Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/07/12

Friday saw the system go 5-4. Palm Beach, Quad Cities, Batavia and the GCL Cardinals were all victorious. Johnson City split a pair while Memphis, Springfield and the DSL Cardinals fell short.

Nashville 2 at Memphis 0

Memphis stranded seven in their 2-0 shutout loss at the hands of visiting Nashville. The Redbirds (32-57) are in fourth place in the American North division, 24 games behind Omaha (KC).

Mark Hamilton and Eugenio Velez had two hits apiece. None of Memphis' six hits went for extra bases and they managed just two walks, one of those by the Redbirds' starting pitcher Tyler Lyons.

Lyons' performance on Friday was the best of his five Triple-A starts to date although he absorbed his fourth loss without a win. The lefty fanned eight in seven frames with just one free pass issued. Two of the five hits he allowed were solo home runs that accounted for the only damage by the Sounds. Chuckie Fick and Eduardo Sanchez each tossed a scoreless frame.

Saturday's game: vs. Nashville, 6:05 pm CT, Shelby Miller (4-7, 6.00 ERA)

Frisco 5 vs. Springfield 1

Kevin Siegrist could not finish the fifth in his Double-A debut as Springfield was downed by host Frisco 5-1. The S-Cards (9-5) remain in first place, three games up on both Arkansas (LAA) and Tulsa (COL).

The long ball proved a great part of Siegrist's undoing as three of the five runs charged to him came via two home runs. The southpaw (L, 0-1) yielded six hits and three walks while fanning four. He departed with two batters retired and the bases jammed in the fourth. Jesse Simpson stranded the sacks full and then worked around two walks in the sixth to keep the game close. Kevin Thomas shut out Frisco over the seventh and eighth on a single hit while striking out two.

Although the Cardinals matched the RoughRiders' seven hits, they were able to translate them into more than the one run, which came in the sixth. Jermaine Curtis opened with a ground-rule double and was brought across by Oscar Taveras' 25th double of the season. Taveras and Xavier Scruggs had identical lines of 2-for-4 with a double and represented Springfield's only players with multi-hit games. Scruggs is hitting .294/.368/.559/.927 over his last 10 games.

Saturday's game: at Frisco, 7:00 pm CT, Richard Castillo (5-1, 2.73 ERA)

Palm Beach 5 vs. Bradenton 0

Palm Beach scored four in the eighth to turn a tight 1-0 lead into a comfortable 5-0 blanking of Bradenton at home. The Beach Birds (7-9) salvaged the final game of their three-game set with the first-place Marauders (9-6) with the victory and are three games back as a result.

Our co-Player of the Day starter Drew Benes (W, 4-6) scattered six hits and a walk over six innings in earning the win. He fanned four. Aidan Lucas walked three over the next two frames and Dean Kiekhefer gave up a hit while striking out two in the ninth.

Mike O'Neill doubled to start the bottom of the first and scored on James Ramsey's single. FSL batting leader O'Neill was a perfect 4-for-4 in the lead-off slot and touched home twice. Starlin Rodriguez had the Cardinals' other multi-hit performance with two hits. He scored once. Chris Edmondson joined Ramsey in scoring and driving in a run.

Saturday's game: vs. Charlotte (TB), 6:35 pm ET, Anthony Ferrara (5-6, 3.33 ERA)

Quad Cities 6 at Kane County 1

Starter Kyle Hald had one of his best performances of 2012 as Quad Cities dropped Kane County 6-1 on the road. The River Bandits (10-5) took the series 2-1 with the win and remain in first place, a game ahead of Burlington (OAK) and Kane County (KC).

Hald (W, 4-4) fanned seven over seven frames and limited the Cougars to a single run on five hits and a walk. He induced eight ground outs with four fly outs. Travis Miller yielded just one hit over the final two innings.

Quad Cities broke on top in the second when new Bandit Anthony Melchionda hit his first professional home run with a runner aboard. Two more runs crossed in the sixth when Roberto Reyes opened with a double and came home on a single by Nick Martini. Martini advanced on Stephen Piscotty's single and eventually scored on a ground out. The team's final two runs came in the eighth when Piscotty was hit by a pitch with two out that set the table for Anthony Garcia's 11th home run of the season.

Saturday's game: vs. Clinton (SEA), 7:00 pm CT, Dail Villanueva (5-4, 3.58 ERA)

Batavia 4 vs. Connecticut 3

Batavia scored two in the seventh to edge Connecticut 4-3 at home and sweep the series 3-0. The Muckdogs (11-8) are tied for second with State College (PIT), 2 ½ behind Auburn (WSH).

