photo: Jordan Hicks (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
Two of the Cardinals three Fall Stars headlined Monday’s action as Jordan Hicks threw two scoreless innings and Andrew Knizner reached base all four times. The other Fall Star is Sandy Alcantara.
Results from the Arizona Fall League game played Monday, October 30th.
The Saguaros scored in four straight frames to top the Javelinas, 6-3, and snap a three-game losing skid. Surprise (8-9) is tied with Glendale for second, two games behind Peoria in the West Division.
The home team struck first, scoring two runs against Surprise’s starter, Benton Moss (TB), in his second and final inning of work. The righty yielded three hits that frame after working around a two-out fielding error in the first.
But St. Louis’ Jordan Hicks quieted the Javelinas’ bats during his two-inning stint. The Houston native plunked his first batter but erased the runner via a 6-4-3 double play. A fly out to fellow Cardinals farmhand Oscar Mercado in center finished the frame.
Hicks worked a clean fourth, sandwiching two strikeouts – one looking – around a free pass for the first two outs. A 6-3 ground out ended his outing. Hicks’ scoreless effort snapped a string of four consecutive appearances in which he surrendered at least one run and lowered his ERA to 9.28.
Surprise’s rally from a 2-0 hole was triggered by the Cardinals’ Andrew Knizner, who opened the fifth by lining a single to left. It was the first of his three hits in three at bats for the day after taking one for the team with two gone in the second, his first plate appearance. Knizner advanced to third on a one-out single then raced home when Peoria’s starter, Max Povse (SEA), uncorked a wild pitch. An RBI single subsequently knotted the game at two all.
Knizner beat out a soft grounder back to the pitcher the next inning, moving the eventual go-ahead run to third. The catcher made it all the way to third on a single and throwing error but was left there.
After his squad padded their 3-2 lead with a two-run seventh, Knizner kicked off the eighth with a sharp line drive to center, his second double of the AFL campaign. The number six batter touched home for the second time when designated hitter Nick Dini (KC) garnered his second RBI single of the contest. Defensively, Knizner was charged with his third passed ball.
In contrast to Knizner’s excellent 3-for-3 line that included a double and two runs scored, Mercado was hitless in five at bats for the second straight game. The center fielder popped out to end the first and opened the fourth by grounding out to short. The number three batter then hit into a force to end the fifth before grounding out to short with none gone and a runner on third in the seventh. Mercado’s day at the plate ended with a fly out to center in the ninth.
Right-hander Ryan Eades (MIN) tossed a scoreless sixth and seventh, acquiring his second win against no losses. Royals’ righty Jacob Bodner pitched around pitched around a two-out base-on-balls for his second save. Toronto southpaw Danny Young (L, 0-1) was charged with the loss after giving up a run on three hits in his only inning of work.
Trio of Fall Stars
In additional news, three Cardinals were named to the West Division roster for the AFL Fall Stars Game on Monday. They are Hicks, Knizner and Sandy Alcantara.
The game will be played at Salt River Fields and televised by MLB Network starting at 5:00 p.m. MT this coming Saturday, November 4.
Tuesday’s game: vs. Peoria (10-7), 12:35 pm MT, Burch Smith (0-1, 7.56) (TB)
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