Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 2, 2019

photo: Brady Whalen (Allison Rhoades/Peoria Chiefs)

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 5-2 behind solid pitching. Quality starts came from Springfield’s Angel Rondon, Peoria’s Parker Kelly and DSL Blue’s Wilmer Ortega. Three State College hurlers combined for a two-hit shutout. Player of Day Brady Whalen’s four RBI powered the Chiefs’ win.

Results from games played Thursday, August 1st.

Memphis 13 vs. Albuquerque 8

Marcell Ozuna (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

St. Louis rehabbers Marcel Ozuna and Matt Carpenter propelled the Redbirds’ rally over the Isotopes, 13-8, to cap off the home series sweep.  Memphis (48-62), which has gone 8-2 in the last 10 games, is in third place in the American Northern Division standings, and trails Iowa (CHC) by 10 games.

Ozuna spearheaded the team-s 16-hit onslaught, going 3-for-4 with a walk, double and three-run bomb comprising one of his two runs scored and three of his five knocked in.  Carpenter singled and doubled in three at bats with a base-on-balls, touched home once and drove in three before Jose Martinez ran for him in the sixth.  It was the first hits for the third baseman in 24 at bats between Memphis and Double-A Springfield in his rehab.

Martinez was one of four other Redbirds with two hits each, along with Randy Arozarena, Harrison Bader and Edmundo Sosa.  The third baseman went 2-for-2 and crossed home twice after replacing Carpenter while Arozarena went 2-for-3 with a walk, two runs scored, RBI on a sac fly and stolen base.  The right fielder reached base once on a hit-by-pitch as did Ozuna.  Bader was on base three times, going 2-for-5 with a base-on-balls and touched home two times.

Austin Warner was charged with five runs on seven hits, two walks and two plunked batters over 5 1/3 frames.  The southpaw finished two outs shy of being the pitcher of record when his teammates mounted a seven-run sixth, giving them a 10-6 lead.

Instead, Jesus Cruz (W, 3-6) recorded the sixth’s final two outs – but not before allowing a run on two hits.  Making his organizational debut, Zac Rosscup issued a free pass in his scoreless seventh before giving way to Junior Fernandez.  Fernandez had a rare poor outing, giving up two runs on three hits and four walks over 1 2/3 frames.  It was the first time the right-hander had allowed an earned run since June 29th.  Chasen Shreve picked up his mates by retiring his only batter faced, leaving the bases jammed with Fernandez’ runners.

Friday’s game:  vs. El Paso (65-45) (SD), 7:05 pm CT, Jake Woodford (6-6, 4.11)

Springfield 1 at Arkansas 2

Angel Rondon (Palm Beach Cardinals)

A low-scoring affair ended with the S-Cards absorbing a disappointing 2-1 walk-off loss at Arkansas in the road series opener.  Springfield (20-19) has lost three straight, slipping into second place in the North Division standings, a game behind the Travelers.

Ronnie Williams took the loss, his second against two wins, after permitting a one-out walk and RBI double that brought the game to a close.  It was the first hit and second walk yielded by the righty, who recorded six outs and left an inherited runner on base.

Starter Angel Rondon permitted a run on three hits and four walks. The 21-year-old exited after surrendering a double with one gone in the seventh and threw 54 of his 94 pitches for strikes.

Springfield outhit Arkansas, five to four, but worked only one free pass to the Travelers’ six, which provided the difference in the game.  The visitors’ sole tally came when Yariel Gonzalez doubled to open the fourth, advanced to third via Brian O’Keefe’s sacrifice bunt and scored on a single to left by Johan Mieses.  Mieses added another single in four at bats, as the only S-Card with more than one hit.

Friday’s game:  at Arkansas (21-18) (SEA), 7:10 pm CT, Johan Oviedo (5-4, 5.27)

Palm Beach at St. Lucie – cancelled

The series finale for the PB-Cards at second-place St. Lucie (27-15) could not be finished due to rain. The score was 1-1 in the fifth inning when play was halted.

Since this was the two teams’ last head-to-head game of the year, it will not be rescheduled.

Palm Beach (13-28) has a firm hold on sixth and last place in the South Division standings, 16 ½ games behind Charlotte (TB).

Friday’s games: at Charlotte (29-11).  Game one – 6:30 pm ET, TBA/TBA

Peoria 6 vs. Kane County 3

Brady Whalen (Peoria Chiefs)

Brady Whalen’s bat led the Chiefs over the Cougars, 6-3.  Eighth-place Peoria (12-27) leads the home series over Kane County (26-13), two games to one with one remaining and trail both Kane County and Clinton (MIA) by 14 games in the West Division standings.

Whalen took part in five of his team’s six runs, going 2-for-3 with a base-on-balls, three-run home run, two runs scored and four driven in.  The first baseman/designated hitter is currently in the midst of a six-game hitting streak.

Third baseman Imeldo Diaz led the 10-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.  The final Chief with a multi-hit performance was shortstop Delvin Perez, who singled and doubled in four at bats and took his 16th stolen base of 2019.

Parker Kelly earned his third win in four decisions, tossing six strong frames while allowing two runs on five hits.  The righty has impressed in each of his three starts, which came after 12 relief appearances.

However, reliever Rodard Avelino did not impress, yielding a run on a hit and two walks while not retiring a batter.  Tony Locey got out of the two-on/none-out jam, permitting a hit over two clean frames.  Leonardo Taveras gave up a hit and base-on-balls before recording his second save.

