Cardinals Minor League Notebook – July 12, 2021

photo: Ali Sanchez (Memphis Redbirds)

Ali Sanchez’ timely hit led Memphis to the system’s only Sunday victory in four games. Springfield, Peoria and Palm Beach all went down to defeat, the latter despite Jacob Buchberger’s big day at the plate. Futures Game highlights included.

Results from games played Sunday, July 11th.

MLB Futures Game at Denver – National League 8, American League 3

Two Cardinals, both members of Triple-A Memphis, were among the NL starters in the contest.

Matthew Liberatore retired the 1-2-3 AL hitters in order in the first – top 10 prospects Bobby Witt Jr., Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodríguez.

Nolan Gorman started at third base went 1-for-2, including an RBI double in the third inning and scored a run.

After hitting two home runs, Cubs prospect Brennen Davis was named the game’s MVP.

Memphis 3 at Louisville 1

Ali Sanchez doubled and scored the go ahead tally in the Redbirds’ 3-1 victory over Louisville (24-34) (CIN) at Louisville Slugger Field.  Memphis (23-36) claimed two of the five completed games in their scheduled six-game series.  The final contest has been postponed until Wednesday, July 21st at the home of the Bats.

Ali Sanchez

The contest was knotted at one all when Player of the Day Sanchez kicked off the eighth with a double to left, the sixth two-bagger of 2021 for the catcher.  Shortstop Evan Mendoza stroked a soft liner to right, driving in Sanchez then swiped his 10th base.  Third baseman Irving Lopez singled up the middle to bring Sanchez across home plate for an insurance run.

Sanchez and Lopez both garnered two singles and a double, Sanchez in five and Lopez in four at bats.  Memphis’ other tally was generated by Conner Capel’s home run, one of his two hits in five at bats and second in two games.  Rayder Ascanio also accumulated two of his team’s 12 hits.

Zack Thompson mustered his best effort since a June 20th start in which he tossed three scoreless frames. On Sunday, the lefty limited his opponents to a run on three hits and a walk over four innings, throwing 31 of his 46 pitches for strikes.

Connor Thomas (W, 4-0) took over in the fifth and blanked the Bats on two hits and a plunked batsman over three frames.  Brandon Dickson used a 6-4-3 double play to negate two singles permitted, keeping Louisville off the board in his inning on the mound.  Roel Ramirez tossed a one-two-three ninth, striking out two, for his first Triple-A save.

Monday’s game:  Off

Springfield 1 vs. Tulsa 5

An abbreviated pitching start combined with a misfiring offense led to the S-Cards’ 5-1 defeat by the Drillers.  Springfield (22-38) took the road series from Tulsa (32-27) (LAD), four games to two.

Starter Andre Pallante (L, 3-3) lasted just two frames, yielding four runs on five hits and two free passes issued.  Two of the tallies were unearned due to an errant throw by third baseman Malcom Nunez allowing the game’s lead-off batter to reach.  (Side note:  As mentioned in The Cardinal Nation’s comprehensive look at St. Louis’ first-round pick Kevin McGreevy in yesterday’s draft, Pallante was McGreevy’s high school teammate.)

Kyle Leahy struck out five over the final seven innings, with the only damage against the right-hander a home run with the bases empty.  The bomb was one of four hits and a walk Leahy permitted.

Kyle Leahy

The offense had opportunities despite managing just five hits and three walks but went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.  Right fielder Alec Burleson went 2-for-4, with his ninth-inning home run preventing the shutout.

Nunez reached base twice, singling with a walk in four plate appearances to go with his fifth error and took part in two double plays.    Nick Plummer’s only hit in four at bats was his 10th double.

Monday’s game:  Off

Peoria 1 at Cedar Rapids 2

The Chiefs came out on the wrong end of a low-scoring affair, falling to the Kernels at Perfect Game Field, 2-1.  Peoria (22-38) was swept in their just completed series at Cedar Rapids (34-26) (MIN).

