photo: Irving Lopez (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)
On a 2-2 Monday for the St. Louis Cardinals farm system, Memphis pummeled Round Rock, the A-ball squads both took it on the chin, and Springfield’s keystone cornerstone Irving Lopez earned our Player of the Day honors for the second straight day as he homered twice to lead the S-Cards to their fifth consecutive victory after opening the year with seven defeats.
Results for games played Monday, April 15th. (Note the two early bird tilts for Tuesday.)
Starter Jake Woodford logged 6 1/3 solid innings, permitting a pair of solo homers and nothing else as the Redbirds routed the Express 10-2. The righty required precisely 100 pitches as he fanned four, walked three, and helped himself by picking a man off second base. Jesus Cruz relieved Woodford with two on and one out, and in celebration of his 24th birthday Cruz promptly whiffed the next two batters. This was to be expected as Cruz has now retired 16 men this season, 15 of them on strikes. He has also walked six men, but only allowed a single safety.
At the plate, the 5-7 Redbirds were led by John Nogowski (3-for-3) who reached base five times via hit or walk, and by a trio of middle infield thumpers (Tommy Edman, Edmundo Sosa, and Ramon Urias) who combined for seven hits, five for extra bases, six RBI, and six runs scored. Outfielder Adolis Garcia elected not to participate, striking out in all five of his plate appearances.
Tuesday’s game: vs. San Antonio, Genesis Cabrera (0-0, 13.50) 6:35 CT.
Springfield (5-7) edged nearer to the .500 mark on the strength of two Irving Lopez longballs, besting Tulsa 6-5 on a beautiful breezy evening at Hammons Field. First baseman Chris Chinea went deep also, as the team tallied their six runs despite just five hits on the night. With his fourth and fifth homers, all in the past five games, Lopez lifted his batting average to a fine .297 and his OPS to a stunning 1.206 on the young season.
Williams Perez started and leveled his record at 1-1, allowing three runs in five innings, while the bullpen received yeoman work from both Mike O’Reilly and Seth Elledge. The righty relievers finished off the game with two innings apiece, whiffing nine and walking none — though they did each permit a tally.
Tuesday’s game: vs. Tulsa, Evan Kruczynski (0-0, 9.64) 11:10 CT.
Palm Beach fell to 9-3 on the season as they were held to two singles, a double, and a walk by the Flying Tigers staff, which fanned 13 Cardinals on the night while blanking them, 5-0. Newly-named Florida State League Player of the Week Justin Toerner went 1-for-4, dropping his league-leading average to .457, league-leading on-base percentage to .615, and league-leading OPS to 1.273.
Righty starter Edgar Gonzalez could hardly be blamed for the loss, as he surrendered just one earned run (plus two unearned) across half a dozen solid innings. Last year’s sixth round draft pick fanned four, walked one, and generated a 9-to-3 groundout/flyout ratio while lowering his ERA to 2.63 and his FIP to sub-2.00. The Fresno State product needed just 83 pitches to navigate his six frames.
Tuesday’s game: at Lakeland, Alex Fagalde (1-0, 1.80) 9:30 CT.
Dionis Zamora was battered for eight runs in the first three innings, and the Chiefs could not quite catch up, falling 8-7 at home and slipping to 4-7 on the 2019 campaign. The Peoria pen was brilliant, however, with 6 1/3 shutout innings. Edgar Escobar remained spotless on the season and lowered his career ERA to 0.99 as he struck out four LumberKings over 2 1/3 innings. Freddy “the fight doctor” Pacheco fanned four over his 2 1/3 as well, bouncing back from a five-run outing in his previous appearance.
Outfielder Wadye Ynfante homered and singled to lead the batsmen, while fellow flycatcher Brandon Riley singled, doubled, and drew a walk. Designated hitter Brady Whalen also singled and doubled, raising his average to .333 for the year. Peoria’s 18-year-old backstop Ivan Herrera had a full evening’s work, gunning two of four basestealers, committing his first error of the year, rapping his second double, and continuing to show a mature hitting approach by drawing his fifth free pass in just 29 trips to the plate.
Tuesday’s game: vs. Clinton, Tommy Parsons (2-0, 0.00) 6:35 CT.
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