Cardinals Minor League Notebook – August 8, 2019

photo: Michael Baird (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

The St. Louis Cardinals farm system went 4-5 on Wednesday with a doubleheader split of shutouts for Palm Beach and a trio of triumphs by rookie squads. Palm Beach’s Michael Baird spun five no-hit innings and Zach Jackson’s grand slam provided all the runs in Johnson City’s win.

Results for games played Wednesday, August 7th.

Sacramento 4, Memphis 2

Ramon Urias (Steve Mitchell/Imagn)

Memphis took an early 2-0 lead but to no avail as the Redbirds fell 4-2 at the River Cats Wednesday night, leaving their season ledger 51-64. The Redbirds batters slumbered all game, other than second baseman Ramon Urias, who reached three times via a single, double, and base on balls. Shortstop Edmundo Sosa (single, hit-by-pitch) was the only other man to reach multiple times.

Starter Austin Warner took the loss, yielding three runs on a half-dozen hits. The 25-year-old southpaw struck out seven and handed out two free passes. Following him was Jesus Cruz, who dazzled with three strikeouts in a four up, four down performance. Chasen Shreve finished with a run on three hits in one inning pitched.

Thursday’s game: at Sacramento, Genesis Cabrera (4-4, 6.15) 9:05 CT.

Tulsa 9, Springfield 3

Conner Capel (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

Springfield (21-24) lost its fourth straight game as starter Johan Oviedo failed to complete the first inning on Wednesday evening in a 9-3 blowout defeat at Tulsa. Pulled after 35 pitches and 2/3 of an inning, Oviedo fanned the first man but it was all catastrophe from there. The big righty surrendered four singles and a double before exiting, spiced by a balk and wild pitch, for four runs total.

Pressed into relief duty early, Mitchell Osnowitz and Connor Jones were both fine, allowing just one run on two hits over five frames. The duo whiffed seven and walked a pair. Bryan Dobzanski yielded four earned runs on six hits in two innings, however.

The S-Cards mustered just two safeties and center fielder Conner Capel had the team’s only extra base hit and RBI, via his solo home run. Third baseman Elehuris Montero singled for his club’s only other hit, while Lars Nootbaar worked a pair of free passes. Capel also gunned down a runner at third base.

Thursday’s game: vs. Arkansas, Alex FaGalde (3-1, 1.29), 7:10 CT.

Jupiter 6 at Palm Beach 0 (Game 1, seven innings)

Edgar Escobar (Joseph Freiday Sr. photo)

Palm Beach slid to 15-31 for the second half, losing the first game of a Wednesday twin bill to Jupiter by a 6-0 score. This was the reschedule of Monday’s rainout. Heroes were hard to come by as the club had just six singles and no fielding or baserunning highlights. The only Beach Birds to reach base twice were right fielder and leadoff man Chase Pinder (single, hit-by-pitch) and designated hitter Dennis Ortega, who singled and drew his team’s only base on balls.

Edgar Gonzalez started and threw three scoreless innings, walking two and fanning one. He then handed off to fellow righty Zach Prendergast, who was shelled for eight hits and five runs in just 1 1/3 innings. The ERA of the 24-year-old out of Seton Hall jumped from 4.12 to 4.73 for the season. Edgar Escobar mopped up well, allowing one run over 2 2/3 stanzas, with three strikeouts and no walks.

Palm Beach 4, Jupiter 0 (Game 2, seven innings)

Michael Baird (State College Spikes)

Palm Beach returned the favor in game two of their doubleheader, blanking Jupiter 4-0 and raising their record to 16-31 in the process. Righty starter Michael Baird was untouchable, holding the Hammerheads hitless for five frames and extending his streak to 21 innings across two levels without permitting an earned run. The towering 24-year-old fanned six and walked one, while expending only 55 pitches. (His season high is 60.) 2019 first round draftee Zach Thompson pitched a scoreless final inning, fanning two batters.

It was a game for the Michaels as shortstop Michael Perri led the Palm Beach offense with a homer, double, and single. No other Beach Bird had more than one hit, though left fielder Nick Plummer did go deep, coax a walk, and provide a sac fly. Leadoff man Chase Pinder singled and walked, as the only other Bird to reach safely twice.

Thursday’s game: vs. Clearwater, Kyle Leahy (0-2, 2.25) 5:30 CT.

Beloit 7, Peoria 2

Freddy Pacheco (Peoria Chiefs)

Peoria fell to 13-32 for the second half, losing at Beloit by a 7-2 margin Wednesday night. Designated hitter Leandro Cedeno was the closest thing to a hitting star with two singles and a base on balls. Third baseman Imeldo Diaz homered for his only hit but committed a throwing error. Backstop Carlos Soto was plunked, went 1-for-2, and gunned one of three base stealers.

