Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/4/17

(photo: Luis Bandes/Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Offense led the way to a 6-2 Thursday for the St. Louis Cardinals system. Our Player of the Day, first baseman Luis Bandes of Johnson City, went deep twice. In the GCL, third baseman Elehuris Montero launched a grand slam and plated five.

Results from games played Thursday, August 3rd.

Memphis 10 at Tacoma 4      

Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The Redbirds’ 17-hit attack led to a 10-4 victory over Tacoma in the road series opener.  Memphis (72-38) leads Nashville (OAK) by a whopping 21 games in the American Southern Division and has a magic number to clinch of 12.

All nine starters had at least one hit with seven touching home and/or driving in tallies.  Aledmys Diaz, Breyvic Valera and Wilfredo Tovar each had three hits, as Diaz and Valera both went yard.  Diaz’ solo shot capped the scoring in the ninth and was one of his three RBI and two runs scored.  Valera launched a two-run bomb, doubled once and crossed home twice while Tovar doubled twice in five at bats with a run scored and two driven in.

Reliever Josh Zeid shut down the Rainiers on three hits and a walk over 2 2/3, receiving credit for his seventh win in nine decisions.  He fanned four.

Kevin Herget went the first 4 1/3, yielding three runs on three hits and two walks.  His final run scored under Zeid’s watch.  Arturo Reyes and Miguel Socolovich both tossed an inning, with Socolovich allowing a run on three hits.

Friday’s game:  at Tacoma (55-56) (SEA), 7:05 pm PDT, John Gant (3-5, 4.19)

Springfield 5 at Northwest Arkansas 3

Chris Ellis (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The S-Cards opened a four-game series at Northwest Arkansas with a 5-3 win, snapping a three-game losing skid.  Springfield (25-16) trails Tulsa (LAD) by two, the Drillers having won eight straight.

The visitors’ balanced offensive effort featured eight of nine starters garnering at least one of the team’s 10 hits.  Eliezer Alvarez and Magneuris Sierra had two hits apiece in four at bats, Alvarez doubling twice with a run scored and two knocked in.  Oscar Mercado’s only hit in three at bats was his 11th long ball of 2017, and the center fielder added a stolen base.

Facing the Naturals for the second consecutive start, Chris Ellis (W, 3-6) shone in his seven innings on the bump.  The righty shut down the opposition on five hits and a walk, fanning five with six ground- and three fly-ball outs.

Pedro Echemendia tossed a clean eighth before running into trouble. Overall, Echemendia allowed three runs on three hits and a free pass while recording four outs.  Andrew Morales gave up a hit and walk that let Echemendia’s last runner touch home before notching his first save.

Friday’s game:  at Northwest Arkansas (16-25) (KC), 7:10 pm CT, Austin Gomber (5-7, 4.27)

Clearwater 3 at Palm Beach 1

Jordan Hicks (St. Louis Cardinals)

The Beach Birds could not hold a slim early lead, falling to the Threshers, 3-1, in the first of their four-game set.  Palm Beach (19-20) has gone 4-6 over the last 10 games, slipping into fifth place, five games behind Jupiter (MIA).

The home team managed just six hits, three in the second inning, which generated their only score.  Leobaldo Pina smashed a ground-rule double but could not advance to third on Shane Billings’ infield single to short.  Luke Dykstra’s two-out single drove in Pina.

Jordan Hicks made that 1-0 lead stand up during his five-inning stint, yielding four hits and a walk.  But Ross Vance (BS, 4) (L, 2-4) allowed three runs on six hits in 1 2/3 with four K’s.  Hector Mendoza stranded one inherited runner, striking out four over 2 1/3.

Friday’s game:  vs. Clearwater (22-17) (PHI), 6:30 pm ET, Connor Jones (7-4, 3.93)

Peoria 6 at Beloit 7 (10)

Kramer Robertson (Peoria Chiefs)

The Chiefs built a 6-0 lead only to suffer a 7-6 walk-off defeat to the Snappers in 10.  Third-place Peoria (22-18) has lost the first two of three at Beloit and sit three games in back of Quad Cities (HOU).

Peoria lit up the Snappers’ starter for six tallies over the first five innings but could do nothing against their bullpen.  Kramer Robertson swung a hot bat, going 4-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and stolen base.  Matt Fiedler singled and doubled in five at bats, crossing home once.  The seven other starters had one hit each.

Anthony Shew held down Beloit through five but could not finish the sixth.  The righty allowed four runs on six hits, including a two-run long ball, and two walks through 5 2/3.  Shew struck out seven.

Colton Thomson recorded the final out in the sixth but was touched for two runs the next frame.  Both scored under Yeison Medina’s (BS, 2) watch to send the game into extras.  Dewin Perez (L, 2-4) could not get through the 10th, his only inning of work, giving up the difference maker on three walks and a sac fly.

