Cardinals Minor League Notebook – July 7, 2021

photo: Malcom Nunez (Trevor Travis/Peoria Chiefs)

St. Louis’ minors went 1-for-4 Tuesday with a rainout. Malcom Nuñez’s three hits and Luken Baker’s walk-off powered Springfield’s win but Jordan Walker’s big bat was not enough to give Peoria a victory.  Memphis and the FCL Cardinals also lost while Palm Beach’s game was postponed.

Results from games played Tuesday, July 6th.

Memphis 3 at Louisville 9

Starter Matthew Liberatore yielded crooked numbers in each of his first three frames as the Redbirds fell to the Bats at Louisville Slugger Field, 9-3.  Memphis (21-34) sits firmly in seventh place in the seven-team Southeast Division, 16 ½ games behind Durham (TB).

Liberatore (L, 3-5) was tagged for 14 hits and two walks, resulting in eight runs, six earned, in 4 2/3 innings.  One of the 14 hits was a solo long ball. Former Cardinal Max Schrock went 3-for-3 against the Redbirds starter.

Grant Black retired four batters, permitting a hit and base-on-balls while allowing one of two inherited runners to score.  Garrett Williams worked around a hit and plunked batter for a clean seventh before Roel Ramirez was charged with an unearned tally on two singles, a passed ball and wild pitch.

Memphis’ offense banged out 10 hits but went 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, stranding eight.  All eight regulars had at least one hit, Juan Yepez representing the only Redbird with a multi-hit effort.  The first baseman went 2-for-3 including a solo shot.

Juan Yepez

Shortstop Evan Mendoza and third baseman Kramer Robertson both reached base twice, singling once in three at bats with a base-on balls. Mendoza added an RBI.  Right fielder Conner Capel and catcher Ali Sanchez each went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Defensively, Liberatore committed a fielding error to go with the previously mentioned passed ball by Sanchez.  The outfield was credited with two assists:  left fielder Scott Hurst at home and Capel at third base.

Wednesday’s game:  at Louisville (22-32) (CIN), 6:00 pm CT, Jake Woodford (0-1, 18.00)

Springfield 5 vs. Tulsa 3

Luken Baker’s big bomb gave the S-Cards a 5-3 walk off victory over the Drillers at Hammonds Field.  Fifth-place Springfield (19-36) trails first-place Wichita (MIN) by 12 games in the North Division and
fourth-place Arkansas (SEA) by nearly 10 games.

Baker’s 10th home run came with Malcom Nuñez aboard, cementing a rally that started in the sixth.  It was the first baseman’s only hit in five at bats.

But the night belonged to Player of the Day Nuñez, who generated a three-hit game in five at bats including a solo blast comprising one of his two runs scored and his RBI.  Defensively, the third baseman took part in two of his squad’s four double plays.

Malcom Nuñez

Trailing 3-0 after five frames, Springfield manufactured two sixth-inning scores on Nick Dunn’s single plus back-to-back-to-back walks by Aaron Antonini, Delvin Perez and Brendan Donovan.  Donovan’s free pass brought Dunn across home plate prior to Ivan Herrera’s force at second scoring Antonini.

Nuñez’ second Double-A home run knotted the game at three all through seven, setting the stage for Baker’s big blow.  Perez, Donovan and Dunn all reached base three times but by different methods.  Perez worked two free passes to go with a single in three at bats at the top of the order, while Donovan singled twice in four at bats with a walk.  Dunn also put together a two-hit performance, going 2-for-3 with a hit-by-pitch and run scored out of the eight hole.

Baker’s bomb made a winner out of Kodi Whitley (W, 1-1), who continued his St. Louis rehab assignment with a one-two-three ninth.  The righty fanned two Drillers.

Whitley pitched in relief of Andre Pallante, who lasted just three frames, permitting two tallies on four hits and two free passes issued.  Kyle Leahy composed one of his better efforts in recent memory, holding Tulsa to a solo bomb, one of the four hits and a walk permitted during his 4 1/3 innings on the mound.  Both outs recorded by Evan Sisk were strikeouts, as the lefty stranded Leahy’s final base runner.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. second-place Tulsa (30-24) (LAD), 6:35 pm CT, Dalton Roach (3-5, 5.62)

Peoria 2 at Cedar Rapids 10

The Chiefs were thumped by the Kernels at Perfect Game Field, 10-2.  Peoria (22-33) is in sixth and last place in the West Division standings, 14 ½ games behind Quad Cities (KC).

