photo: Scott Hurst (St. Louis Cardinals)
On Tuesday’s opening day of week 2 of the 2021 minor league schedule, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 1-3, as Memphis trounced Nashville. Redbirds hitters Max Moroff, Scott Hurst and Jose Rondon share our Player of the Day honors.
Results from games played Tuesday, May 11th.
Memphis 18 at Nashville 6
In their first road game of 2021, the Redbirds scored 10 times in the initial three frames, romping over the Sounds, 18-6, in the first of their six-game series. Memphis (2-5) is in a three-way tie for fifth place in the Southeast Division standings, three games behind Durham (TB), Gwinnett (ATL) and Jacksonville (MIA).
All 18 tallies were earned and were generated by 20 hits, 10 going for extra bases. Memphis’ top of the order really came through, accounting for eight scores and 12 RBI.
Tri-Player of the Day Max Moroff spearheaded the attack, going 4-for-6 with two two-run bombs, three runs scored and five knocked in while batting second. Defensively, the second baseman took part in all three of his team’s double plays.
Leadoff batter and tri-Player of the Day Scott Hurst accounted for seven scores, going 3-for-5 with a sac fly, triple and two-run home run, touching home three times and driving in four. Our final shared Player of the Day is Jose Rondon, the third member of the Redbirds’ hitting troika. The third baseman went 3-for-6 with a double and solo shot comprising part of his two runs scored and three RBI.
Two more Redbirds whose offensive efforts deserve mention are shortstop Evan Mendoza and right fielder Lars Nootbaar. Mendoza went 3-for-5 with a double, three runs scored and one RBI while the latter scored each time he reached base, singling twice in three at bats with a walk, hit-by-pitch, four runs scored and an RBI.
Meanwhile on the mound, Miles Mikolas made his second rehab start who got off to a rocky start. All three runs charged to the right-hander in his four-inning stint were generated by his first four batters, via two singles and a two-run home run. Mikolas settled down at that point, limiting the opposition to two more hits with no free passes issued while striking out five. 47 of his 69 pitches thrown went for strikes.
Reliever Garrett Williams, who was claimed from San Francisco’s organization in the December 2020 Rule 5 draft, was credited with his first Redbirds win. The lefty notched two clean frames, issuing a free pass and plunking one.
Connor Jones faced the minimum in the seventh, striking out two, but was tagged for three runs on three hits and a base-on-balls the next frame. One of the three hits was a solo shot. Jesus Cruz tossed a one-two-three ninth with two K’s.
Wednesday’s game: at Nashville (MIL) (3-3), 6:35 pm CT, Matthew Liberatore (0-1, 3.00)
Springfield 2 at Arkansas 9
Springfield (1-6) could not overcome Arkansas’ sixth inning explosion which led to a 9-2 trouncing in the road series opener. The S-Cards are in fifth and last place in the North Division of the Double-A Central, four games behind Wichita (MIN).
In his 2021 debut, Griffin Roberts (L, 0-1) entered the 2-2 contest in the sixth and promptly served up a home run ball to his first batter. The inning went downhill from there as the righty jammed the sacks full via a single plus back-to-back walks. Roberts wild pitched a runner across home before retiring his only batter on a foul tip strikeout.
Jacob Patterson replaced Roberts but he was unable to quell the Travelers’ offense. The Texan allowed both inherited runners to score plus two of his own on two hits, two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman.
Patterson recovered for a clean seventh but loaded the bases the next frame when he hit three consecutive Arkansas players, getting him a free trip to the showers. Patrick Dayton limited the damage to one sac fly before inducing a 6-4 unassisted double play.
Springfield starter Andre Pallante scattered five hits and three walks generating two runs over 4 2/3 innings. Two of the hits were fifth-inning singles sandwiched around two outs. Right-hander Jacob Bosiokovic caught his only batter looking at strike three to end the threat.
The S-Cards got on the board first with a two-run second on doubles by left fielder Juan Yepez, right fielder Nick Plummer and second baseman Irving Lopez. Plummer’s two-bagger drove in Yepez while Lopez knocked in Plummer.
Unfortunately, that represented 75% of the S-Cards’ total hits, as designated hitter Nick Dunn’s single accounted for Springfield’s fourth and final hit. Yepez reached base twice, adding a walk to his double. Catcher Ivan Herrera also reached base via two free passes but went hitless in two at bats.
Wednesday’s game: at Arkansas (SEA) (3-3), 7:10 pm CT, Connor Thomas (0-0, 0.00)
Peoria 2 vs. Wisconsin 3
The Chiefs’ late rally fell just short as they were edged by the Timber Rattlers in their home opener, 3-2. Sixth-place Peoria (1-6) trails both Cedar Rapids (MIN) and Wisconsin by four games in the six-team West Division.
Jack Ralston (L, 0-1) accumulated an interesting stat line in his second full-season start. The righty struck out eight in three plus frames but issued five free passes, including two to the fourth inning’s initial batters. Ralston threw 69 pitches, 34 for strikes.
One of those two batters came around to score on Michael Brettell’s watch and was the only tally charged to Peoria’s starter. Brettell allowed a hit and two walks in three scoreless frames. Logan Gragg and Leonardo Taveras were each charged with a run during their mound time. Gragg yielded two hits and a base-on-balls in the seventh and Taveras permitted a solo shot which proved to be the game difference.
Trailing 3-0 at the eighth’s midpoint, Peoria closed the gap in the home half. Pedro Pages’ one-out double drove in Malcom Nunez who doubled to lead off the frame. Brendan Donovan reached on a fielding error by Wisconsin’s center fielder, scoring Brady Whalen (walk). That put the potential go-ahead runner on with one out and drove the visiting pitcher from the game. Unfortunately, his replacement struck out the next two batters swinging. Peoria managed just three hits in all.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Wisconsin (MIL) (5-2), 6:35 pm CT, Mac Lardner (0-0, 0.00)
Palm Beach 2 ‘at’ Jupiter 5
The Beach Birds outhit but did not outscore the Hammerheads, losing to their Roger Dean stablemates in the series opener, 5-2. Palm Beach (2-5) is in last place in the four-team Southeast Division, three games behind St Lucie (NYM).
The game seemed to epitomize that fortune is not favoring the PB-Cards right now as they outhit Jupiter, six to four, matching the walks allowed (four). But the Hammerheads managed to bunch their hits and walks together, leading to a three-run second and two-run seventh. Palm Beach pushed across single tallies in the sixth and eighth.
Starter Levi Prater (L, 0-1) permitted three runs on three runs on three hits plus three walks in 4 1/3. Inohan Pagiagua was touched for two tallies on a hit and base-on-balls during his 2 2/3 innings on the mound. The latter stranded an inherited runner. Luis Tena struck out the side in the eighth.
Six Beach Birds had one hit each with Jordan Walker blasting his second home run of 2021 in the eighth. Masyn Winn walked and scored his team’s initial run, driven in by L.J. Jones, who also reached base via a free pass.
Wednesday’s game: at Jupiter (MIA) (3-4), 12:00 pm ET, Ludwin Jimenez (0-0, 0.00)
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