Friday’s game:  at second-place Beloit (24-15) (OAK), 7:00 pm CT, Ian Oxnevad (3-9, 4.24)

State College 7 at West Virginia 2

The Spikes used a big inning to scamper to a 7-2 victory over the Black Bears for a two-games-to-one series lead with one to go.  State College (24-19) is tied for third with Williamsport (PHI) in the tight Pinckney Division, two games behind Mahoning Valley (CLE).

The visitors struck first with a tally in the first but West Virginia answered with single scores in the third and fifth off Paul Balestrieri (W, 2-1).  The Spikes made the right-hander a winner when they broke the game open with a six-run sixth, all of the scoring occurring with two gone.

State College banged out 10 hits with all nine starters getting into the action.  Center fielder Scott Hurst was the only Spike with more than one hit, singling and doubling in four at bats, touching home once.  The only other hit to go for extra bases was a double by right fielder Brandon Benson, who drove in two.

Balestrieri finished an out shy of six full frames, permitting eight hits, a walk and plunking one.  He fanned five.  Levi MaVorhis finished on just one hit and a base-on-balls for his second save.

Friday’s game:  at second-place West Virginia (25-18) (PIT), 7:05 pm ET, Daniel Castano (7-1, 2.24)

Johnson City 8 vs. Princeton 3

Luis Bandes (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

First baseman Luis Bandes blasted two home runs as the Appy Birds led from start to finish in their 8-3 victory over the Rays in the series’ opener.  Johnson City (20-21) is in third place, six behind Elizabethton (MIN).

Bandes’ bombs accounted for three scores and two of the team’s 13 hits.  Center fielder Chase Pinder led the way, going 3-for-5 with a double and run scored.

Wadye Ynfante joined Julio Rodriguez and Bandes with two hits each in four at bats.  Ynfante doubled once with three RBI, a stolen base and a miscue.  Eight of nine starters acquired at least one hit.

Edwar Ramirez (W, 2-5) held Princeton to a run on five hits and two free passes through five.  Jake Dahlberg was bitten by two errors in the sixth, giving up two unearned runs on two hits.  Jake Walsh struck out three over two scoreless and Thomas St. Clair walked one in the ninth.

Friday’s game:  vs. Princeton (15-26) (TB), 7:00 pm ET, Alvaro Seijas (3-1, 5.88)

GCL Cardinals 14 at GCL Nationals 12

Elehuris Montero (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The third-place Gulf Birds came out on top of a slugfest, downing the first-place Nationals, 14-12.  The Cardinals (15-16) trail the division leaders by 5 ½ games.

The contest featured four lead changes, 26 hits and 10 walks in all.  Three Cardinals had three hits apiece:  Elehuris Montero, Jonatan Machado and Taylor Bryant.  Machado and Bryant both went 3-for-6 with two RBI, Machado doubling once with two runs scored and Bryant scoring once.

But it was Montero who did the most damage, as all of his hits went for extra bases, resulting in five driven in and two runs scored.  Four of the five RBI were generated by a grand slam, his fourth home run of 2017, giving his squad their second lead of the day.  Defensively, the third baseman was charged with a throwing error, his fourth miscue of the season.

Not to be left out of the offensive equation is first baseman, Casey Grayson who continued his rehab by reaching base four times and scoring three times.  Grayson doubled twice in three at bats while working two of the team’s seven walks.  Two players had one hit each.

It is not a good pitching day when your staff surrenders 12 runs and all four hurlers are scored upon.  Junior Gonzalez did not finish the fourth, allowing four runs on five hits, a walk and two plunked batters.

Righty reliever C.J. Saylor stranded two inherited runners but was charged with five tallies on three hits, a base-on-balls and two hit batsmen.  Chris Hunt (W, 2-0) allowed all three of Saylor’s runners cross before yielding two tallies on three hits and a free pass over 2 2/3.  Kodi Whitley struck out three over the final two, permitting an unearned score and picking up his second save.

Friday’s game:  vs. third-place GCL Marlins (15-16), 12:00 pm ET, Angel Rondon (0-2, 3.71)

DSL Cardinals 6 at DSL Phillies Red 0 (7 2/3)

The DSL Cardinals blanked the DSL Phillies Red (24-29), 6-0, in a game that was called with two gone in the home half of the eighth due to rain.  The Cardinals (23-29) have climbed into sixth place in the South Division but are 14 behind the Twins and within seven of being eliminated from post-season contention.

A trio of Dominican Birds’ pitchers combined on a one hitter, beginning with spot starter Hector Soto.  Soto, whose last start was on July 3rd, sent down all nine Phillies Red batters faced, striking out two.  Jose Geronimo (W, 1-2) issued one free pass during his three frames on the bump, fanning four.

Larimel Soriano gave up the only hit allowed, walking two in 1 2/3. Wilman Madera had replaced Soriano with runners at first and second and two out when the game was called.

The visitors pounced for three in the first before adding two more fourth-inning scores and a solo shot by Raffy Ozuna in the seventh.  Center fielder Carlos Soler spearheaded the nine-hit effort, going 3-for-5 with a triple, run scored and two knocked in.  Six players had one hit each.

Friday’s game:  vs. DSL Twins (37-15), 10:30 am ET, TBA

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