Friday’s game:  vs. Kane County (26-13) (ARI), 6:35 pm CT, Dalton Roach (MWL debut)

State College 3 vs. Vermont 0

Jacob Schlesener (State College Spikes)

A trio of Spikes hurlers combined on a two-hit shutout over the Lake Monsters, 3-0, and salvaging the third and final game of the home series.  The win allows third-place State College (23-23) to keep pace with first-place Batavia (MIA) and second-place West Virginia (PIT), which they trail by five and one game, respectively.

The trio combined for 16 strikeouts, beginning with Andre Pallante, who fanned seven over three frames while issuing three free passes.  Jacob Schlesener (W, 2-3) tossed the next five innings, striking out eight while working around two hits, two walks and a hit batsman.  Jack Ralston tossed a one-two-three ninth, fanning one.  The righty, a seventh-round selection in the June 2019 First-Year Player Draft, is unscored upon in 15 2/3 frames covering nine appearances with 18 Ks notched against just two walks and four hits permitted.

The Spikes generated six hits. Terry Fuller and Stanley Espinal led the way with two each.  Fuller singled and doubled in four at bats, crossing home once, while Espinal went 2-for-3 with two driven in.

Friday’s game:  at Lowell (29-16) (BOS), 7:05 pm ET, Scott Politz (2-2, 5.59)

Johnson City 9 at Princeton 5

Kyle Skeels (Robert Kell)

The JC-Cards banged out 14 hits as they flew past the Rays, 9-5, in the decisive third game of the road series.  Johnson City (23-18) sits atop the West Division standings, two games ahead of Elizabethton (MIN).

All nine starters garnered at least one hit, beginning with designated hitter Kyle Skeels, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored.  First baseman Todd Lott, second baseman Liam Sabino and catcher Zach Jackson had two hits apiece.  Lott touched home twice with Jackson doubling once and knocking in two.  Sabino reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a sac fly, two walks, two runs scored and two RBIs.  Defensively, right fielder Carlos Soler was credited with an outfield assist at home and catcher Jackson was charged with his fifth passed ball.

Julio Puello (W, 3-2) pitched five solid frames, striking out seven and permitting two runs on six hits, a free pass and hit batsman.  Walker Robbins was charged with three runs, two earned, on two hits and a walk in the sixth. Hector Soto retired six batters, yielding two hits.  Wilfredo Pereira navigated around two hits in the ninth.

Friday’s game:  vs. Bluefield (21-20) (TOR), 6:30 pm ET, TBA

GCL Astros 5 at GCL Cardinals 5 – suspended in the sixth inning

Thursday’s contest between the Astros (14-17) and Cardinals (13-18) was suspended due to rain with one gone in the home half of the sixth.  At that point the visitors had scored four tallies in the top of the frame to tie the score at five-all.  The game is scheduled to be completed on August 6th when the two clubs meet again, in West Palm.

The GCL Cardinals are in sixth place in the six-team East Division standings, six games behind the GCL Marlins.

Friday’s game:  at first-place GCL Marlins (19-12), 12:00 pm ET, TBA

DSL Twins 5 at DSL Cardinals Blue 2

The C-Blue bullpen could not hold a late lead in a 5-2 loss to the Twins.  The Cardinals Blue (29-16) are in third place in the South Division standings, four games in back of the DSL Phillies Red, winner of seven straight.

Ronald Suarez (L, 1-1) (BS, 1) began the seventh charged with holding his squad’s 2-1 lead.  Instead, the right-hander allowed two runs on three hits and a free pass with two outs recorded.  Benjamin Arias stranded Suarez’ last two runners but was tagged for two tallies on two hits and two walks the next frame.  Nelson Prada retired four batters, giving up a hit and stranding an inherited runner.

That marred a fine effort by starter Wilmer Ortega, who scattered eight hits over six innings while yielding a single score.  The 18-year-old did not issue a free pass but did plunk a batter.

Designated hitter Jose Zapata was the only Cardinals Blue player with a multi-hit effort, going 2-for-4 with a double out of the six hole.  Carlos Arcia reached base twice, singling once in two at bats with a walk and run scored.  The second baseman stole a bag, joining Darlin Moquete and Darlyn Del Villar.

Friday’s game:  at second-place DSL Rockies (31-16), 10:30 am ET, tandem – Yordy Richard (3-0, 5.35)/Eduar Pimentel (0-2, 6.46)

DSL Cardinals Red 4 at DSL Cubs2 2

Angel Cuenca tossed six impressive frames as the C-Red downed the Cubs2, 4-2.  The victory lifts Cardinals Red (19-33) into seventh-place in the eight-team San Pedro Division standings, 13 games behind the Cubs2 (32-20).

Cuenca allowed just three base runners over the first five frames, two walks and a single, before yielding a tally on a double-walk-RBI single stretch in his final inning of work.  The 18-year-old Venezuelan struck out eight.

Larimel Soriano permitted an unearned run on two hits and two walks over two innings.  Hector De Los Santos allowed a single and a free pas before collecting his third save.

Cuenca’s start was supported by the C-Red offense scoring three times in the first two frames on eight hits and four walks in all.  Left fielder Claudio Ramirez led the way, going 3-for-4 with a double and RBI while center fielder Smith Vargas singled and tripled in four at bats, touching home twice.

Friday’s game:  vs. sixth-place DSL Mets2 (24-28), 10:30 am ET, Diorys Guerrero (0-2, 7.20)

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