Cardinals Minor League Notebook – July 9, 2021

photo: Nick Plummer (Springfield Cardinals)

It was bombs away for Nick Plummer whose three-home run night led Springfield to one of the system’s two victories on Thursday.  The FCL Cardinals won as well but Peoria fell despite Michael YaSenka’s impressive mound effort.  Palm Beach’s double header included a loss and a postponement while Memphis was rained out.

Results from the games played Thursday, July 8th.

Memphis at Louisville – postponed

Game 3 between Memphis (21-35) and Louisville was postponed due to rain and has been rescheduled as part of a double-header on Friday, July 9th.  The first contest will get underway at 4:30 pm CT.  The Redbirds have dropped the first two of six games at Louisville Slugger Field.

Friday’s games:  at Louisville (23-32) (CIN).  Game 1 – 4:30 pm CT, Tommy Parsons (1-5, 6.19)/Angel Rondon (1-4, 6.18)

Springfield 10 vs. Tulsa 9 (10 innings)

Nick Plummer’s 10th-inning bomb handed the S-Cards a 10-9 walk-off win over the Drillers at Hammons Field.  The victory is the fifth straight for Springfield (21-36), a span including the first three games of this series.

Co-Player of the Day Plummer’s long ball was not only his seventh of 2021 but his third of the game and the Redbirds’ fifth of the evening.  Acting as the designated hitter, the 24-year-old went yard with Malcom Nunez (single) aboard in the seventh, blasted a solo shot the next frame and then sealed the game on a bomb with Alec Burleson aboard in the 10th.  By night’s end Plummer posted a line of 3-for-5 with a hit-by-pitch, three runs scored and five RBI.

After 15 years of no three-homer games by a Springfield Cardinal, Plummer joins Nolan Gorman in achieving the longball feat in 2021.

Nick Plummer

Burleson, who began the 10th on second, accounted for his team’s other two home runs.  Both of the right fielder’s two hits in five at bats were long balls, one with Brendan Donovan (hit-by-pitch) aboard in the fifth and a blast with the bases empty in the eighth.  Burleson went 2-for-5, worked a free pass, crossed home plate three times and drove in four.

Both teams were evenly matched in a contest featuring 10 hits apiece, five lead changes and two ties.  Five S-Cards split 10 hits. Delvin Perez and Nunez had two hits each in five at bats with a run scored, Nunez adding a base-on-balls and an RBI.  Donovan reached base four times, going 1-for-3 with two walks and a hit-by-pitch.  Perez was also plunked once.

Springfield committed two fielding bobbles, one by left fielder David Vinsky and the other by shortstop Perez.  Catcher Aaron Antonini was charged with a passed ball which led to an unearned run while center fielder Justin Toerner was credited with an outfield assist at third which squashed a Drillers threat.

Considering all the offense displayed by each team, it comes as no surprise that quality pitching was in short supply.  Domingo Robles tossed the initial 4 2/3 frames, yielding three tallies on five hits.  The lefty did not issue a free pass.

Michael Brettell recorded six outs, permitting three runs on three hits, a base-on-balls and a plunked batter.  The Canadian did strand Robles’ final base runner.

All three tallies charged to Brettell scored under Evan Sisk’s watch.  Sisk inherited a two-on/two-out jam from Brettell but walked his first batter to load the bases.  The southpaw then allowed a bases-clearing double but escaped further damage when Toerner’s throw from center nailed the batter trying to stretch his double into a triple.

Salvador Justo pitched a scoreless eighth, issuing one free pass before handing the ball off to Jacob Bosiokovic.  Bosiokovic (W, 3-3) (BS, 2) was tagged for two unearned scores, the first sending the game into extras and the latter giving Tulsa a 9-8 advantage at the 10th’s midpoint.  The right-hander allowed a hit and walk plus a wild pitch in two frames.

Friday’s game:  vs. Tulsa (30-26) (LAD), 7:05 pm CT, Kevin McGovern (0-0, 2.50)

Peoria 1 at Cedar Rapids 4 (12 innings)

A stellar effort by three Chiefs hurlers went for naught as Peoria was downed by Cedar Rapids, 4-1 in 12 innings.  The Chiefs (22-35) are still looking for their first win of the series with three games remaining.

Neither team got on the scoreboard in regulation. Peoria’s performance was spearheaded by co-Player of the Day Michael YaSenka’s strong effort.  The right-hander struck out eight over six frames, giving up just three hits and one walk.

