Cardinals Minor League Notebook – July 28, 2021

photo: Logan Gragg (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 4-3, including a twinbill sweep in the Florida Complex League. Player of the Day Logan Gragg tossed seven one-run innings in Peoria’s win, backed by Masyn Winn and Jordan Walker.

Results from the games played Tuesday, July 27th.

Memphis 0 at Gwinnett 1

And so it ends.  Memphis (36-37) was edged by Gwinnett, 1-0, ending a franchise-high 15-game winning streak.

The Redbirds managed just four hits, all singles, and worked just three free passes.  Conner Capel reached base twice, going 0-for-2 with two walks but there is not much else to say about the offense.

A bright note was the onset of Jack Flaherty’s rehab assignment.  St. Louis’ ace tossed the first two frames, yielding a hit and striking out three.  Flaherty threw 21 of his 31 pitches for strikes.

Jack Flaherty

The bullpen took over the rest of the way, with the pitching duties shared among five relievers.  Tyler Webb (L, 0-2) fanned three during his two inning-stint but surrendered a solo shot that proved to be the losing margin.

Junior Fernandez rebounded from a rough outing against Louisville with two scoreless frames of one hit, one walk ball.  Jesus Cruz and Garrett Williams retired three batters each, yielding a hit apiece before Connor Jones used three K’s to navigate around two hits.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. Gwinnett (38-35) (ATL), 7:10 pm CT, Daniel Ponce de Leon (0-0, 0.00)

Springfield 0 vs. Arkansas 4

Springfield (28-45) mirrored their Triple-A counterparts with the same result.  Their four-hit shutout was a 4-0 defeat by Arkansas.

Nick Plummer’s 12th double, his lone hit in four at bats, was his squad’s only hit to go for extra bases.  The left fielder added a base-on-balls, representing one of three S-Cards to reach base twice.

Right fielder Alec Burleson and third baseman Malcom Nunez each singled once in three at bats with a walk.  Center fielder Justin Toerner worked a free pass and swiped his third base of 2021.

Tyler Pike

Tyler Pike took a tough loss, his third in six decisions, despite generating his best performance in 10 games this season.  The lefty scattered six hits over six innings, permitting one tally and striking out five.  Pike did not issue a free pass but did plunk one batter.

Given the offensive limitations on Tuesday, Johan Quezada’s outing put the game out of reach.  The 26-year-old allowed five base runners, two via hits, two via hit-by-pitch and one via a base-on-balls, with three of them coming around to score.  Quezada retired just two batters.

Alex FaGalde walked one in 1 1/3 innings, stranding two of three inherited runners.  Salvador Justo faced the minimum in the ninth.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. Arkansas (38-34) (SEA), 6:35 pm CT, Andre Pallante (3-4, 3.26)

Peoria 4 vs. Beloit 2

Logan Gragg’s arm and Pedro Pages’ bat led Peoria (29-44) over Beloit, 4-2, in the home series opener.  It was the Chiefs’ fourth victory in their last five games.

Player of the Day Gragg (W, 2-3) pitched a season-high seven frames, allowing four hits and two walks.  The only damage against the tall right-hander came in the fifth on a one-out double followed by an RBI single.  Gragg issued a free pass that frame, so gave up just two hits and a base-on-balls over the other six innings.  The Cardinal Nation’s 38th-ranked prospect has allowed just two runs in his last two home starts encompassing 13 frames.

Logan Gragg

Enmanuel Solano and Freddy Pacheco tossed one inning apiece.  Solano was tagged for a run on a hit and walk, with the tally unearned due to a fielding error by third baseman Jordan Walker.  Pacheco kept things quiet in the ninth, retiring the side in order with two strikeouts.

Meanwhile at the plate, Pages could not be retired.  Peoria’s clean-up hitter reached base all five times he came to the plate, going 3-for-3 with a solo shot and two walks.

Although the home team garnered 13 hits, they transformed them into just four tallies, going an ineffective 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranding 13.  The team did not break through until the home half of the fifth, when shortstop and Masyn Winn led off with a single.  Winn scored on Jordan Walker’s sixth A-Advanced double, raising his hitting streak to six games.

Winn went 1-for-4 with a walk and run scored in his A-Advanced debut, batting lead-off.  Former Palm Beach teammate Walker hit right behind Winn, going 2-for-5 with an RBI but was caught stealing trying to score later in the fifth.

Jordan Walker

That fifth-inning score appeared to open the flood gates just a tad as Peoria scored three times over the next two frames.  Another new Chief, designated hitter Todd Lott, and first baseman Chandler Redmond worked consecutive base-on-balls at the sixth’s onset, with center fielder Tyler Reichenborn’s single knocking in Lott.

Redmond eventually scored an unearned run after Walker reached on a fielding error by the Snappers’ second baseman.  Pages’ long ball provided Peoria’s final run, which occurred in the seventh.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. Beloit (31-42) (MIA), 6:35 pm CT, Mac Lardner (0-3, 6.33)

Palm Beach vs. Tampa – postponed    

The series opener at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium between Palm Beach (25-45) and Tampa was rained out.  The contest has been rescheduled as part of a double-header on Wednesday, July 28th with game one starting at 3:00 pm ET.

Wednesday’s games:  vs. Tampa (48-23) (NYY).  Game 1 – 3:00 pm ET, Levi Prater/Jose Moreno

FCL Cardinals 11 at FCL Nationals 8 – Game 1
FCL Cardinals 6 vs. FCL Nationals 1 – Game 2 (7)

The FCL Cardinals swept a pair from the FCL Nationals, 11-8 in regulation and 6-1 in seven innings.

