photo: Brandon Purcell (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
On Sunday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 3-2. Peoria and State College won with final inning comebacks and Memphis’ big bats kept on hitting. Player of the Day Brandon Purcell’s two-run double tied the game for the Spikes. Johnson City’s loss knocked them out of first place.
Results from games played Sunday, August 25th.
The Redbirds trounced the Storm Chasers, 9-2, sweeping the three-game series and extending their winning streak to six. Second-place Memphis (65-67) has climbed to five games back of Iowa (CHC), who lost Sunday, but have an elimination number of four. If Memphis can stay in contention, the regular season-ending four-game series at Iowa next weekend would matter.
Long ball was the name of the game Sunday with the Redbirds launching four, accounting for six tallies. Adolis Garcia went yard twice in four at bats with three RBIs. The right fielder was joined by Rangel Ravelo, who paced his team’s 13-hit attack, going 3-for-5 with a double and two-run bomb that was part of his two runs scored and three driven in.
Justin Williams also had a solo shot leave the park, one of the designated hitter’s two hits in three at bats to go with a walk, run scored and RBI. The final Redbird with more than one hit was Randy Arozarena, who singled twice in five at bats, and crossed home once.
The home team’s hurlers were clicking as well, holding fourth-place Omaha (55-76) to just four hits. Daniel Ponce de Leon (W, 8-4) gave up all four during his five inning-stint, yielding four free passes resulting in two tallies, one of them via a solo blast.
Junior Fernandez followed Ponce de Leon to the mound and recorded six outs, including three strikeouts. Zac Rosscup walked one in the eighth before Chasen Shreve fanned the side in the ninth.
Monday’s game: at New Orleans (69-61) (MIA), 6:30 pm CT, Jake Woodford (8-7, 4.03)
The S-Cards were downed by the RockHounds, 7-2, and were the victims of a three-game sweep. It was the final road game of the season for third-place Springfield (28-34), two away from being eliminated in the North Division.
Tommy Parsons (L, 4-6) was bitten by the bomb, surrendering three home runs comprising four of the six runs yielded on eight hits and two walks over six frames. Bryan Dobzanski tossed the seventh, issuing a free pass, but Midland (33-29) (OAK) tagged Connor Jones for a run on three hits and a base-on-balls in the eighth.
The offense generated eight hits with three for extra bases but went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Johan Mieses accounted for two of the extra-base hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and solo home run that was one of his two runs scored. The only other player with more than one hit was Elehuris Montero, who singled twice in four at bats.
Monday’s game: vs. Frisco (30-31) (TEX), 6:30 pm CT, Evan Kruczynski (3-8, 5.64)
Sunday’s series finale between Palm Beach (21-41) and Fort Myers (34-28) at Roger Dean could not be played due to inclement weather. Since the game has no bearing on the South Division postseason, which has already been determined, the contest will not be rescheduled.
Monday’s game: at Bradenton (34-31) (PIT), 6:30 pm ET/5:30 pm CT, Edgar Gonzalez (6-14, 4.94)
A huge ninth-inning rally vaulted the Chiefs past the Kernels, 9-5, evening the series at one game each with two yet to play. Peoria (20-42) has been reduced to the spoiler role in the West Division with one week to go.
The Chiefs were shut out through eight frames but greeted Cedar Rapids’ new reliever in the ninth with a single-walk-single to load the bases for Jonatan Machado. Machado plated Leandro Cedeno and Brandon Riley with a double to right, bringing in a fresh hurler. That pitcher hit both Edwin Figuera and Brady Whalen, the latter forcing across Josh Shaw, who singled ahead of Machado.
Brendan Donovan strode to the plate with the sacks re-jammed and singled home Machado, bringing Peoria within one. A wild pitch scored Figuera and triggered an intentional free pass to Imeldo Diaz. After a swinging K, Cedeno came back up to the plate and lifted one deep enough to score Whalen for a 6-5 lead. Riley poured it on with a two-run double, scoring Donovan and Diaz, before Shaw finished the scoring with a single to left that brought Riley across.