Connor Lunn took his fourth loss in seven decisions, after allowing six tallies on six hits and three walks over 4 2/3 frames.  Three of the six runs were generated by a second-inning home run.  Lunn struck out eight.

Cole Aker nearly matched that in his one-inning stint, serving up another three-run bomb that was one of four hits and three walks given up.  The 24-year-old allowed both inherited runners to touch home plate.

Working his way back after over a month on the Injured List, Mac Lardner retired all four batters faced, fanning two and leaving Aker’s last two runners aboard.  Right-hander Cory Thompson tossed a one-two-three eighth with two strikeouts.

Jordan Walker

Peoria mustered just four hits, with half by Jordan Walker.  The third baseman went 2-for-4 with a double and triple and scored both of his team’s tallies.  Brady Whalen’s only hit in four at bats was an RBI single driving in Walker after the latter doubled with one gone in the first.

Walker opened the third with his first A-Advanced triple via a fly ball to center.  Pedro Pages’ 6-3 ground out brought the 19-year-old across home plate.  Although Walker has hit safely in four of five games since his promotion from Palm Beach, Tuesday marked his first multi-hit effort.

Wednesday’s game:  at second-place Cedar Rapids (29-26) (MIN), 6:35 pm CT, Michael YaSenka (0-5, 6.53)

Palm Beach at Lakeland – postponed

The first of six games at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium between Palm Beach (22-32) and host Lakeland was postponed due to inclement weather.  The contest has been rescheduled as part of a July 8th twin bill with Game 1 scheduled to start at 4:00 pm ET. Keep an eye on hurricane news for a reading on how long play will be disrupted.

Wednesday’s game: at Lakeland (DET), 6:30 pm ET, Jose Moreno (0-3, 6.57)

Florida Complex League Cardinals 2 at FCL Mets 8

One big inning doomed the FCL Cardinals (2-4) to an 8-2 road loss to the FCL Mets (4-3).

The visitors were clinging to a 1-0 lead at the sixth’s onset, with the lead fueled by the pitching performances of Johan Quezada and Jose Davila.  Quezada’s Memphis rehab assignment continued with a scoreless first in which the righty yielded a hit.  Regular starter Davila took over, limiting the Mets to a hit and two walks over the next four frames.

It all unraveled in the sixth.  Davila (L, 0-1) jammed the sacks via two free passes issued plus a hit batsman.  With nowhere to put another batter, first baseman Jesus Orecchio’s throwing error proved costly, putting runners at the corners as two base runners came home.  Davila departed without recording an out in the frame.

The defense bit Davila’s replacement as well.  Ben Baird sandwiched a ground out to first between two fielding errors by shortstop Jeremy Rivas, bringing two more runners across home plate.  The 23-year-old then allowed a single and double driving in yet another two runners.  A ground out to first scored the inning’s seventh and final tally, with all the scores unearned.

Juan Peralta and Tink Hence each tossed an inning, with Peralta surrendering a solo shot that was one of his three hits allowed.  Hence faced the minimum, striking out two. For those keeping track, the 18-year-old prospect has three innings under his belt in his nascent baseball career, the results being nine up-nine down with six K’s.

Tink Hence

The FCL Birds offense generated six hits and four walks with a whopping 13 strikeouts.  The team got on the scoreboard after Orecchio worked a one-out free pass in the third.  The number nine hitter moved up a base via Tre Fletcher’s single, his only hit in four at bats, and advanced to third when Rivas forced Fletcher at second.  Orecchio scored on a passed ball.

The team’s other tally came when second baseman Ramon Mendoza singled to open the seventh.  After swinging K’s by Orecchio and Fletcher, Rivas doubled to center to drive in Mendoza.

Mendoza and Rivas reached base twice, both 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls.  Left fielder Luis Montano got on board twice as well, singling and doubling in four at bats out of the six hole.

Wednesday’s game:  vs. FCL Astros (3-4), 12:00 pm ET, TBA

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