Game 1 completed the July 21st road contest suspended in the top of the ninth due to lightning and the Florida Birds having just gone ahead 11-8.  That score remained intact for the game’s balance when play resumed on Tuesday at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium.

Reliever Victor Villanueva picked up his second win against no losses, pitching both on the 21st and 27th.  The 20-year-old recorded the game’s last five outs, yielding a single.  One of two inherited runners scored due to a passed ball charged to catcher Jake Burns in the eighth inning.

Enrique Saldana started on the 21st, yielding six runs on six hits, a walk and two hit batsmen over three frames.  Colin Schmid tossed two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and base-on-balls.

Diego Cordero served up a homer ball to his initial batter for his sole run allowed on two hits during his two-inning stint.  William Miranda retired one of three batters faced, issuing two free passes and throwing two wild pitches before Villanueva took over.

The FCL Cardinals’ offense generated 11 hits and six walks resulting in 11 runs, eight earned due to two Nationals’ bobbles.  Nine Florida Birds had at least one of a hit, run scored or RBI.

Burns led the hitting effort, going 3-for-5 with a double and two driven in but Hansel Otamendi swung the most productive bat.  The right fielder singled twice in five at bats, scored three runs and knocked in another two while swiping two bags.

Hansel Otamendi

The final player with a multi-hit performance was second baseman Brandon Hernandez, who doubled twice in five at bats, touched home once with two RBI.  Left fielder Luis Montano reached base four times, singling once in two at bats with three walks.

In the second contest, the home team pounced for five scores over the first two frames as they cruised to a 6-1 victory in seven innings.

The offense was opportunistic, translating six hits, seven walks, two stolen bases and several Nationals’ miscues into six runs, four earned.  Designated hitter Roblin Heredia was the only FCL Cardinal with more than one hit, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and two knocked in.

Right fielder Luis Montano’s only hit in three at bats was a solo shot although he did work a free pass, coming around to score a second run.  Jeremy Rivas scored twice despite going hitless in two at bats.  The shortstop was plunked in the first, his subsequent steal putting him in position to score on a Heredia single.  Rivas reached on a force the next frame, coming around to touch home plate on another Heredia single.

Right-hander Thomas Hart, St. Louis’ 16th round pick in the 2019 First-Year Player Draft, made his 2021 debut with a clean inning in which he allowed a two-out single.

Colin Schmid

Reliever Colin Schmid was credited with the victory, his first of 2021, with three one-two-three frames.  The southpaw is yet to be charged with a run in seven innings covering four appearances.

Ben Baird was touched for a run on two hits and a base-on-balls in his only inning of work.  Cordero pitched the sixth and seventh, issuing two free passes.

Wednesday’s game: Off

DSL Cardinals Blue 11 vs. DSL Twins 6 (7 innings)

The DSL Cardinals Blue (6-5) never trailed, flying past the DSL Twins (4-8), 11-6 in seven innings.  It is fourth win in their last five contests for the C-Blue.

Center fielder Jose Cordoba accounted for five runs, going 2-for-3 with a triple, hit-by-pitch, three runs scored and two knocked in.  Right fielder Keshawn Rombley took part in four scores, singling once in two at bats, crossing home once and driving in three – two via sac flies.

Jose Cordoba

First baseman Fernando Diaz compiled an unusual stat line, walking all four times he came to the plate and touching home plate three times.  Six C-Blue players scored at least one tally.

The Twins scored all six of their runs off the first two of four Cardinals Blue hurlers to see action.  Starter Randel Clemente allowed only one hit over 3 2/3 frames but issued five free passes, resulting in three tallies, two earned.

Oliver Lopez was charged with three runs, two earned, on three hits including a solo shot, two walks, a hit batsman and two balk calls against three outs recorded. The last run charged to Lopez crossed when his replacement, Miguel Martinez, threw one away on an attempted pick off move.  Martinez then fanned his only batter faced.  Alexander Beltre (W, 2-1) retired six batters, allowing a hit and throwing a wild pitch.

Defensively, The C-Blue committed two errors.  Shortstop Maycol Justo was charged with a throwing miscue, his first, along with the aforementioned pick-off-move-gone-awry by Martinez.  Catcher Alejandro Loaiza was charged with two passed balls.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. Phillies Red, 10:30 a.m. ET

DSL Cardinals Red 3 at DSL Rangers2 5

Free passes came back to haunt the DSL Cardinals Red (7-4) in their 5-3 road loss to the DSL Rangers2.

The C-Red offense outhit their opponents, nine to six but the pitching staff walked nine batters, four of whom came around to score.  Designated hitter Romtres Cabrera and left fielder Felix Taveras both went 2-for-4, Cabrera adding a walk while Taveras doubled, was hit by a pitch and crossed home once with an RBI.  Santiago Carbonara reached base twice, singling once in four at bats with a walk, run scored and one knocked in.

Felix Taveras

Five Cardinals Red pitchers took the mound and four of them issued at least one free pass.  Both of the tallies charged to starter Brayan Ramirez reached base on two of the four walks permitted along with two hits in three frames.

Darlin Saladin struck out three over the next two innings, giving up one hit.  Fraimin Marte (L, 0-1) (BS, 1) allowed three tallies on a hit and three base-on-balls in the sixth.  Bruno Lopez and Augusto Calderon posted identical lines of a hit and walk yielded with three batters retired.

Wednesday’s game: at Phillies White, 10:30 a.m. ET

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