In a game featuring just 11 hits in all, walks and defense proved the difference maker.  The contest was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth when Peoria starter Connor Lunn (L, 3-5) put his first two runners aboard via a free pass and hit batsman.  Third baseman Jordan Walker’s fielding error, his second A-Advanced bobble, loaded the bases.  A sac fly to right put the Kernels on the scoreboard and led to Lunn’s departure.

Freddy Pacheco let his initial two runners reach on an RBI single and free pass issued.  The base-on-balls reloaded the sacks but Pacheco eliminated further damage with a swinging K.  Fabian Blanco and Jacob Schlesener each tossed a scoreless frame, Blanco allowing a hit and base-on-balls while striking out all three batters faced.

Moises Castillo

Peoria outhit Cedar Rapids, six to five, but only managed to break through in the ninth when they generated three straight hits.  Brady Whalen singled with one out, one of his two hits in four at bats.  The first baseman advanced on Leandro Cedeno’s single to left and motored home when Moises Castillo singled to right.  A wild pitch by the Kernels hurler left both Cedeno and Castillo in scoring position with one out to go but Cristhian Longa fanned swinging.

Monday’s game:  Off

Palm Beach 5 at Lakeland 6 – Game 1 (seven innings)

Palm Beach at Lakeland – Game 2 – postponed    

A two-run home run transformed what looked to be a win into a walk-off loss as the Beach Birds were edged by the Flying Tigers, 6-5.  Palm Beach (23-36) won only one of the five completed games in the six-game series at Lakeland (21-36) (DET).  The game yet to be played was postponed on Sunday and has been rescheduled as part of a double header at Palm Beach on Wednesday, August 11th.

The contest that could be played completed the Saturday, July 10th game called in the bottom of the third, just after the home team smashed a three-run home run to break a 1-1 tie.  Levi Prater gave up all four runs on four hits and a walk.  The righty plunked a batter just before serving up the bomb.

Luis Ortiz took the ball when play resumed on Sunday.  Ortiz retired eight batters, four on strikeouts, working around two hits and three free passes issued.

Nathanael Heredia recorded six outs, permitting a hit and two walks.  Luis Tena faced the minimum in the eighth but Kevin Marnon (L, 0-1) (BS, 2) was not able to hold a 5-4 lead the next frame.  The southpaw issued a free pass to the ninth’s lead-off batter then surrendered the long ball, giving the batter a multi-bomb game.

The Beach Birds never led until the top of the ninth when they generated three scores, going ahead 5-4.  Back-to-back singles from Jacob Buchberger and Matt Koperniak resulted in Koperniak driving in L.J. Jones who was hit by a pitch to begin the frame.  Terry Fuller’s two-out double knocked in Buchberger and Koperniak, putting Palm Beach in line for the win.

Jacob Buchberger

Buchberger was the only Beach Bird with more than one of the team’s seven hits, going 3-for-4 with a solo shot that was one of the three times he crossed home plate.  Fuller’s double was the only other hit to go for extra bases.

Monday’s game:  Off

FCL Cardinals – off

Sunday is a scheduled day off in the Florida Complex League.

Monday’s game:  FCL Cardinals (4-5) vs. FCL Mets (6-3), 12:00 pm ET, TBA

DSL Cardinals Blue

The 2021 Dominican Summer League gets underway on Monday, July 12th.  The league has been reorganized into four divisions:  North, South, Northeast, Northwest, Baseball City and San Pedro.  All divisions except Baseball City are comprised of eight teams while Baseball City has six squads.  The DSL Cardinals Blue play in the South Division.

Monday’s game:  vs. DSL Nationals (0-0), 10:30 am ET, RHP Benjamin Arias vs. TBA

DSL Cardinals Red

The DSL Cardinals Red are part of the San Pedro Division.  Since they share a facility with the DSL Cardinals Blue, one of the two squads will be on the road when the other plays at home.  All Dominican Summer League games start at 10:30 am ET/9:30 am CT.

Monday’s game:   at DSL Giants2 (0-0), 10:30 am ET, RHP Wilmer Ortega vs. TBA

For more

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