Riley spearheaded his squad’s offense, going 3-for-4 with a walk, double, two runs scored and two knocked in. Donovan, Cedeno and Shaw all went 2-for-4 with run scored and RBI, and Donovan and Shaw both worked a free pass. Peoria banged out 12 hits in all.
Connor Coward shut out the opposition in the eighth and received his first full-season victory. But the right-hander was pulled the following frame after loading the bases on a walk, single and hit batsman with one gone. Evan Sisk got his first batter to hit into a 4-6-3 double play for his fourth save.
Coward and Sick pitched in relief of Colin Schmid, who allowed five runs on six hits and two base-on-balls over 5 1/3 innings. Two of the five runs were generated by one home run. Sebastian Tabata retired five batters, striking out three, and stranding an inherited runner.
Monday’s game: at fifth-place Cedar Rapids (33-29) (MIN), 6:35 pm CT, Michael Brettell (5-9, 5.19)
A ninth-inning rally gave the Spikes a 4-3 walk-off victory over the second-place Black Bears in the series opener. Third-place State College (35-33) gained on first-place Batavia (MIA), whom they trail by two games in the Pinckney Division standings with eight games remaining.
With State College down 3-1 with three outs to go, Pedro Pages led off with a ground-rule double, advancing to third on Stanley Espinal’s line-drive single up the middle. Dariel Gomez worked a base-on-balls, jamming the sacks for Brandon Purcell. Purcell came through with a two-run double, which knotted the game at 3-3 and elicited an intentional walk to Brylie Ware. David Vinsky’s single to short scored pinch runner Shane Benes.
The Spikes garnered eight hits, with Pages going 3-for-4 with a double and home run, two runs scored and one knocked in. The designated hitter was the only State College player with a multi-hit performance.
Three of the six hits given up by Scott Politz during his eight innings on the bump occurred in the second, accounting for all three tallies charged to the Yale product. Politz has gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts, during which time he has allowed just four runs, three earned. Fabian Blanco (W, 3-0) tossed a one-two-three ninth.
Monday’s game: vs. second-place West Virginia (36-31) (PIT), 7:05 pm ET/6:05 pm CT, Andre Pallante (1-0, 2.48)
Shaky pitching and defense by the JC-Cards resulted in a 10-8 loss in the decisive third game of the series. The defeat drops Johnson City (33-32) into a two-way tie for second with Kingsport, a half of a game behind Bristol (33-31) (PIT).
Francisco Justo could not finish the fourth, permitting seven runs, five earned, on six hits and two walks in 3 2/3 frames. His final two runners scored under John Witkowski’s watch after the latter yielded three hits in 1 1/3 innings, resulting in an unearned run of his own.
But the actual loss fell on Tyler Peck (L, 2-3) who was charged with two runs on a hit and two free passes in 2 1/3. Closer Will Guay fanned three over the last 1 2/3 frames but allowed two inherited runners to score.
Quality defense was in short supply with both teams committing two errors that led to a combined six unearned scores. Johnson City committed two throwing errors, one by center fielder Diomedes Del Rio and the other by third baseman Liam Sabino. Reliever Peck also threw two wild pitches.
Second baseman Kevin Vargas had a perfect night at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, stolen base and run scored out of the seven hole. Shortstop Mateo Gil was one of three Appy Birds to go yard, with first baseman Chandler Redmond launching a solo shot that was one of his two hits in five at bats, with two runs scored and four RBI. Designated hitter Todd Lott also had a solo long ball, while going 2-for-5.
Monday’s game: at co-second place Kingsport (33-32) (NYM), 6:30 pm ET/5:30 pm CT, TBA
The Gulf Coast Cardinals (20-31) head into the final five games of their season on a five-game losing skid. The East Division’s last-place team has not notched consecutive wins since August 4th and 6th, an apt reflection of what has been a disappointing and eminently forgettable season.
Monday’s game: at GCL Astros (24-26), 12:00 pm ET/11:00 am CT, TBA
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