Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/08/12

The Cardinals minor league system went just 2-6 on Saturday with Batavia pitcher Tyler Melling our Player of the Day.

Nashville 5 at Memphis 2

Nashville defeated Memphis for the second straight night with a 5-2 win Saturday night at AutoZone Park.

The Sounds jumped on Redbirds starter Shelby Miller for three runs in the third inning before the right-hander was taken out of the game with his pitch count at 68. Miller suffered his eighth loss, giving up three runs on three hits and four walks while fanning four in just 2 1/3 innings of work.

Reliever Brian Broderick allowed the last two Nashville runs on a safety squeeze in the sixth and a solo home run in the seventh. Zack Cox and Pete Kozma were the only two Redbirds to drive in a run, despite the Redbirds outhitting the Sounds 10-8. Mark Hamilton (double), Eugenio Velez (triple) and Nick Derba (double) each had two hits.

Sunday's game: vs. Nashville, 6:05 pm CT, Scott Gorgen (0-0, 6.43) – final game before All-Star break.

Frisco 5 vs. Springfield 2

The Cardinals were swept out of Frisco, giving up an early lead via the long ball en rough to a 5-2 loss on Saturday night.

For the first time in the series, Springfield drew first blood. In the top of the third, Jermaine Curtis walked and scored on Chris Swauger's two-run home run, his eighth of the season. It would be the Cardinals only time crossing home plate on the evening.

Springfield starter Richard Castillo retired seven straight batters heading into the fourth inning, but surrendered a solo home run. Then, with two outs in the fifth, Frisco took the lead on an RBI tripled followed by a two-run homer, which gave the RoughRiders a 4-2 lead.

Frisco added another run in the sixth against Justin Wright as he walked the lead-off man, threw a wild pitch, allowed a single and a sacrifice fly to set the finals score.

The Cardinals' offense sputtered, with just two runners getting into scoring position after the third inning. Without Futures Game stars Oscar Taveras and Kolten Wong, the club managed just eight hits. Adam Melker had two.

Sunday's games: at Midland, 6:00 pm CT, Carlos Martinez (1-2, 2.93)
For Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras: MLB Futures Game at Kansas City, 4 PM CT.

Charlotte 3 at Palm Beach 1

The visitors took the series opener after putting a three-spot on the board in the fourth inning via a bases-loaded double against Cardinals starter Anthony Ferrara. Otherwise Ferrara pitched well, throwing seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks, and striking out four.

The Palm Beach offense had their best early threat in the third, loading the bases, but did not score. They were stymied until Jeremy Patton's sacrifice fly in the eighth scored Starlin Rodriguez to put the Cardinals on the board. Rodriguez went 3-for-3, raising his average to .312, while James Ramsey and Alan Ahmady added two hits each.

Sunday's game: vs. Charlotte (TB), 5:05 pm ET, Scott Schneider (0-0, 4.67)

Clinton 4, Quad Cities 2 (10 innings)

The series opener at Modern Woodmen Park finished on a down note as Bandits left-hander Danny Miranda allowed back-to-back home runs to break a 1-1 tie in the top of the tenth inning - a two-run blast followed by a solo shot. With the loss, Quad Cities fell to 10-6 in the second half.

The Bandits came back to score in the bottom of the final frame, but fell short. Three hits – a triple by Matt Williams and a pair of infield singles by Nick Martini and Stephen Piscotty – pushed across a run. Left-fielder Anthony Garcia, who extended his hitting streak to 16 games earlier in the evening, was called out on a check-swing third strike and David Medina grounded out to end the game.

Clinton had scored first in the second inning on an unearned run against left-handed starter Dail Villanueva as the result of a Medina error at first base. Villanueva pitched well, going seven innings and allowing just four hits while striking out six and walking one.

The River Bandits tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning. Garcia scored on a throwing error by the Clinton pitcher on an attempted pickoff. Garcia later threw out a runner at the plate in the top of the ninth to preserve the tie.

