Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/15/12

The system went 0-for-4 on Saturday as both Memphis and Palm Beach were edged in one-run affairs. Springfield fell on the road while Quad Cities was shut out.

Oklahoma City 4 at Memphis 3

Memphis blew an early 3-0 lead to fall to visiting Oklahoma City 4-3. It was the Redbirds' (1-9) ninth consecutive loss.

The Redbirds notched single tallies in the first, second and third innings to take a 3-0 lead over the first-place (American Southern) RedHawks. First baseman Matt Adams, our Player of the Day, singled with two outs in the first and was brought home when second baseman Eugenio Velez lined a triple to center. A fielding error by Oklahoma City's left fielder put third baseman Zack Cox aboard to initiate the second. He crossed the plate on centerfielder Adron Chambers' single up the middle that came with two outs. Adams doubled to lead off the third and Velez' single to former St. Louis farmhand Brett Wallace at third advanced Adams a base. He scored Memphis' final run on a ground out.

While both Adams and Velez are hitting over .400, four of the nine players with 30-plus at bats to date are hitting .235 or below. The other two players are hitting in the .270 range. That does not lead to a sustained offense.

Starter Nick Additon worked around five hits and four walks to give up just one run, earned, in his five innings on the bump. That tally came on a solo shot in the fifth. Jess Todd (BS, 1) pitched the sixth, allowing three hits and a walk with the big blast being a two-run home run that tied the game. Chuckie Fick pitched two scoreless frames with the only blemish being a hit batsman in the eighth. This was Fick's fifth appearance in Memphis' ten games and he has not been scored upon in that timespan, covering 5 2/3 innings.

Eduardo Sanchez (L, 0-1) took the loss when he gave up an unearned run in the ninth. A lead-off walk was erased when catcher Bryan Anderson nailed him trying to steal second. Sanchez then loaded the bases with a double to left, fielding error by right fielder Cedric Hunter and a hit batsman. He also threw a wild pitch. The winning run scored on a ground out and that was the end of Sanchez' forgettable night. R.J. Swindle retired his only batter to strand the runners and minimize the damage. But it was enough.

Sunday's game: vs Oklahoma City (game three of four), 1:35 pm CT, Brandon Dickson (1-1, 2.38 ERA)

Frisco 6, Springfield 2

Springfield (4-5) lost their second straight as they were downed by first-place (South) Frisco 6-2. They are now in second place (North), two games behind Tulsa (COL).

It was not starter Michael Blazek's night as he gave up six runs, all earned, on five hits, three walks and a wild pitch. Blazek (L, 0-1) struck out two in his 4 1/3 innings. Southpaw Justin Wright worked around two hits and two free passes in his 1 2/3 innings. Jesse Simpson faced the minimum in the final two innings, including three strikeouts.

Center fielder Oscar Taveras' solo shot over the centerfield wall with two outs briefly put the Cardinals on top, but Frisco tied the game in the bottom of that frame with their own solo home run. Right fielder Adam Melker's first career home run came in the fourth. That gave Springfield a 2-1 edge that lasted only until Frisco scored three in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead they never relinquished. The Cardinals stranded four baserunners since they only had three other hits to go with two walks.

Sunday's game: Springfield travels five hours further west to take on Midland (OAK) in a battle of second-place teams, 4:00 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (0-1, 1.93 ERA)

St. Lucie 2 at Palm Beach 1

Palm Beach came out on the short end of a pitching duel with St. Lucie as they lost 2-1 to the visitors. The Cardinals (4-5) fell to fourth place, four games behind St. Lucie (NYM).

Starter Chris Corrigan went 2 2/3 innings in his first start of the season. He gave up one run, earned, on three hits and three walks while striking out two. Logan Billbrough (L, 0-1) yielded the game-winning run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly. Overall, Billbrough allowed three hits and a walk in two innings. He threw a wild pitch as well. Aidan Lucas and Chase Reid combined to shut down the Mets for the rest of the game with Lucas being particularly effective. He struck out five and faced the minimum in his 2 1/3 innings.

The Cardinals' only tally of the game came in the first when back-to-back-to-back singles by centerfielder Mike O'Neill, second baseman Packy Elkins and designated hitter Starlin Rodriguez loaded the bases with none out for left fielder Chris Edmondson. His sacrifice fly to right plated O'Neill but that was the extent of the damage. Palm Beach went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners.

Sunday's game: Palm Beach begins a six-game road trip as they travel to Bradenton (PIT) to take on the fifth place team in their division, 5:00 pm EST, Anthony Ferrara (0-0, 1.80 ERA)

Timely hitting was on vacation on Saturday as the visiting River Bandits were shut out by the Kernels 5-0. Quad Cities (5-4) fell into a four-way tie for second place with the loss, one game behind Cedar Rapids.

Starter Kyle Hald displayed no apparent ill effects from his last outing which was cut short when he took a line drive off his head in the first inning. Hald (L, 0-1) allowed two runs, earned, on four hits and a walk in five innings. Both runs scored in the second frame. Hald struck out four.

Kevin Jacob followed Hald and his River Bandits debut was not particularly effective. Jacob gave up three runs, earned, on four hits, including a solo shot, in 1 2/3 innings. The other two runs scored against him came in the eighth when he gave up a single-double-single to open that frame. Jacob struck out three. Willy Paulino did not allow a run in 1 1/3 innings but did yield a hit and a free pass.

The River Bandits' offense consisted of five hits, including two doubles by second baseman Colin Walsh. Walsh went 2-for-4 for the game. Collectively, Quad Cities was 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded four.

Sunday's game: at Cedar Rapids, 2:05 pm CT, Sam Gaviglio (0-0, 3.86 ERA)

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