Batavia took an early lead with a run in the second but the Tigers immediately tied up the game with a solo shot in the third. Connecticut went on top 3-1 with two in the sixth before the Muckdogs cut their lead with a tally in the bottom of that frame.

All three of the Tigers' runs were charged to starter Ben Freeman, who departed after 5 1/3 innings with seven hits and a walk allowed and two runners on base. Corey Baker (W, 1-2) stranded both as he shut out the opposition on a hit over 1 2/3. Lee Stoppelman fanned four over the final two frames to seal the win and earn his second save.

Left fielder Gary Apelian's two-run bomb in the seventh was the difference in the game. It was Apelian's only hit of the contest and was part of the team's balanced scoring attack. Six different Muckdogs either scored a run or drove one in but Apelian was the only player to do both. Patrick Wisdom came across once and shortstop Alex Mejia went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his professional debut.

Saturday's game: vs. Lowell (BOS), 7:05 pm ET, Tyler Melling (0-0, 2.81 ERA)

Johnson City 1 at Greeneville 0 (9) – game one
Greeneville 4 vs. Johnson City 2 (7) – game two

Johnson City split a double-header at Greeneville, taking the opener 1-0 but losing the nightcap 4-2. The third-place JC-Cards (9-9) take the series 2-1 and are four games back of Elizabethton (MIN).

Three Cardinals' pitchers combined to shut out the Astros on six hits in game one. Starter Stalyn Lopez went 5 2/3, scattering five and four walks while fanning four. Jeff Rauh (W, 1-0) held his opponents to a single hit over 2 1/3 with two strikeouts and no walks. Ronnie Shaban tossed a scoreless ninth for his fifth save.

The game's only run came in the top of the ninth when shortstop Bruce Caldwell singled with two outs, advanced to second on a single by Carson Kelly, went to third when Steve Bean coaxed a walk and crossed home when Lance Jeffries was hit by a pitch.

Johnson City was held to a single hit in the 4-2 loss in game two. The Cardinals' only two runs came in the first. Jeremy Schaffer hit a one-out bomb to left after lead-off batter C.J. McElroy was hit by a pitch. Greeneville cut the lead in half with a tally in the fourth and tied the game on a solo shot in the fifth. Both tallies were charged to starter Cory Jones, who gave up six hits and two walks in five innings. The 20-year-old fanned five.

Joey Donofrio (L, 0-1) was charged with the loss when he yielded two runs on a hit and a walk in the seventh. Both runs were unearned due to a pair of throwing errors by first baseman Schaffer.

Saturday's game: vs. Elizabethton, 6:00 pm ET, Juan Bautista (1-2, 2.93 ERA)

GCL Cardinals 1 at GCL Marlins 0

Three GCL Cardinals' pitchers joined forces to shut out the GCL Marlins 1-0. The Gulf Birds (13-4) are in first place, five games up on both the GCL Astros and GCL Marlins.

Our co-Player of the Day Silfredo Garcia (W, 2-0) limited the Marlins to four hits over six innings while not walking a batter. He had 12 ground outs, three strikeouts and no fly outs. Josh Renfro worked around two hits to throw a scoreless seventh while Chris Thomas earned his first save by shutting out the opposition on a hit over the final two frames.

Although the Gulf Birds had 11 hits, the game's only run came in the fourth. Adam Ehrlich doubled with two outs and crossed home on Jhohan Acevedo's single. Ehrlich was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk while Acevedo and David Popkins each had two hits.

Saturday's game: vs. GCL Marlins, 10:00 am ET, Kender Villegas (0-0, 7.62 ERA)

DSL Rays 8 at DSL Cardinals 1

The DSL Cardinals stranded 14 runners in their 8-1 pasting by the DSL Rays at home. The Dominican Birds (16-13) sit in fourth place, seven games back of the DSL Mariners.

The Cardinals had more walks (seven) than hits (six) but converted that into only one run. That came in the sixth when the squad was already trailing 7-0. Jose Godoy singled with one out, advanced to third on George Araujo's double and scored on a single by Jeffry Cerdas.

Starter Dailyn Martinez (L, 1-1) allowed six runs, earned, on six hits and two walks in 5 2/3. One of those tallies scored under Juan Fresa's watch. Fresa proceeded to give up two runs of his own on three hits and a walk in 1 1/3. Jose Pena shut out the Rays over the final two frames.

Saturday's game: vs. DSL Astros, 10:30 am ET, Luis Perdomo (2-1, 1.52 ERA)

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