Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/7/17

photo: Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

The St. Louis Cardinals minor league system went 3-1 on Wednesday, with Palm Beach crowned co-Florida State League champions. Player of the Day Aledmys Diaz homered twice as both Memphis and Peoria won their playoff openers.

Results from games played Wednesday, September 6.

Memphis Redbirds 4, Colorado Springs Sky Sox 1

Aledmys Diaz (USA TODAY Sports Images)

Powered by three home runs, the Redbirds defeated the Sky Sox, 4-1, in the first game of their best-of-five playoff series.

Redbirds second baseman Aledmys Diaz is our Player of the Day after crushing two of the three home runs, including a two-run shot in the fourth. Left fielder Tyler O’Neill hit the other. Aside from the trio of long balls, there is not much to speak of regarding the Memphis offense; the lineup combined for a total of four hits, but they proved to be enough.

Starter Dakota Hudson allowed one run over six innings with five strikeouts, earning his first postseason win. Mike Mayers followed with two clean frames before Mark Montgomery secured a save in the top of the ninth.

Thursday’s game: Kevin Herget (0-0, 0.00) vs. Colorado Springs Sky Sox, 7:05 PM Central time.

Palm Beach Cardinals 3, Fort Myers Miracle 2

Connor Jones (St. Louis Cardinals)

With a 3-2 win over the Fort Myers Miracle on Wednesday, the Palm Beach Cardinals became South Division champions and were named co-champions of the Florida State League.

Connor Jones was wonderful in his start, allowing one unearned run over six frames on a mere two base hits. Brady Bowen recorded an out in the seventh, before Ramon Santos wrapped up the frame. Derian Gonzalez got into trouble in the eighth, allowing the tying run, but Hector Mendoza pitched a scoreless ninth and ultimately picked up the win.

The game was tied, 2-2, and the bases were loaded with one out in the bottom of the ninth for Cardinals right fielder Thomas Spitz. Spitz was hit by a 2-2 pitch to force in the game-winning run for the Cardinals, who were named champions of the FSL for the first time since 2005. Center fielder Blake Drake scored two of the Cardinals’ three runs, while shortstop Jose Martinez and designated hitter Chris Chinea each had a pair of hits.

With the impending arrival of Hurricane Irma, remaining postseason games were cancelled. The North Division winners, the Dunedin Blue Jays, were named FSL co-champions.

Peoria Chiefs 4, Quad Cities River Bandits 3

Evan Mendoza (State College Spikes)

A walk-off single from third baseman Evan Mendoza capped off a 4-3 win for the Chiefs over the River Bandits in the first game of the best-of-three first-round series.

Mendoza went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and the game-winning run batted in. Catcher Brian O’Keefe, designated hitter Juan Yepez, and left fielder Matt Fiedler each drove in a run as well. Overall, the Chiefs went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, leaving 11 runners on base.

Ian Oxnevad turned in a quality start, allowing two runs on three hits over six innings. Bryan Dobzanski yielded a run in the seventh before Austin Sexton’s clean eighth and Yeison Medina’s scoreless ninth. Being the pitcher of record when the Chiefs won it, Medina was credited with the win.

Thursday’s game: Austin Warner (0-0, 0.00) at Quad Cities River Bandits, 6:35 PM Central time.

Williamsport Crosscutters 5 at State College Spikes 2

Failure to come through with timely hits and a seventh-inning error resulted in a 5-2 home loss on Wednesday for the Spikes against the Crosscutters.

The Spikes mustered just two runs from 10 hits, stranding nine runners. Third baseman Yariel Gonzalez went 3-for-4 with a run scored, left fielder Bryce Denton scored and drove in a run, and designated hitter Matt Davis had two hits with a run batted in.

Following Jonathon Mulford’s 5 2/3 innings of two-run ball, reliever Alex Fagalde found himself in a sticky situation in the seventh. Two singles and a throwing error — committed by Fagalde — led to two Crosscutters runs to break a 2-2 tie and put Williamsport ahead for good. A base hit later in the inning off Robbie Gordon drove in the fifth run for the Crosscutters. Gordon went on to post a zero in the eighth and ninth frames.

Thursday’s game: TBA vs. Williamsport Crosscutters, 6:05 PM Central time.

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