Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/04/12

Happy 4th of July, everyone! The system went 5-3 on Tuesday with Palm Beach, Quad Cities, Batavia and the GCL Cardinals all victorious. Memphis lost a heart-breaker in extras. Springfield and the DSL Cardinals also fell.

Oklahoma City 11, Memphis 10 (10)

Eduardo Sanchez gave up two in the bottom of the 10th as Memphis was edged by host Oklahoma City 11-10. The Redbirds (31-55) are 23 games behind Omaha (KC) in the divisional standings.

Memphis' fifth pitcher of the game, Sanchez (0-3) walked the first batter he faced then served up a walk-off slam with one out. Starter Scott Gorgen had a dismal performance, giving up seven runs, earned, on seven hits and five walks in just four innings. He struck out five.

After the Redbirds battled back with five in the fifth to take an 8-7 lead, Jess Todd gave the lead back to the RedHawks on a two-run shot in the sixth. Nick Greenwood allowed a walk in 1 1/3 and Chuckie Fick worked around two hits and a walk in two frames to hold the opposition from further damage. The Redbirds plated the tying run in the ninth then scored again in the 10th to go up 10-9. Enter Sanchez.

Memphis out hit Oklahoma City 19-12, led by Adron Chambers with four. Lou Montanez and Zack Cox each had three while one of Mark Hamilton's two hits was a three-run bomb in the fifth. Chambers drove in two and Eugenio Velez and Cedric Hunter each scored twice. Four other Redbirds either scored or drove in a run.

Wednesday's game: Memphis opens a five-game home stand against second-place Nashville (36-50) (MIL), 6:05 pm CT, Brandon Dickson (4-7, 3.39 ERA)

Midland 8 at Springfield 3

Starter Carlos Martinez could not finish the pivotal fifth inning in Springfield's 8-3 loss to Midland at home. The S-Cards' record now stands at 8-3 which is good for first place, three games ahead of Arkansas (LAA).

Martinez (1-2), gave up a run in the first to lock him into a tight 1-0 contest as he entered the fifth. He retired the first batter on a ground out but saw the next reach on a fielding error by third baseman Jermaine Curtis. A single by the following batter ended Martinez' night as he gave way to Jesse Simpson. Simpson allowed both runners to cross, giving Martinez a final line of three runs, two earned, on six hits and a walk in 4 1/3. He fanned seven. Simpson finished the fifth by giving up three runs of his own, all earned, on three hits in just 2/3 of an inning.

Kevin Thomas allowed a two-run bomb in the sixth, the first of his two innings of work that left Springfield down 8-0. The Cardinals finally got on the board with three in the bottom of the frame when a single by Chris Swauger plated Travis Tartamella and Kolten Wong after both reached base via singles. A triple by Jamie Romak scored Swauger for Springfield's final tally. Swauger had three and Romak had two of the team's seven hits.

Wednesday's game: vs. third-place (Texas South) Midland (4-7) (OAK), 5:08 pm CT, Seth Maness (4-1, 2.41 ERA)

Palm Beach 6 at Jupiter 4

Two unearned runs in the eighth was the difference in the game as Palm Beach upended Jupiter 6-4 to take the series 2-1. The Beach Birds (6-7) are currently in fourth place, two games in back of Bradenton (PIT).

Jupiter struck first with a run in the fourth off starter Ryan Sherriff who gave up four runs, earned, on eight hits and a walk in 5 2/3. Palm Beach responded with three in the fifth to go up 3-1 with the big blow being Mike O'Neill's two-out double that brought two across.

Sherriff exited the sixth with three runs already across and a runner at first but Zack Russell worked around a walk and a wild pitch to prevent further damage. Russell picked up his second win as he shut out the Hammerheads on a hit over the next two frames. It was the right-hander's first action since May 31st after a stint on the disabled list. Aidan Lucas earned his first save with a perfect ninth.

O'Neill and the Cardinals went back to work with a run in the seventh that knotted the contest at four all. Nick Longmire singled and scored on O'Neill's second double of the night. Two unearned runs that crossed in the eighth due to two Jupiter errors gave Palm Beach their second and final lead. O'Neill had four of the Cardinals' nine hits and Longmire had two, scored twice and drove in another.

Wednesday's game: Palm Beach initiates a six-game home stand with the first of three vs. first-place Bradenton (8-5), 6:35 pm ET, Chris Corrigan (2-2, 3.03 ERA)

Quad Cities 7, Wisconsin 5

Quad Cities built a 6-1 lead through five and held on to win 7-5 over Wisconsin at home. The River Bandits (8-4) take the series 2-1 and are now in a three-way tie for first with Burlington (OAK) and Kane County (KC).

Tyrell Jenkins' second start since coming off the disabled list was excellent. The 19-year-old held the Timber Rattlers to a single run on four hits and a walk in four frames. He fanned five. Robert Stock was credited with his fifth win but gave up four runs, earned, on five hits and two walks in 1 2/3. Three of the four tallies were on a three-run bomb in the sixth. Danny Miranda, Ricky Martinez and Heath Wyatt combined to shut out Wisconsin over the final 3 1/3 with Wyatt earning his 13th save after a perfect ninth.

Trailing 1-0 after Wisconsin scored in the first, Quad Cities took the lead with two in the fourth on a two-run shot by Anthony Garcia, his 10th of 2012 They added four in the fifth when Neal Pritchard and Casey Rasmus reached via consecutive singles and Pritchard was brought home on Matt Williams' double. A hit-by-pitch to Nick Martini loaded the bases for our co-Player of the Day Stephen Piscotty, whose double plated Rasmus and Williams. Martini eventually scored on a ground out.