Michael YaSenka

Freddy Pacheco retired five batters, fanning three and permitting two eighth-inning walks.  A 7-5 fly out/throw out erased one of those two baserunners, leaving the other aboard for Paul Schwendel.  Schwendel struck out three of four batters retired, stranding an inherited runner.

Peoria finally broke through in the 10th.  Moises Castillo began at second, advancing to third after Imeldo Diaz reached on a throwing error by Cedar Rapids’ shortstop.  Matt Chamberlain’s line out to second combined with a throwing error by the second baseman brought Castillo across home plate for a 1-0 lead.

However, Jacob Schlesener (BS, 1) was unable to close the door for the win.  Instead, a one-out RBI single knotted the game at 1-1, sending the game into the 11th at which time the lefty tossed a clean frame.

Fabian Blanco (L, 2-2) did not record a 12th-inning out, issuing a free pass then serving up a three-run walk-off home run.

Pedro Pages and Brady Whalen each garnered two of their squad’s five hits. Pages went 2-for-4 with a walk and Whalen singled twice in five at bats.

Friday’s game:  at Cedar Rapids (31-26) (MIN), 6:35 pm CT, Logan Gragg (0-3, 6.32)

Palm Beach 4 at Lakeland 8 (7 innings)- Game 1
Palm Beach at Lakeland (Game 2) – postponed

Palm Beach’s bullpen was unable to hold a three-run lead, falling to the Flying Tigers, 8-4, in the opener of a scheduled twin bill.  Game 2 was postponed until Friday, July 9th, due to wet field conditions.  The defeat is the second of two in the series for Palm Beach (22-34) with four games on tap.

Dionys Rodriguez tossed a strong effort, limiting Lakeland to a run on a hit and base-on-balls over four innings. It was the 20-year-old’s first start after 10 relief appearances.

Dionys Rodriguez

Palm Beach was up 4-1 when Edwin Nunez took over on the mound and he held the lead until the sixth.  The 19-year-old gave up three runs that inning on three hits, one of his two free passes allowed plus a wild pitch.

Luis Ortiz worked around a double for a scoreless seventh but was unable to match that feat the next frame.  The righty yielded a single and RBI ground-rule double, getting the hook after issuing consecutive free passes.

Luis Tena replaced Ortiz but was likewise unable to find the plate, walking his first two batters and bringing two more runs across home plate.  Tena inserted a run-scoring wild pitch between two strikeouts before the inning mercifully ended.

The Beach Birds banged out 11 hits, led by shortstop Masyn Winn and right fielder Matt Koperniak, who had three hits apiece.  Wynn singled three times in four at bats with a stolen base but was picked off once while Koperniak went 3-for-5 with a double and outfield assist at second base.

Unfortunately, the five batters between no. 1 Winn and no. 7 Koperniak in the batting order went a collective 4-for-20, severely hampering the team’s results.  Catcher Carlos Soto and center fielder Patrick Romeri each had a hit with two RBI with four different Beach Birds touching home once.

Friday’s games: at Lakeland (19-35) (DET).  Game 1 – 4:00 pm ET, John Beller (0-3, 5.05)/Levi Prater (1-3, 3.50)

Florida Complex League Cardinals 4 at FCL Marlins 1 (6 innings)

Shortstop Sander Mora and first baseman Luis Rodriguez led the FCL Cardinals (3-5) to a 4-1 victory over the FCL Marlins (4-4).  The contest was called in the top of the seventh due to lightning.

Sander Mora

Mora and Rodriguez were part of all four of their team’s tallies, batting second and fifth respectively.  One of Mora’s two hits in three at bats was his first home run that got the scoring started in the first.

Luis Rodriguez

The 20-year-old touched home a second time on Rodriguez’ two-run double during a three-run third.  Mora singled and scored ahead of Hansel Otamendi (single) while Rodriguez came home on Joerlin De Los Santos’ single to short.  Rodriguez reached a second time via a base-on-balls.

Darlin Moquete joined Mora as the only Florida Bird with more than one of the squad’s eight hits.  The designated hitter singled twice in four at bats at the top of the order.

Yordy Richard

Starter Yordy Richard spun a strong five frames, yielding a run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts.  Tyler Statler negotiated around two walks for a clean sixth and was credited with his first career save when the game was called.

Friday’s game:  at FCL Nationals (4-3), 10:00 am ET, TBA   

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