Cardinals Minor League Notebook – May 19, 2023

photo: Matt Koperniak (Springfield Cardinals)

The St. Louis Cardinals system went 0-3 on Thursday with the Palm Beach contest suspended. The Cardinal Nation’s Player of the Day, Matt Koperniak, recorded three hits, two RBI and an outfield assist for Memphis. Other standouts include Connor Thomas and Jeremy Rivas.

Results from games played Thursday, May 18th.

Memphis 3, Gwinnett 4 (11 innings)

The Memphis Redbirds (24-18) were defeated in extra innings by the Gwinnett Stripers (ATL, 18-23) at AutoZone Park.

Connor Thomas tossed 6 2/3 innings and gave up a run on nine hits and no walks. TCN’s no. 21 prospect struck out four. Ryan Loutos tossed a scoreless 1/3 of an inning.

Connor Thomas

The Redbirds struck in the fourth inning after Matt Koperniak singled to bring in Luken Baker (walk) and Kramer Robertson (single, SB). The Stripers tied the game in the ninth inning and Memphis went 1-2-3 in the home half to send it to extra innings.

Matt Koperniak

Guillermo Zuñiga pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Jake Walsh blew his third save after he surrendered a run in the ninth on a hit and two walks. Kodi Whitley yielded two runs, one earned, in the final two innings. The 28-year-old took his third loss of the year.

With the bases loaded in the 10th and one out, Memphis could not get the winning run across. Chad Pinder, brother of Chase Pinder, put Gwinnett ahead in the 11th via a home run. Iván Herrera doubled in the bottom half but the Redbirds could not score any more runs.

The lineup went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and left 16 runners on base. Koperniak and Herrera both had three hits. Baker walked twice, had two hits and a run. Jordan Walker went 0-for-6 and left seven runners on base.

Koperniak threw a runner out at home from left field. TCN’s no. 39 prospect has a .858 OPS in his brief Triple-A stint this year.

Friday’s game: vs. Gwinnett, RHP Michael McGreevy (2-0, 3.04 at AAA) vs. TBA 7:05 CT

Springfield 5 at NW Arkansas 10

The Springfield Cardinals (15-21) fell to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals (KC, 17-19) on Thursday night at Arvest Ballpark.

Starter Logan Gragg tossed four innings and surrendered three runs on five hits, a walk and four strikeouts. The right-hander has a 7.71 ERA this year. Ryan Shreve took the loss after he was touched for five runs in two innings.

After the Naturals scored a run in the second, the Cardinals responded with four runs in the third. Justin Toerner blasted a two-run homer, his third of the season. Pedro Pagés brought in a run via sacrifice fly. Chandler Redmond hit his 13th home run of the season to make the score 4-1.

Justin Toerner

Chris Roycroft yielded two runs in the eighth inning on two hits, a walk and two strikeouts. Jack Ralston pitched a scoreless ninth.

Northwest Arkansas took the lead in the fifth inning with five runs. In the eighth, Jacob Buchberger hit a solo home run, his seventh of 2023.

The Cardinals recorded six hits, four walks and three home runs. Arquímedes Gamboa singled, walked twice and came across. The lineup left five runners on base and went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Mike Antico stole two bags and has seven this season.

Friday’s game: at NW Arkansas, RHP Brandon Komar (1-3, 7.07) vs. RHP Beck Way (0-3, 13.83) 7:05 CT

Peoria 4 at Cedar Rapids 6

The Peoria Chiefs (19-17) were defeated by the Cedar Rapids Kernels (MIN, 20-16) at PG Cares Field on Thursday.

Tink Hence surrendered his first runs of the season after he yielded four runs in three innings. TCN’s no. 3 prospect struck out two and took his first High-A loss.

The Chiefs struck in the first inning with three runs. Aaron McKeithan hit an RBI single. Jeremy Rivas plated Nathan Church and McKeithan via a double to make the score 3-0. Cedar Rapids responded with three runs in the second.

Jeremy Rivas

Gustavo Rodriguez was charged with a run in only 2/3 of an inning. Alfredo Ruiz gave up an unearned run in 3 1/3 innings with five strikeouts. Andrew Marrero tossed a scoreless ninth.

In the seventh, Peoria was down 6-3 but began to rally. Victor Scott II drove in Ramon Mendoza with a single. With the go-ahead run at the plate and two out, Church worked an eight pitch at-bat but grounded out.

Scott, McKeithan and Rivas recorded two hits apiece. Rivas drove in two runs. Church had the only other hit for Peoria. The lineup went 4-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

In the first, Scott took his 29th bag of the year. TCN’s no. 16 prospect leads professional baseball in stolen bases.

Friday’s game: at Cedar Rapids, RHP Dionys Rodriguez (1-1, 2.52) vs. RHP Marco Raya (0-0, 3.86) 6:35 CT

Palm Beach 0 at St. Lucie 0 (suspended in 3rd)

Due to rain in the St. Lucie area, the Palm Beach Cardinals and St. Lucie Mets contest was suspended. It will be continued on Friday.

Friday’s games:

at St. Lucie, resumption of Thursday’s game, 3:00 CT (Game 1)
at St. Lucie, RHP Hancel Rincon (4-1, 2.83) vs. RHP Layonel Ovalles (1-2, 5.59) Time TBA (Game 2)

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