Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 7/7/17

(photo: Brandon Benson/Christopher Shannon/State College Spikes)

Results from games played Thursday, July 6th.

Memphis 7 at Round Rock 4     

Harrison Bader (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds used a five-run fourth to build a commanding lead for a three-game road sweep of the third-place Express (39-48) (TEX), 7-4.  Memphis (54-32) has won four straight and sits a whopping 13 1/2 up on second-place Nashville (OAK).

All seven tallies were generated via home runs from Harrison Bader, Patrick Wisdom and Aledmys Diaz.  Bader, who went yard for the third consecutive game, and Wisdom both hit it out with one on and Diaz did it with two aboard.  It was their only hit in four, three and five at bats, respectively.

Nick Martini did what a lead-off hitter is supposed to do – get on base.  The left fielder went 4-for-5 with two runs scored.  Adolis Garcia had two more of Memphis’ 10 hits, singling twice in four at bats.

A quartet of Memphis hurlers took the mound, starting with Mike Mayers, who likely was not fully stretched out after his recent 10 days in St. Louis’ bullpen. The reigning Minor League Pitcher of the Month went three frames, giving up a run on six hits and a walk.

Tyler Bray (W, 1-0) was charged with three runs, two earned, on four hits in two.  Trey Nielsen grounded the Express’ offense on a hit over the next three and Mark Montgomery struck out the side for his third save.

Friday’s game:  at Nashville (41-46), 7:05 pm CT, Zac Gallen (1-1, 3.27)

 

Springfield 2 vs. Midland 1

Andrew Knizner’s big bomb gave the S-Cards a 2-1 walk-off win over the RockHounds, clinching the three-game series with one to play.  Springfield (8-6) is tied for second with Northwest Arkansas (KC), both teams trailing Tulsa (LAD) by a game.

Knizner’s home run, his second since joining Springfield from Peoria, was his only hit in three at bats and one of only six hits overall by the S-Cards.  Magneuris Sierra singled and doubled in four at bats with an RBI, his first multi-hit game since June 24th.  His double drove in Randy Arozarena, who had reached on a fielding error by Midland’s first baseman.  Arozarena ended up at third on the play.  Designated hitter Gabriel Lino singled twice in four at bats.

But this game belonged to the S-Cards’ pitching staff, who scattered a collective nine hits and four free passes.  Dakota Hudson used eight strikeouts over the first seven innings to negate seven hits, three walks and a hit batsman.  Hudson allowed Midland’s only tally.

Blake McKnight permitted a two-out double in his inning on the bump.  Andrew Morales worked a scoreless ninth despite a hit and walk yielded, putting him in line for his first win of the season.

Friday’s game:  vs. Midland (3-11) (OAK), 7:10 pm CT, Sandy Alcantara (3-5, 5.57)

 

Palm Beach 4 vs. Bradenton 3 (12)

Jake Woodford (Peoria Chiefs)

It took 12 innings, but the Beach Birds finally prevailed over third-place Bradenton, 4-3, in the rubber game of the series.  The victory keeps Palm Beach (10-4) a half game up on second-place Fort Myers (MIN) heading into their three-game road series.

Thomas Spitz worked his second free pass of the game with one gone in the 12th.  A two-out single by Danny Diekroeger moved Spitz to third and Blake Drake’s bunt single back to the mound gave the PB-Cards the walk-off win.

Diekroeger’s single was his third hit in six at bats, as he joined Chris Chinea, who scored one and knocked in another.  Drake and Andy Young both singled twice with an RBI. Drake was one of three Beach Birds with a stolen base along with Spitz and Lane Thomas.

The home team had a chance to win it in regulation, but the Marauders (8-6) (PIT) tied it up with a ninth-inning tally against the combination of Ramon Santos and Jacob Evans (BS, 2).  Santos struck out two but allowed a double, with the baserunner scoring on the only hit Evans allowed in 1 1/3.

Jake Woodford tossed six strong frames, holding his opponents to a run on eight hits.  He left with his team up 2-1, but Ross Vance (BS, 2) gave up a tally in the first of his two-inning stint.  Chandler Hawkins finished the game by maneuvering around a hit and two walks over two for his third win in four decisions.

Friday’s game:  at Fort Myers (9-4), 7:05 pm ET, Derian Gonzalez (4-7, 4.09)

 

Peoria 4 vs. Beloit 0

Ian Oxnevad (Paul Ivice/The Cardinal Nation)

Ian Oxnevad compiled his best start of the season as the Chiefs blanked the Snappers, 4-0, for a three-game series sweep.  Second-place Peoria (10-5) kept pace with league-leading Quad Cities (HOU) with the victory, the latter having won six straight.

Oxnevad (W, 3-8) shut down Beloit (8-7) on just five hits and two free passes through seven.  It was the first time in 15 games that the lefty had held his opponents scoreless.  Oxnevad struck out four with 12 ground- to just two fly-ball outs, earning a co-Player of the Day nod.

Max Almonte and Yeison Medina each worked around two hits for a scoreless frame.

Eight of nine players took part in the Chiefs’ balanced offensive effort with either a hit or RBI.  Danny Hudzina, Dylan Carlson and Mick Fennell went 2-for-4, Hudzina scoring once and the other two knocking in one.  Nick Plummer got a hit for the third time in his last four games.

Friday’s game:  at fourth-place Cedar Rapids (7-8) (MIN), 6:35 pm CT, Frederis Parra (1-1, 3.03)

 

State College 9 at Williamsport 0

Brandon Benson (State College Spikes)

Behind a huge night from Brandon Benson, the Spikes drove past the Crosscutters, 9-0, salvaging the third and final series game versus Williamsport (8-9).  State College (10-7) is tied for second with Mahoning Valley (CLE), a game in back of West Virginia (PIT).