Shortstop Williams committed his 25th error in 80 games but had three hits, including a triple, out of the leadoff spot. Third baseman Piscotty singled and doubled, raising his average to .333 over his first 10 professional games.

Sunday's game: vs. Clinton (SEA), 5:00 pm CT, Willy Paulino (2-6, 4.56)

Batavia 3, Lowell 0

At Dwyer Stadium, the Muckdogs scored three in the third and fourth and three pitchers combined to toss an eight-hit shutout at the visitors from Massachusetts Saturday night.

Starter Tyler Melling, our Player of the Day, lowered his NY-Penn League ERA to 2.05 after throwing six scoreless innings on seven hits and no walks. The lefty fanned five and collected 10 ground ball outs vs. just one fly out. Kevin Jacob shut down a threat with two on in the seventh, then added a quiet eighth before former shortstop Yunier Castillo picked up his third save of the season.

Shortstop and leadoff man Alex Mejia had an RBI double and first baseman David Washington plated two via a double of his own. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom had a single and a double and scored.

Sunday's game: vs. Lowell (BOS), 1:05 pm ET, Joey Cuda (1-0, 2.63)

Elizabethton 8 at Johnson City 4

Johnson City came back from an early deficit to take a brief 3-2 lead in the fourth before the visiting Twins scored six in the fifth through seventh to secure the win.

Cardinals starter Juan Bautista left after five innings, having allowed the tying run in his final frame of work. The right-hander allowed just three hits and two walks, but one of the safeties was a two-run home run in the first after he had hit a batter.

The main damage occurred against reliever Thomas Lee in the seventh as Elizabethton scored four. An error by shortstop Cesar Valera made the final two runs unearned.

Designated hitter Jeremy Shaffer went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a home run and two driven in. Ildemaro Vargas was on base three times with a pair of hits and a walk. The second sacker stole a base and scored on Shaffer's first-inning homer. Third baseman Carson Kelly hit his first professional home run, a solo shot, singled and scored twice.

Sunday's game: vs. Elizabethton, 6:00 pm ET, Victor De Leon (1-0, 1.54)

GCL Cardinals 10, GCL Marlins 3

The game was essentially over in the first two innings as the Cards won their eighth straight. They scored a single tally in the bottom of the first, but starter Kender Villegas gave three right back to the Marlins on a pair of home runs. Undaunted, the Cardinals plated nine in the bottom of the second to complete the day's scoring.

Villegas settled down and went three more innings, five in total. The right-hander picked up the win despite yielding 10 hits. Four relievers added a scoreless frame each – Javier Machuca, Juan Caballero, Johnny Polanco and Cole Brand.

Leadoff man Anthony Bryant, back from Johnson City, had a single, double and home run. The centerfielder had a stolen base, scored twice and plated three. Third baseman Ronnierd Garcia also launched a three-run home run, singled and stole a base. Right fielder Corderious Dodd had three hits, scored one, drove in two and threw out an opposing runner at third base. Former catcher Luis Perez showed off his wheels with a triple.

It could have been even worse for the little Fish. Despite scoring 10, the Cardinals stranded another 10 on the bases.

Sunday's game: GCL Cardinals are off Sundays.

DSL Astros 4 at DSL Cardinals 2 (10 innings)

The Cardinals broke a scoreless tie in the fifth with a solo tally, but the visitors came back with two in the top of the sixth. The Cards tied the game in the eighth, but fell in extra innings on Saturday.

Starter Luis Perdomo went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and no walks. The right-hander fanned six as his ERA rose to 1.78. After Ismael Brito spun 2 1/3 scoreless, Alirio Negrette took the loss with two runs allowed in the top of the tenth.

The Cards managed just six hits over 10 innings. Batting third, center fielder Carlos Torres had two hits and an RBI. Leadoff man and shortstop Eliezer Alvarez singled, walked and scored twice.

Sunday's game: DSL Cardinals are off Sundays.

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