Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 31, 2019

photo: Matt Duce (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-4 on Friday, including a Johnson City loss in Game 1 of its playoff series. Our Player of the Day is State College catcher Matt Duce, who went 4-for-6, including a double, two RBI and two runs scored as the Spikes try to hold onto their fading post-season hopes. Memphis was officially eliminated.

Results for games played Friday, August 30.

Memphis 1 at Iowa 5

Jesus Cruz (St. Louis Cardinals)

The slim 2019 playoff hopes for the Redbirds, fueled by a late-season rally, came to a halt with a 5-1 loss to the Iowa Cubs in Des Moines.  Memphis had a shot to defend their PCL and Triple-A titles by sweeping the four game series in Iowa, but that hope officially ended on Friday night.

The Cubs pounced on starter Tommy Parsons, who was making his Triple-A debut, for five runs in the first inning.  Parsons recovered and held the Cubs scoreless through the next four innings, going five and allowing the five runs on seven hits.  The right hander fanned six and walked two as he replaced Genesis Cabrera, scratched before the game.  Jesus Cruz tossed two scoreless innings of relief.  Bryan Dobzanski hurled a scoreless eighth.

The Redbirds offense was unable to recover from the early five-run deficit.  Memphis finally scratched one run across in the fifth on a ground out by Rangel Ravelo following a Randy Arozarena hit by pitch, a Dylan Carlson single, and a double steal.  Carlson and Ramon Urias were 2-for-4.  The only extra base hits were a triple by Carlson and a double by Arozarena.

On the base paths, in addition to Arozarena and Carlson with the double steal, Urias and Max Schrock also swiped a bag apiece.  In the field, Edmundo Sosa made a throwing error.

Memphis is 68-69 on the season and is in second place in the PCL American North, five games behind the Iowa Cubs, and have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Saturday’s game:  at Iowa, Seth Elledge (3-1, 5.17) 7:08 CT.

Springfield 4, Midland 5

Chris Chinea (Springfield Cardinals)

The Cardinals were edged by Midland Rock Hounds 5-4 at Hammons Field on Friday.  The offense initially went up 1-0 in the first inning on an RBI single by Chris Chinea.  Springfield did not score again until the eighth, when three runs came home to tie the game 4-4.   Conner Capel singled to left to plate a run, then came home to score, along with Chinea, on a single to center off the bat of Julio Rodriguez.  Chinea went 2-for-4 , while Capel was 2-for-3.

Spot starter Merandy Gonzalez, filling in for Parsons, pitched 3 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits.  The right hander struck out two and walked three.  Jacob Patterson surrendered one run in 3 1/3 innings of relief.  Ronnie Williams allowed one run in the final 2 1/3 innings and took the loss.

Rayder Ascanio stole his third base of the season.  Kramer Robertson was caught stealing for the fifth time.  In the field, Gonzalez made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 30-37 in the second half, 60-77 overall, and are in third place in the Texas League North.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Midland, Evan Kruczynski (3-8, 5.69) 6:10 CT.

Palm Beach vs. Florida (cancelled)

The final series of the season for the Palm Beach Cardinals, to be played against the Florida Fire Frogs over the weekend, was cancelled due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Dorian.

The Cardinals finished the season with a second half record of 22-44, an overall record of 57-72, and were in last place in the Florida State League South Division, 23.5 games back of the first place Charlotte Stone Crabs.

Peoria 2, Beloit 9

Connor Thomas (State College Spikes)

The Chiefs were overwhelmed by the Beloit Snappers by the score of 9-2 at Dozer Park on Friday.  The Peoria offense managed only two runs on 10 hits.  A sac fly by Brady Whalen in the first inning put the Chiefs on the board, but the offense failed to add on until Imeldo Diaz’ RBI single in the eighth.  Diaz went 2-for-4, as did Jonatan Machado and Carlos Soto.

Starter Colin Schmid pitched five innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on six hits.  The left hander struck out four and walked two.  Connor Thomas tossed two scoreless innings of relief.   Sebastian Tabata surrendered five runs in the eighth as the game got away from the Chiefs.  Freddy Pacheco allowed one run in the ninth.

In the field, Soto made a throwing error.  Leandro Cedeno had an outfield assist at second base.

The Chiefs are 19-41 in the second half, 49-80 overall, and are in last place in the Midwest League West

Saturday’s game:  at Cedar Rapids, Michael Brettell (5-9, 5.15) 6:35 CT.

State College 10 at Mahoning Valley 3

Matt Duce (State College Spikes)

The Spikes pummeled Mahoning Valley by the score of 10-3 on Friday.  The State College offense scored the bulk of their runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Dariel Gomez singled in the first inning to plate the first Spikes score.  A third inning sac fly by Stanley Espinal gave the Spikes a 2-1 lead.

The five-run seventh inning was the turning point.  Matt Duce doubled to plate a run then scored on a Liam Sabino single.  Two runs came home on a fielder’s choice and a fielding error.  The fifth run of the inning scored on a ground out by Luis Flores.

In the eighth, three runs came in on a single by Duce and a double by Andrew Warner.  Duce went 4-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored.   Pedro Pages was 3-for-4 with four runs scored.

Starter Scott Politz pitched six innings and gave up three runs on five hits.  The right hander struck out four and walked two to earn his fourth win.  Cameron Dulle followed with two scoreless innings of relief.  Eric Lex tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Spikes are 38-35 and are in third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney Division, two games back of the first place Batavia Muckdogs with three games remaining in the season. State College’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread, with their elimination number just one.

Saturday’s game:  at Williamsport, Andre Pallante (1-0, 2.81) 6:05 CT.

Johnson City 4 at Bristol 5

Jhon Torres (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The Cardinals were edged by the Bristol Pirates in Game 1 of the West Division Semifinal Playoff Series on Friday.  Jhon Torres drove in two of the Cardinals four runs on a single in the third inning and a sac fly in the seventh.  Carlos Soler added a sac fly in the fourth.  The fourth and final run came home on a fielding error in the ninth.  Mateo Gil was 2-for-5 with a triple and was the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Starter Jake Sommers pitched five innings and gave up two runs, one earned, on five hits.  The right hander fanned eight and walked one.  Tyler Peck followed with 1 2/3 scoreless innings of relief.  Left hander Walker Robbins surrendered the three winning runs in the eighth and was charged with the blown save and the loss.  John Witkowski got the final outs of the ninth.

In the field, the Cards had a rough night. Malcom Nunez and Kevin Vargas committed throwing errors.  Gil and Chandler Redmond each made a fielding error. Zach Jackson had a passed ball.

Game 2 of the best of three series will be played at Johnson City on Saturday, as will Game 3 on Sunday, if needed.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Bristol, Francisco Justo (0-0, 0.00) 5:30 CT.

GCL Cardinals

The Cardinals had no game scheduled for Friday but were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday with the Astros to conclude their season.  However, that series (and the Gulf Coast League playoffs) were cancelled due to the impending landfall of Hurricane Dorian.

The Cards finished with a 20-34 record (.370), and in fifth/last place in the GCL South, 10 games behind the Marlins.

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