Cardinals Minor League Notebook: May 6, 2018

photo: Randy Arozarena (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Saturday.  Our Player of the Day is Springfield outfielder Randy Arozarena, who blasted a grand slam and was 2-for-4 with five RBI in Springfield’s defeat of Tulsa. Memphis’ slump continues and a Tony La Russa appearance did not translate into a Peoria win.

Results for games played Saturday, May 5.

Memphis 2 at Nashville 4

Tyler O’Neill (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Redbirds were downed again in Nashville on Saturday night.  In his first outing since his return from St. Louis, starter Austin Gomber was tagged with his first loss of the season.  The organization’s April Pitcher of the Month went 5 1/3 innings, giving up all four runs on six hits while fanning nine and walking two.  Sean Gilmartin added a run-free inning of relief before Arturo Reyes tossed the final 1 2/3 scoreless.

Memphis got on the board first on an RBI double by Yairo Munoz.  The Redbirds didn’t score again until the sixth, on a leadoff solo home run by Tyler O’Neill.  O’Neill went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Max Schrock was 2-for-4.  Catcher Steven Baron, a late add to the lineup replacing St. Louis-bound Carson Kelly, singled in four at-bats, improving his season average to .194. The backstop had two of Memphis’ 10 strikeouts against zero walks.

The Redbirds are in a two-week slump, with seven losses in their last 11 games back to April 23. They are still 19-11 overall with their hold on first place in the PCL American Southern Division down to four games over Nashville.

Sunday’s game:  at Nashville, Kevin Herget (1-2, 3.38) 2:05 CT.

Springfield 15, Tulsa 5

Randy Arozarena (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals pummeled the Drillers at Hammons Field on Saturday night.  The long ball was the highlight, as Randy Arozarena hit a grand slam, Victor Roache had a three run shot, and Edmundo Sosa drilled a solo home run for eight of the Cardinals’ 15 runs.

All of the Springfield scoring came in innings three through five.  In the third, the Cardinals put up four runs, on an Andrew Knizner two run double, a ground ball force out by Victor Roache, and an Arozarena RBI single.  In the fourth, Roache drew a bases loaded walk, followed by the same from Sosa.  Arozarena then blasted the grand slam to complete the six-run outburst.   Knizner singled in a run in the fifth, then Roache and Sosa hit their long balls.  Arozarena went 2-for-4 with five RBI.  Knizner was 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored.  Tommy Edman was 2-for-6, and Ramon Urias was 2-for-5 with three runs scored.

With the extra breathing room, starter Ryan Helsley won his second game with Springfield, pitching 5 2/3 innings and giving up four runs on four hits.  The right hander struck out 10 and walked two.   Landon Beck surrendered one run in 2 1/3 innings of relief.  Jacob Evans pitched a scoreless ninth.

Lane Thomas stole his third base of the season on three attempts.

The Cardinals are 16-11 on the season and are in second place in the Texas League North.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Tulsa, Conner Greene (2-2, 3.96) 2:10 CT.

Palm Beach 4, St. Lucie 7

Johan Mieses (Rick Scutieri/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cardinals fell to the Mets in Jupiter on Saturday night.  Evan Kruczynski suffered his first loss of the season, giving up four runs, three earned, on six hits in six innings.  The left hander struck out five and walked one.  Robert Calvano pitched a scoreless seventh.  Paul Balestrieri began the eighth, and surrendered two runs while recording only one out.  Jacob Patterson and allowed both inherited runners to score, gave up one run of his own, but finished the inning.  Patterson returned to pitch a scoreless ninth.

The Palm Beach offense put its first run on the board in the fourth on Johan Mieses’ solo home run, his fourth long ball of the year.  In the fifth, Stefan Trosclair plated a run on single to left.  Evan Mendoza drew a bases loaded walk for the second run of the inning.  Palm Beach scored its final run in the ninth on Brian O’Keefe’s double.

In the field, Kramer Robertson made a throwing error.

The Cardinals are 16-13 on the season and in third place in the FSL South.

Sunday’s game:  vs.  St. Lucie, Austin Warner (1-1, 4.23) 12:00 CT.

Peoria 7, South Bend 9

Scott Hurst (State College Spikes)

Despite Hall of Famer Tony La Russa being in the house in a promotional appearance, the Chiefs were edged by the Cubs at Dozer Park on Saturday.  The Peoria offense scored seven runs on 10 hits, but that wasn’t enough. In the first, a Yariel Gonzalez single plated the first Chiefs’ run.  Irving Lopez tripled in the third and a run scored, and Gonzalez’ sac fly plated another.  Scott Hurst’s line drive single in the fourth drove in a run.  Another came home in the sixth on a Taylor Bryant ground out.  In the seventh, Juan Yepez added a sac fly.  Finally, in the eighth, the seventh and last run scored on a wild pitch.  On the night, Hurst was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored, Gonzalez was 2-for-4 with two RBI, and Nick Plummer was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Starter Zach Prendergast was tagged with his first loss of the season.  The right hander pitched five innings, giving up five runs, four earned, on seven hits while fanning six and issuing no free passes.  Winston Nicacio surrendered four additional runs in his four innings pitched.

On the base paths, Plummer stole his second base in four attempts.  In the field, Yepez made a missed catch error.  Hurst had an outfield assist.

The Chiefs are 13-13 on the season and are in fourth place in the Midwest League Western Division.

Sunday’s game:  vs. South Bend, Jake Walsh (1-0, 2.74) 2:00 CT.

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