photo: Conner Capel (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)
The third week of 2021 across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system opened with three home losses and a rainout. Our Player of the Day is Memphis outfielder Conner Capel, who went 3-for-4, including a double, a walk, and a run scored as the Redbirds fell in 11 innings.
Results from games played Tuesday, May 18th.
The Redbirds’ late rally went for naught as they were clipped by the Bats in the home series opener, 4-2, in 11 innings.
Trailing 2-0 after seven due to single scores off starter Matthew Liberatore, Memphis (4-9) pushed across a straight number in each of the next two frames. Matt Sczcur singled to begin the eighth and was sacrificed to second by Evan Mendoza. The center fielder crossed home for an unearned tally after Jose Rondon’s single to short produced an error by Louisville’s first baseman, leaving the hitter at second.
Two players who recently rejoined to the Redbirds contributed. Junior Fernandez (back from St. Louis) faced the minimum in the visitors’ half of the ninth, fanning two in his only inning of work, to keep the game’s margin to within one. Player of the Day Conner Capel (returned from Springfield) greeted the new Bats hurler with a double to right, advancing to third via Rayder Ascanio’s sac bunt and knotting the game at two all when Kramer Robinson hit a two-out single up the middle. That sent the game into extras.
Things got dicey for reliever Jesus Cruz, who issued two 10th-inning free passes, jamming the sacks full with none out. The righty induced a 4-5 double play only to walk yet another batter, reloading the bases for Cruz’ replacement, Roel Ramirez. Ramirez (L, 0-1) ended the threat with a fly out to center but served up a gopher ball to the initial hitter in the 11th, scoring the runner which began the inning at second.
Liberatore went 5 1/3 innings, holding the opposition to single runs in the fourth and fifth, rebounding from a poor showing versus Nashville on the 12th in which he gave up five runs over six. The lefty scattered six hits and three walks, striking out five.
Austin Warner recorded five outs, yielding two hits and stranding an inherited runner. Evan Kruczynski worked around a hit batsman for a clean eighth.
Capel led his team’s nine-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with a walk, the aforementioned double and run scored. Unfortunately, none of his teammates garnered more than one hit and Capel’s two-bagger was the only Redbirds’ hit to go for extra bases.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Louisville (CIN) (4-8), 12:15pm CT, Angel Rondon (0-2, 11.88)
Connor Thomas’ strong start was not enough as Springfield (2-11) fell to Northwest Arkansas, 2-1, at Hammons Field Tuesday evening.
Thomas struck out eight over six innings, yielding a third inning run on two of the six hits permitted. The lefty did not issue a free pass and threw 62 of his 87 pitches for strikes.
The Naturals immediately struck for a score against Jacob Bosiokovic (L, 0-2) in the seventh, the first of his two-inning stint. The 27-year-old issued a lead-off free pass followed by an RBI triple, breaking a 1-1 tie. The walk and triple represented the only two base runners allowed by Bosiokovic, who fanned four. Jake Walsh tossed a one-two-three ninth.
The only S-Card with more than one of the team’s seven hits was Nolan Gorman, who went 3-for-4 with a double. His one-out single in the opening stanza resulted in his squad’s only run after the third baseman advanced to second on a 4-3 ground out and scored on Luken Baker’s line drive single to center. Gorman has now gone 7-for-13 over his last three contests.
Baker and Ivan Herrera both reached base twice, singling once in three at bats, working a base-on-balls. Defensively, Gorman and first baseman Baker took part in a double play.
Wednesday’s game: vs. Northwest Arkansas (KC) (6-6), 6:35 pm CT, Alvaro Seijas (0-2, 24.30)
Peoria vs. Quad Cities – postponed
The first of a six-game home series between Peoria (5-7) and Quad Cities was postponed due to rain. The contest is scheduled to be made up as part of a twin bill on Wednesday, May 19th.
Wednesday’s games: vs. Quad Cities (KC) (8-3). Game 1 – 5:00 pm CT, Mac Lardner (0-0, 7.36)/Connor Lunn (0-0, 4.05)
Beach Birds (5-8) bats mustered just three hits in their 4-0 loss to the Mets in the first of their six-game set at Roger Dean Tuesday night.
Ludwin Jimenez (L, 0-1) did not finish the fourth, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits and two walks in 3 2/3 frames. That pitching span in the right-hander’s longest of his three starts in 2021.
Angel Cuenca was tagged for a tally on two hits, two walks plus two plunked batters during his 2 2/3 innings on the bump. The 19-year-old left Jimenez’ last two runners aboard.
Yordy Richard and Luis Tena split pitching duties the rest of the way. Richard retired all five batters faced before Tena navigated around a hit and two walks for a clean ninth.
Catcher Carlos Soto reached base three times, singling once in two at bats with two walks. Designated hitter Todd Lott reached base twice, going 1-for-2 with a base on balls.
Third baseman Jordan Walker doubled once in four at bats, extending his hitting streak to six games. The reigning league Player of the Week has reached base safely in all 11 games of his young career, garnering at least one hit in nine contests.
Wednesday’s game: vs. St. Lucie (NYM) (9-4), 12:00 pm ET, Jose Moreno (0-1, 5.87)
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