The Timber Rattlers tallied four in the sixth to make the score 6-5 but the River Bandits added an unearned run in the bottom of the frame. Roberto Reyes led off with a walk, advanced to third on a fielding error that put Pritchard on and scored on Rasmus' ground out. Piscotty was a perfect 3-for-3 with three doubles and a walk, a run scored and two driven in. He was the only River Bandit with a multi-hit night.

Wednesday's game: Quad Cities begins a brief three-game road trip to fellow first-place holder Kane County, 6:30 pm CT, Sam Gaviglio (4-5, 4.58 ERA)

Batavia 6 at State College 2

Batavia broke a two-all tie with four in the eighth to win 6-2 at State College and take the series 2-1. The Muckdogs (8-8) are tied for third with the Spikes, 2 ½ behind Auburn (WSH).

Breyvic Valera singled with one out in the first and eventually scored on a sac fly by Matthew Young. A solo shot by David Bergin in the second upped the Muckdogs' lead to 2-0, which lasted until the sixth inning when starter Ben O'Shea gave up a two-run slam. O'Shea scattered seven hits over 5 1/3 while not walking a batter. He induced six ground outs, five fly outs and struck out two. Kevin Jacob retired all five batters he faced to pick up his second win.

Jonathan Keener singled to start the eighth and eventually scored the go-ahead run on Jacob Wilson's two-out single. A triple by Young brought Wilson across and Patrick Wisdom's second hit of the game scored Young. Wisdom tallied the inning's final run on Jesus Montero's second hit of the night. Valera and Jordan Walton also had two hits for Batavia. Yunier Castillo finished the game with two scoreless frames.

Wednesday's game: Batavia hosts the first of three games versus third-place (Stedler) Connecticut (5-11) (DET), 7:05 pm ET, Tim Cooney (1-0, 1.93 ERA)

Johnson City 8 at Bristol 2

Two unearned runs in the first were all Johnson City's pitching staff allowed as the JC-Cards topped host Bristol 8-2. The Cardinals (7-8) salvaged the final game of the three-game set with the win and now sit in third place, three games behind Elizabethton (MIN).

Bryan Martinez earned his first win by scattering six hits and a walk over five innings. The only blemish came in the first when a batter reached with two outs due to a throwing error by first baseman Jeremy Schaffer. Martinez served up a home run ball to the next batter, but gave up a single then secured the final out of the inning to limit the damage.

Ildemaro Vargas' two-out double brought Cesar Valera and C.J. McElroy across in the third after Valera walked and McElroy singled, both with two outs. A throwing error by the White Sox' shortstop in the fifth scored Gerwuins Velazco and McElroy as Johnson City went ahead 4-2. A four-run sixth put the game out of reach with the big blow being our co-Player of the Day McElroy's bases-clearing single that brought Carson Kelly (single), Lance Jeffries (walk) and Valera (hit-by-pitch) home. McElroy scored on a double by Vargas. McElroy accounted for six of the Cardinals' eight runs by scoring three times and driving in three, batting lead-off.

Three Cardinals' pitchers combined to shut out Bristol over the final four frames. Cesar Aguilar fanned three in two innings in his Johnson City debut while Jacob Booden struck out two of the four batters he faced. Mike Aldrete had a perfect ninth.

Wednesday's game: Johnson City's on the road for the first of three at second-place (West) Greeneville (9-5) (HOU), 7:00 pm ET, Stalyn Lopez (0-1, 12.79 ERA)

GCL Cardinals 4 at GCL Nationals 1

Two in the first and two in the ninth led to a 4-1 victory by the GCL Cardinals over the GCL Nationals on the road. The Gulf Birds' record is raised to 9-4, placing them in first, two games up on the GCL Astros.

Rehabbing Alan Ahmady from Palm Beach put the Cardinals up with a two-run bomb in the first. The Nationals cut the lead in half with a tally off starter Hansel De Los Santos but that is all they could muster. De Los Santos evened his record to 1-1 by limiting the opposition to just four hits in six innings, two of which came in the first. The right-hander induced seven ground outs versus three fly outs and fanned one. He did not issue a free pass.

The Gulf Birds gave themselves some breathing room with two in the ninth. Ahmady led off with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner Jhohan Acevedo. Acevedo advanced on consecutive singles by Jem Argenal and Brett Wiley. A third straight single, this one by David Popkins, plated Acevedo and Argenal. Norge Paredes earned his third save by holding the Nationals to a walk over the final two innings.

Wednesday's games: at second-place GCL Astros (7-6). Game one-11:00 am ET, Fidencio Flores (1-0, 1.13 ERA); game two-upon completion of game one, TBD

DSL Dodgers 6, DSL Cardinals 0

The DSL Cardinals managed just three hits in their 6-0 loss at home. The Dominican Birds (14-12) are in fourth place, seven games behind the GCL Mariners.

A four-run ninth turned a close contest into a rout. Frederis Parra was charged with his first loss in his first start of 2012 when he gave up a run on two hits and two walks in four innings. Jorge Rodriguez allowed a single unearned run on a hit and a walk in two innings. Jose Lara tossed two scoreless frames before yielding four runs, three earned, in just 1/3 of an inning in the ninth. Juan Fresa stranded two runners to record the final out.

The Cardinals did not have many opportunities to score as the squad went 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. Leobaldo Pina had two of the team's three hits.

Wednesday's game: at second-place DSL Dodgers (17-9), 10:30 am ET, Dewin Perez (1-2, 0.95 ERA)

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