Co-Player of the Day Benson ignited his team’s offense, taking part in seven of nine tallies.  The right fielder, St. Louis’ 20th round pick last month, went 4-for-5 with a triple and grand slam.  Benson crossed home twice. His big fly was the Spikes’ first grand slam in three years and his six total RBI tied the team’s single-game record.

Infielders Evan Mendoza and Zach Kirtley each had three more of 14 team hits, both in four at bats.  Mendoza singled three times with a walk and three runs scored out of the three hole while Kirtley drove in one from the bottom of the order.

That was more than enough firepower to make a winner out of Sam Tewes, who recorded his first victory as a professional in three decisions.  Tewes finished an out shy of seven full frames, permitting six hits and plunking a batter.  Leland Tilley allowed a hit and walk in 2 1/3.

Friday’s game:  vs. sixth-place Auburn (5-12) (WSH), 7:05 pm ET, Daniel Castano (3-0, 1.71)

 

Johnson City 5 at Greeneville 6 (11)

Alvaro Seijas (St. Louis Cardinals)

The JC-Cards’ bullpen blew a four-run lead in the ninth, eventually falling to the Astros, 6-5, in 11.  First-place Greeneville’s (10-4) three-game sweep of Johnson City (7-8) leaves the third-place Appy Birds 3 1/2 behind the division leader.

Reliever Thomas St. Clair began the ninth-inning slide, yielding three runs on a hit and two walks while recording just one out.  His last base runner scored under Robert Calvano’s watch.

Calvano (BS, 1) (L, 0-3) gave up an unearned score that sent the game into extras.  The Missouri native tossed a clean 10th but departed after a base-on-balls and sac bunt put the winning run at second.  Evan Guillory did not retire either of his two batters, issuing a free pass and RBI single.

That end spoiled a strong showing by starter Alvaro Seijas, who scattered eight hits and a walk producing one run over six.  He fanned five.  Jake Walsh matched that strikeout total in just two frames.

Six JC-Cards totaled seven hits, with first baseman Luis Bandes the only one with a multi-hit effort.  The clean-up hitter singled and doubled in four at bats, his double knocking in two in a four-run eighth.  Right fielder Carlos Rodriguez got the scoring started with a solo bomb in the fourth, his third long ball of 2017.

Friday’s game:  at second-place Elizabethton (10-5) (MIN), 7:00 pm ET, Johan Oviedo (1-0, 2.00)

 

GCL Cardinals 11 vs. GCL Astros 10 (10)


A see-saw battle ended with the Gulf Birds winning their fifth straight, this time in walk off fashion, as they downed the GCL Astros 11-10 in 10.  The GCL Cardinals (5-4) are tied for second with the Marlins, a half game in back of the Nationals.

The Astros (4-5) struck first, plating four third-inning runs against starter Brian Pirela, the only frame in which the 19-year-old would be scored upon.  The visitors held a 5-3 lead midway through six, at which point the Gulf Cards pushed across four, taking their first lead.

That advantage held until a three-run top of the ninth resulted in the home team trailing 9-8.  And it took a play at the plate to end the Astros’ scoring.  But the Cardinals capitalized on an error and two wild pitches for an unearned score that sent the game into extras.

The Astros were not done at the plate, however, going up 10-9 with three outs to go.  But the Birds struck last, scoring two times, one earned, for the walk off win.

Pirela headed a sextet of Cardinals’ hurlers, five of whom were scored upon.  Chris Hunt and Noel De Jesus each tossed a frame, Hunt allowing one run and De Jesus holding the distinction of pitching a one-two-three scoreless inning.

Cory Malcom followed DeJesus to the mound, yielding a tally on three hits.  Righty Jim Voyles was charged with three runs while retiring just one batter but two of his runners scored with Patrick Dayton on the mound.  Dayton (BS, 1) (W, 1-0) allowed a run of his own in the 10th, although it was unearned because of the new rule in which each inning after regulation begins with a runner at second.

The offense exploded for 14 hits, paced by two Cardinals garnering three hits each:  catcher Carlos Soto and left fielder Daniel Gomez.  Third baseman Taylor Bryant and designated hitter Robbie Coleman each had two hits, including Bryant doubling twice.  But the biggest hit belonged to center fielder Terry Fuller, whose single drove in Bryant for the decisive tally.

Friday’s game:  Off

 

DSL Cardinals 9 vs. DSL Nationals 8

Carlos Soler (International Prospect League)

The Dominican Birds slipped past the DSL Nationals, 9-8, snapping a four-game losing skid.  The seventh-place Cardinals (11-17) trail the Twins by 12 games.

Two Cardinals had two each of the team’s seven hits: second baseman Pablo Gomez and left fielder Alexander Samuel.  Both went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, including Gomez’ first professional home run.  Carlos Soler had a very active day, both at the plate and in the field.  The center fielder singled once in two at bats, touched home twice, swiped a base, twice was hit by a pitch and was credited with an outfield assist at second.

On the mound, Diego Cordero held his opponents to a tally over the first five but did not retire any of the four batters faced the next inning.  The southpaw’s final line was five runs allowed on seven hits and a walk.  One of the seven hits was a three-run long ball.

17-year-old right-hander Larimel Soriano picked up his first win despite giving up an unearned run on three hits in the sixth.  Rodard Avelino began the seventh, yielding two hits and a base-on-balls resulting in two tallies, one earned, in 2/3 of an inning.  Dionis Zamora recorded the last seven outs, issuing just one free pass, for his fourth save.

Friday’s game:  at eighth-place DSL Nationals (10-19), 10:30 am ET, Francisco Ventura (1-2, 3.20)

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