Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/28/12

The system split 2-2 on a day of mainly close contests as Memphis and Palm Beach both edged their opponents while Springfield and Quad Cities fell on Friday.

Memphis 5, Omaha 4

Memphis battled back from a two-run deficit to edge first-place Omaha 5-4 on Friday at AutoZone Park. The win evens the four-game series at one apiece and moves the Redbirds' record to 8-13 overall.

Trailing 3-1 going into the bottom of the eighth, Memphis tied the game on designated hitter Allen Craig's sole hit of the night, a liner to center that plated Jermaine Curtis and Mitch Canham. Matt Adams' only hit on Friday was decisive, a two-run shot over the left field wall that put the Redbirds up 5-3. It was the clean-up hitter's fourth bomb to date. Curtis was aboard three times on a single and two walks and scored twice.

Maikel Cleto (W, 1-0) tossed a perfect eighth for his first win, including a strikeout. Cleto followed R.J. Swindle, who worked around a hit and a walk for a scoreless seventh. Both pitchers were in relief of starter Brandon Dickson who gave up three runs, two earned, on eight hits in six frames. Dickson did not walk a batter and threw 91 pitches, 64 for strikes. Eduardo Sanchez (S, 4) made the ninth nerve-wracking as he gave up three singles and a sacrifice fly as the Storm Chasers closed to within one. But the right-hander got a liner to shortstop Ryan Jackson and a strikeout to preserve the win.

Saturday's game: vs. Omaha, 6:05 pm CT, Brian Broderick (1-3, 4.29 ERA)

Tulsa 5, Springfield 1

Different day, same result as Springfield lost their seventh consecutive game, this time 5-1 to first-place Tulsa on the road. The S-Cards' record falls to 8-13, seven games out.

Scott Gorgen (L, 0-2) began the sixth with the game tied at one all but he could not complete the frame. The right-hander allowed four more runs to come across that inning, three earned and exited after retiring two batters. Gorgen yielded nine hits in total, including a second-inning solo shot, and walked a batter. Jesse Simpson finished the sixth and gave up a single that plated one of the runs charged to Gorgen. Eric Fornataro bounced back from a sub-par outing on Tuesday with two perfect frames.

Springfield's only run came in the second and provided them a temporary 1-0 lead. Shortstop Greg Garcia coaxed a two-out walk and advanced to third on catcher Audry Perez' line-drive single to left. Gorgen drove in Garcia with a single up the middle. Perez went 2-for-4 with a double. Kolten Wong went 2-for-4 as well.

Saturday's game: at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT, John Gast (3-1, 1.71 ERA)

Palm Beach 3, Fort Myers 2

Palm Beach took a 3-0 lead into the seventh and held on to down Fort Myers 3-2. The victory gave Palm Beach its first road series win of the season and upped the record to 8-13.

Chris Corrigan shut out the Miracle with only one hit in his four innings. Control was an issue as the right-hander walked four and threw two wild pitches. Corrigan had six strikeouts. Iden Nazario (W, 2-0) picked up the win in relief of Corrigan, going two frames with only a walk allowed. Ricky Martinez gave up two runs on two singles and a triple in the seventh. All of the hits came with two outs. Dean Kiekhefer (S, 1) tossed a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.

The Cardinals' runs came one at a time in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Control problems by the Fort Myers' starter pushed across the first run as a walk to Michael Swinson forced in Vance Albitz. That free pass was the third of the inning. Three consecutive singles by Luis De La Cruz, Ronny Gil and Mike O'Neill loaded the bases and Vance Albitz' sacrifice fly to center plated De La Cruz. The decisive run was Chris Edmondson's second home run of the year that led off the fifth inning. Edmondson, our Player of the Day, was a perfect 2-for-2 with two walks on the day.

Saturday's game: at second-place Charlotte (TB) for the first of three games, 6:30 pm EST, Anthony Ferrara (1-1, 3.18 ERA)

West Michigan 2, Quad Cities 1

It was a true pitching duel at Quad Cities on Friday as Quad Cities lost to West Michigan in a 2-1 squeaker. The River Bandits' lead in the Western Division is only ½ game with a 12-9 record.

The contest was scoreless with the bullpen in the game as the bottom of the seventh began. Quad Cities managed three consecutive two-out singles by Anthony Garcia, Garrett Wittels and Luis Mateo that brought Garcia across and gave the River Bandits the lead. Those three singles were half of Quad Cities' six hits on the night. But two runs by the Whitecaps in the top of the eighth flipped the lead around and that is how the game ended. Designated hitter Colin Walsh went 2-for-4 with a double as the River Bandits' only player with more than one hit.

Kyle Hald bounced back from a truly dismal outing against Dayton by shutting out West Michigan on three hits and a walk. He struck out six in six innings of work. Kevin Jacob (L, 0-1) worked around a two-out single to toss a scoreless seventh but ran into trouble in the eighth. He issued a one-out walk that came around to tie the game on a single and throwing error by newly-arrived right fielder Virgil Hill. Ethan Cole replaced Jacob and promptly wild pitched the runner to third. The winning run then scored on a sacrifice bunt.

Saturday's game: The rubber game of the series vs. West Michigan, 7:00 pm CT, Sam Gaviglio (1-1, 3.24 ERA)

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