Parker Kelly was the starter and loser, allowing seven runs, six earned, and throwing 5 2/3 innings before finally being removed. The 22-year-old, a career reliever until three weeks ago, has increased his season-high pitch count from 41 in mid-July, to 60 pitches on July 21, to 74 on July 27, to 87 on Wednesday. Freddy Pacheco was spectacular in relief as he set down seven straight, four on strikes.

Thursday’s game: at Beloit, Dalton Roach (0-0, 3.60), 6:30 CT.

State College at Auburn RAIN

State College was rained out in the series finale at Auburn on Wednesday. The game will be made up when the two meet again in State College from August 17-19.

Thursday’s game: vs. Batavia, Scott Politz (2-3, 6.92) 6:05 CT.

Johnson City 4, Burlington 1

Zach Jackson (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Scoring all of their runs on one dramatic swing of the bat, Johnson City improved to 26-21 with a 4-1 home win over Burlington on Wednesday. Designated hitter Zach Jackson provided the big blow, crushing a grand slam in the sixth inning to reverse a 1-0 deficit. Jackson also drew a walk, and first baseman Todd Lott had the team’s only multi-hit game with a pair of singles. Prospects Tre Fletcher and Malcom Nunez combined to go 0-for-7 with five whiffs. Fletcher has now fanned in 28 of his last 52 at-bats.

Righty Jake Sommers (10th round out of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this year) had his best start as a pro, pitching eight innings and conceding just the one tally on a solo shot to begin the game. The 22-year-old recorded eight punchouts to one walk, and lowered his ERA to 4.30 on the year. John Witkowski cleaned up with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, fanning one batter.

Thursday’s game: vs. Elizabethton, pitcher TBA, 5:30 CT.

GCL Cardinals 5, GCL Marlins 4

Pablo Gomez

After spotting the Marlins a three-run lead, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals rallied to a 5-4 win and improved to 17-20 on the season. Florissant native Anthony Green went five frames for the victory, allowing two earned runs on four knocks including a solo homer. The 21-year-old fanned four and walked one. Thomas Hart was wildly effective, walking four in 2 2/3 shutout innings, before Connor Coward bravely closed out the win by whiffing the last man with the potential tying runner on second base.

First baseman Pablo Gomez and catcher Cristhian Longa had two hits apiece, with Gomez’ three-run longball the biggest hit by far. Third baseman Francisco Hernandez hit his sixth homer as well (breaking a 2-for-31 skid), and designated hitter Diowill Burgos singled and drew a walk.

Thursday’s game: at GCL Nationals, pitcher TBA, 11:00 a.m. CT.

DSL Brewers 6, DSL Cardinals Red 5

The DSL Cardinals Red squad had many more hits and many fewer miscues than the Brewers, but still lost a 6-5 decision on Wednesday morning, falling to 22-35 on the year. Albert Inoa and Sander Mora had three singles each, and Mora added three stolen bases. Roblin Heredia (in his age 16 season) chipped in a pair of singles. Heredia has shown steady growth this DSL season — or at least the appearance of such — batting .170 with a paltry .556 OPS and 18 strikeouts in his first 53 at-bats, then a .192 average and .719 OPS over his next nine games, and now finally a .924 OPS over his most recent seven contests.

Taking the bump for the Red was 17-year-old Yonael Dominguez, who permitted one run in four innings on four singles, one walk, and a pair of plunkings. The Dominican righty struck out four on his day. Brayan Ramirez yielded four unearned runs, but he was far from blameless. His seventh inning went flyout, groundout, error on shortstop…then walk, single, wild pitch, home run.

Thursday’s game: vs. DSL Brewers, pitcher TBA, 9:30 a.m. CT.

DSL Cardinals Blue 5, DSL Yankees 2

Scoring three in the first and never looking back, the DSL Cardinals Blue team whipped the Yankees 5-2 Wednesday morning, lifting their ledger to 32-17 and climbing within 2 1/2 games of the first-place Phillies Red team in the DSL South Division.

Engels Martinez was the stellar starter, tying his career-longest outing with six innings of five-hit baseball. The 17-year-old righty surrendered one earned run while fanning four and walking one. If anything the bullpen was even better, as 18-year-old righties William Miranda and Dionys Rodriguez combined to retire nine of ten batters, three on strikes. With his two scoreless stanzas, Miranda lowered his ERA to 1.53 on the year in 35 1/3 innings.

Shortstop Darlyn Del Villar led the azure attack with four total bases (single, triple) and other multi-hit games were recorded by 17-year-old first baseman Fernando Diaz with two singles, and 17-year-old designated hitter Brandon Hernandez with a single and double. Diaz is now 12 for his last 26, raising his OPS nearly 130 points to a respectable .742, and Hernandez, who started his season 6-for-40 with 19 strikeouts, is batting roughly .320/.420/.480 ever since.

Thursday’s game: at DSL Nationals, pitcher TBA, 9:30 a.m. CT.

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