Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/13/12

All four clubs faced first-place opponents on Thursday but the system went 3-1 with Springfield, Palm Beach and Quad Cities all winning while Memphis lost (again).

New Orleans 3, Memphis 2

Memphis' dismal eight-game road trip ended with a thud as they lost their seventh straight, falling to New Orleans 3-2.

Nick Greenwood (L, 0-1) gave up the winning run in the bottom of the eighth when a broken bat single scored the runner from second. That tally broke a 2-2 tie that had held since the fourth. Greenwood allowed two hits, both with two outs, but did not walk a batter. He was pitching in relief of starter Joe Kelly who tossed seven innings of four-hit, one-walk ball. The only runs scored against him came on a two-run home run in the fourth. Kelly struck out five. Chuckie Fick replaced Greenwood and got the final out of the eighth.

The Redbirds' runs came in the first when a lead-off single by centerfielder Adron Chambers and a free pass to shortstop Ryan Jackson put runners aboard for first baseman Matt Adams. Adams' liner to left scored Chambers and Jackson subsequently scored when catcher Bryan Anderson reached on a fielding error. Adams went 4-for-5 with a double and the aforementioned run driven in to raise his offensive line to .419/.465/.806/1.261.

Friday's game: Memphis' home opener vs. second-place Oklahoma City (four-game series), 7:05 pm CT, Shelby Miller (0-1, 12.00)

Springfield 5 at Frisco 1

The Cardinals kicked off their six-game road trip on a positive note with a 5-1 victory over Frisco (TEX), which is locked in a four-way tie for the Texas South lead. The victory raises Springfield's record to 4-3 and moved them into a first-place tie with Tulsa (COL) for the Texas North lead.

Lefty John Gast (W, 2-0), our Player of the Day, pitched a seven-inning gem, allowing just one run, earned, on four hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Eric Fornataro and Sam Freeman each pitched a scoreless frame in relief.

Springfield drew first blood in the third when centerfielder Oscar Taveras' 4-6 force out at second scored shortstop Jose Garcia from third. A free pass to third baseman Niko Vasquez to open the fourth came back to bite the RoughRiders when catcher Audry Perez doubled him over to third and right fielder Rainel Rosario doubled both of them home. Designated hitter Tommy Pham's first home run of the season raised the score in the fifth to 4-1. The Cardinals' finally tally came in the ninth when second baseman Kolten Wong doubled home Rosario. Rosario went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and two driven in.

Friday's game: at Frisco (game two of a three-game series), 7:00 pm CT, Trevor Rosenthal (0-1, 2.25 ERA)

Palm Beach 3, St. Lucie 1

Palm Beach hosted their division leaders on Thursday evening and came away with a 3-1 win over St. Lucie (NYM). The victory elevated the Cardinals' record to 4-3 and placed them in a three-way tie for second, a game out.

Richard Castillo took the mound in place of scheduled starter Carlos Martinez as the latter was moved to Friday's contest. Both pitchers last started on April 7th during a double-header with Jupiter. Castillo (W, 1-1) scattered five hits and a walk over six innings. His only blemish was a solo home run that led off the game. Castillo struck out three. Dean Kiekhefer faced the minimum in his two frames while Chase Reid (S, 1) worked around a lead-off double in the ninth with two strikeouts and a ground out for his first save of the season.

The Cardinals tied the game in the bottom of the first when second baseman Starlin Rodriguez singled home lead-off hitter Mike O'Neill. They added a run off St. Lucie's bullpen in the sixth when third baseman Packy Elkins' double scored right fielder Alan Ahmady from first. Ahmady had singled to get aboard and both hits came with two outs. Ahmady drove home Palm Beach's final run in the eighth when he singled up the middle to score designated hitter Chris Edmondson from second. Overall, Ahmady went 3-for-4 with a run scored and another driven in while Elkins and Edmondson had two hits apiece.

Friday's game: vs. St. Lucie (game two of a three-game series), 6:35 pm EST, Carlos Martinez (0-0, 4.50 ERA)

Quad Cities 6 at Cedar Rapids 4

Quad Cities' seven–game road trip continued with the first of four against division-leading Cedar Rapids (LAA). The River Bandits drew first blood with a 6-4 victory. The win gives Quad Cities a 4-3 record and puts them a game out of first place.

Hector Hernandez gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in six innings. All of the runs came in the fourth and were unearned due to a throwing error by newly-converted third baseman Tyler Rahmatulla. Hernandez got a no-decision. Brandon Creath (W, 1-0) replaced Hernandez and tossed two frames. A lead-off walk to open the eighth came around to score against Creath on a double. That walk and hit were the only marks against him. Heath Wyatt (S, 1) picked up his first save of the year with a scoreless ninth.

The River Bandits scored a run in the first on a lead-off double by shortstop Matt Williams and a two-out single by right fielder Roberto Reyes. They added two more in the third when a two-out hits by left fielder Anthony Garcia (double) and Reyes (single) scored catcher Juan Castillo (lead-off single) and Garcia. They broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the eighth on doubles by Williams and center fielder Nick Martini and a two-out single by Reyes. Quad Cities' final run came in the ninth on a lead-off home run by designated hitter Colin Walsh. Reyes went 3-for-4 with three runs driven in and Williams went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored.

Friday's game: at Cedar Rapids (game two of a four-game series), 6:35 pm CT, Todd McInnis (0-0, 3.60 ERA)

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