Players of the Day with four RBI each for Palm Beach.
Results from the games played Tuesday, August 28th.
Division-winning Memphis (80-54) began its last road trip of the regular season with a 5-3 loss at Round Rock.
Jake Woodford (L, 4-5) gave up all five tallies during his five-inning effort, yielding six hits and four walks. Giovanny Gallegos, Conner Greene and Andrew Morales each tossed a scoreless frame with Morales the only one to face the minimum.
The Express’ shutout bid ended when Edmundo Sosa went yard in the seventh. The home run came with Wilfredo Tovar and Randy Arozarena aboard after the two reached on free passes. Sosa’s bomb was one of only four hits for the visitors. Playing at second base and leading off, Tommy Edman was hitless in three at bats but drew a walk in his return to Memphis.
Wednesday’s game: at Round Rock (62-72) (TEX), Chris Ellis (5-4, 4.13)
Michael Wacha’s rehab start was bumpy and abbreviated as Springfield (26-37) went on to lose to Arkansas in the first of their four-game home set.
Making the first Double-A start of his rehab assignment, Wacha (L, 0-1) allowed single scores in his first two innings. The righty exited upon serving up a three-run home run and feeling slight abdominal tightness. Wacha permitted six hits and a base-on-balls in 2 1/3, a span in which it took 52 pitches to navigate. Two of the five tallies allowed were unearned.
Round Rock continued its 12-hit attack against Wacha’s next two successors, Connor Jones and Elniery Garcia, who each gave up two runs in 2 1/3. Jones had difficulty finding the plate, issuing four free passes to go with two hits while Garcia permitted three hits and a walk. Landon Beck struck out three over the last two frames, allowing one hit.
Springfield’s seven hits were distributed among six players, with Jose Martinez the only S-Card with more than one. The designated hitter singled twice in four at bats and knocked in two while batting ninth. Andrew Knizner’s only hit in four at bats was a solo bomb, his seventh Double-A long ball.
Palm Beach (33-31) used a balanced offensive effort to drub Dunedin, 10-2, evening the away series at one game each with two to play.
Four Beach Birds each had two of the team’s 11 hits: Conner Capel, Scott Hurst, Jose Godoy and Juan Yepez. Capel did considerable damage, doubling twice in five at bats with a run scored and four driven in to account for half of his squad’s tallies. The left fielder has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games, during which time he has a .282 average.
Hurst took part in four runs, going 2-for-4 with a walk, double and three-run home run comprising three of his four RBI and the sole time the designated hitter crossed the plate. Godoy and Yepez both went 2-for-4 with a base-on-balls while touching home twice. Godoy doubled.
Ian Oxnevad (W, 7-6) tossed five solid innings of two-run ball. The southpaw was touched for seven hits and a free pass with three strikeouts. Will Latcham recorded four outs and walked one. That base runner was left aboard by Jacob Patterson, who retired five while permitting a hit and base-on-balls. Bryan Dobzanski pitched a one-two-three ninth.
Wednesday’s game: at Dunedin (35-29) (TOR), TBA
Peoria – off
Tuesday was the last regular season off day for the playoff-bound Chiefs, winners of the first-half Wild Card slot. Second-place Peoria (37-26) is still contending for the second-half division title, but is 3 ½ behind Cedar Rapids (MIN) with six games remaining, three at home and three on the road.
Wednesday’s game: vs. sixth-place Kane County (33-30) (ARI), 6:30 pm CT, Jake Dahlberg (4-1, 2.73)
The Spikes (34-36) mustered just four hits in their 8-1 road loss to the Muckdogs. The three-game series sweep by Batavia dealt a serious blow to State College’s slim hopes for postseason play, dropping them into a third-place tie with Batavia (34-36), 4 ½ in back of Mahoning Valley (CLE) with six regular season games to go. The Spikes would have to leap frog past seven teams to claim the Wild Card spot.
The visitors’ only run was generated when Edwin Figuera tripled to begin the fourth and scored on Lars Nootbaar’s 6-3 groundout. It was Figuera’s only hit in four at bats. Nootbaar also went 1-for-4, doubling once with a strikeout. Defensively, third baseman Figuera committed a throwing error, his 16th miscue.
Eli Kraus (L, 2-2) could not complete the third, surrendering two two-run home runs that were part of the six runs on five hits and three base-on-balls yielded in 2 1/3. Cory Malcom allowed Kraus’ last two runners to score plus two of his own during his 2 2/3 innings on the bump, giving up four hits and a walk.
Jim Voyles worked around a hit and two free passes for two clean frames. Kevin Hamann faced the minimum in the eighth, striking out two.
Wednesday’s game: vs. sixth-place West Virginia (28-42) (PIT), 7:05 pm ET, Chris Holba (3-2, 3.86)
A five-run fifth broke open a tight game, resulting in the Appy Birds’ 10-3 victory over the Mets. Johnson City (30-37) has won one of the series’ first two games with only the regular season finale remaining.
Moises Castillo had a big night at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two-run long ball, three runs scored and two knocked in. Zach Jackson and Brian Sanchez both went 2-for-4 with a free pass. Jackson doubled, crossed home twice and drove in one while Sanchez scored a run.
Kyle Leahy (W, 4-3) rebounded from a horrific effort against Burlington (KC) by tossing six impressive innings. The 21-year-old struck out eight while giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits and did not issue a free pass.
Junior Gonzalez tossed two frames, permitting a run on two hits and a base-on-balls. Like Leahy, Gonzalez plunked one batter. Parker Kelly tiptoed around two hits and a free pass for a scoreless ninth.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Kingsport (33-34), 7:00 pm ET, Dionis Zamora (5-3, 3.54)
The second of the Gulf Birds’ best-of-three playoff semifinals versus the GCL Tigers West was suspended due to rain with two away in the home half of the fifth and the home team up 11-3. The GCL Cardinals (0-1) must win this contest in order to play the decisive third game, which would then take place after Game 2’s completion.
Tuesday’s game was a tight see-saw battle through the initial four frames. The visitors broke on top with a first-inning tally off Brian Pirela but the Gulf Cardinals answered with a three-run third. That lead disappeared the next inning when Pirela allowed two more runs to knot the game at three all. The 20-year-old gave up seven hits through four, one of them a solo shot. Freddy Pacheco permitted a fifth-inning hit.
But the home team broke open the game with eight runs in just 2/3 of an inning. Seven Gulf Birds reached base before the visitors recorded an out and the first five Cardinals to reach drove the Tigers West’s starter from the game. The home team had runners at second and third with Ivan Herrera batting when play was suspended.
The Cardinals’ 10 hits so far have been distributed among seven players. Josh Shaw, William Jimenez and Herrera have two hits apiece. Shaw doubled twice in three at bats with a run scored and four driven in. Jimenez has gone 2-for-2 with a triple, touched home twice and knocked in two while Herrera, the number two hitter, has singled twice in two at bats with two runs scored and an RBI.
Wednesday’s games: vs. GCL Tigers West (1-0). Game one – 11:00 am ET, Francisco Justo (0-0, —)/TBA
The DSL Cardinals Blue’s bid for the organization’s first-ever league championship title ended with a 9-8 loss to the Rangers1 in Game 2 of their best-of-three quarterfinal series. Including the last game of the regular season, this was the first time the Blue lost three consecutive games in 2018.
Starter Inohan Paniagua took the loss after allowing five runs on seven hits and a walk in just 3 2/3. Victor Villanueva and Luis Tena both yielded a score while retiring four and five batters, respectively. Leonardo Taveras was charged with two runs, one earned, on a hit and three walks during his 1 1/3-inning stint. Angel Ortega recorded two outs, stranding two inherited runners.
A four-run eighth by the visitors made the game competitive but the C-Blue hitters were unable to translate any more of their 12 hits into tallies. Four players had two hits each: Darlin Moquete, Malcom Nunez, Jean Selmo and Sander Mora. Moquete accounted for three runs, singling twice in four at bats with a run scored and two RBI while Nunez went 2-for-3 with a base-on-balls and two knocked in. Selmo and Mora both singled twice and scored once but Mora was picked off and caught stealing.