Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/09/12

Sunday was a winning day in the minors with Springfield, Palm Beach, Batavia and Johnson City all topping their opponents. Memphis and Quad Cities both fell while the GCL and DSL teams were off.

Nashville 2 at Memphis 0

Memphis managed just four hits at home as Nashville shut them out 2-0. The Redbirds dropped the five-game series 1-4 as a result.

Adron Chambers went 3-for-4 with a ninth-inning triple. Cedric Hunter had the squad's other hit, a double and drew Memphis' only walk.

Scott Gorgen (L, 0-1) scattered seven hits over 4 1/3. Both of the runs he allowed came in the fifth. Nick Greenwood relieved Gorgen and stranded the sacks full to limit the damage. Greenwood yielded two hits in 1 1/3 and was followed by Jess Todd who got the final out of the sixth with a strikeout, thereby leaving runners on first and second. Todd went 2/3 of an inning with two strikeouts and a walk. Sam Freeman shut out the Sounds on a hit over 1 2/3. Eduardo Sanchez pitched a perfect ninth with one strikeout.

Monday's game: off for the Pacific Coast League All-Star break

Springfield 2 at Midland 1 (11)

Our co-Player of the Day Xavier Scruggs' solo shot to begin the 11th was the difference as Springfield eked out a 2-1 victory at Midland. The win snaps a three-game losing streak by the S-Cards.

Midland's only tally came in the bottom of the first off Carlos Martinez. Three of the four hits Martinez allowed came in that frame. The right-hander limited the RockHounds to a single and two walks over his subsequent five innings. He fanned four.

The Cardinals tied the game with a run in the top of the eighth when Greg Garcia singled with one out, advanced on a passed ball and came home on a single by Jermaine Curtis. Curtis was cut down trying to stretch that into a double so was not on base for consecutive single by Chris Swauger and Jamie Romak.

Midland duplicated that mistake in their half of the eighth with Jorge Rondon on the mound. Rondon yielded a one-out double but the runner was erased when he tried to take third on the play. That was crucial as Rondon proceeded to give up back-to-back singles that would have put Midland up 2-1. Rondan allowed four hits in total over 1 2/3. Eric Fornataro held Midland scoreless on a hit over 1 1/3 and Keith Butler (W, 3-0) fanned four in the 10th and 11th with only one hit given up.

Each squad had 10 hits with a combined 21 runners stranded. Scruggs went 3-for-5 with a double and a home run. Garcia and Swauger each had two hits.

Monday's game: at Midland, 6:30 pm CT, Seth Maness (5-1, 2.12 ERA)

Palm Beach 5 vs. Charlotte 3

The Beach Birds led 5-0 through eight and held on to down Charlotte 5-3 at home. The win gives evens the three-game set at a win apiece.

Ronny Gil's bases-loaded single with two out in the second brought across Geoff Klein (double) and Jeremy Patton (walk) and put Palm Beach up 2-0. That is how the score remained until the bottom of the eighth when two Stone Crabs' errors contributed to three more tallies, two of them unearned. James Ramsey led off the inning with a single, advanced on a one-out walk to Klein and scored on Patton's second single of the game. Ramsey now has four hits in his last 11 at bats over the past three contests.

The two unearned runs were the eventual result of the same play in which a fielding error by the Stone Crabs' first baseman allowed Klein to touch home and a missed catch error by Charlotte's pitcher let Patton go to third. Patton came home on a sac fly to right by Nick Longmire.

Starter Scott Schneider (W, 1-0) shut down Charlotte on three hits and a walk over six frames. The only two batters to reach base against Iden Nazario in 1 2/3 came via free passes. Chase Reid recorded the final out in the eighth but made things interesting in the ninth when he yielded three runs, two earned, on four hits including a lead-off home run. Reid finally recorded the last out and picked up his fourth save of the season.

Monday's game: vs. Charlotte, 6:35 pm ET, Ryan Sherriff (5-0, 2.74 ERA)

Clinton 5 at Quad Cities 0

Runs in each of the first four innings built a lead that Quad Cities could not overcome as they were shut out 5-0 at home.

Single tallies in the first, second and third were followed by a two-run slam in the fourth as Clinton constructed a 5-0 lead. All of the runs were charged to starter Willy Paulino (L, 2-7) who was finished after four. Four of the five tallies were earned and came on six hits. Paulino struck out two and did not walk a batter. Jonathan Cornelius was superb in relief of Paulino, retiring all 12 batters he faced, four by strikeout. Ethan Cole tossed a scoreless ninth.

David Medina had two of the River Bandits' five hits as the team went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded eight. Juan Castillo went 1-for-2 with two walks.

Monday's game: vs. Clinton, 7:00 pm CT, Tyrell Jenkins (1-3, 5.11 ERA)

Batavia 4 vs. Lowell 2

Batavia scored twice in the fourth and fifth on their way to a 4-2 victory over Lowell at home. The Muckdogs have won seven straight and nine of their last eleven.

Second baseman Jacob Wilson drew a free pass in the fourth and fifth innings and crossed home both times. Designated hitter Matthew Young also scored twice. First baseman David Bergin and centerfielder Steven Ramos each had singles that drove in Wilson and Young in the fourth. Third baseman Patrick Wisdom's only hit of the game was a double in the fifth that plated Wilson and Young again. Hitting at the top of the order, shortstop Alex Mejia went 2-for-4 with a double.

Joey Cuda earned his second victory by shutting out the Spinners on five hits and two walks over six frames. The right-hander fanned five. Down 4-0, the Spinners finally got on the scoreboard with two in the seventh on three hits and a walk off Jose Almarante. Joe Scanio gave up a single to lead off the ninth but the runner was erased on a double play as Scanio picked up his first save.

Monday's game: vs. Lowell, 7:05 pm ET, Ben O'Shea (0-0, 3.97 ERA)

Johnson City 6 vs. Elizabethton 2

The JC-Cards scored three in the bottom of the eighth to break open a tight contest to win 6-2 at home. The series is tied at one all with the deciding game coming Monday night.

Elizabethton broke on top with an unearned run in the first, but Johnson City responded with a tally in the bottom of the frame on a solo bomb by co-Player of the Day Jeremy Schaffer. The fifth inning was a repeat of the first whereby the Twins scored one in the top of the frame and the Cardinals matched it when Carson Kelly hit a solo shot to lead off. Both of the Twins' runs came against starter Victor De Leon, who allowed four hits and five walks in five.

Johnson City went ahead for good when they scored an unearned run in the sixth. Ildemaro Vargas reached base on a throwing error by Elizabethton's third baseman and was eventually brought home on Ronard Castillo's single. Reliever Jeff Rauh was the pitcher of record and picked up his second win without a loss by pitching a perfect sixth. Zach Petrick worked around a hit and a walk to toss a scoreless seventh.

The Cardinals' final three tallies were the result of five consecutive singles and a sac fly to begin the ninth. Schaffer accounted for two-thirds of Johnson City's runs as he scored twice and drove in two on three hits. Castillo also had three hits and two runs batted in. Kelly and C.J. McElroy had two hits apiece and each scored once. Dixon Llorens earned his first save by holding his opponents to a hit and a walk over the final two frames.

Monday's game: vs. Elizabethton, 7:00 pm ET, Bryan Martinez (1-1, 7.30 ERA)

GCL Cardinals - off

Monday's game: at GCL Nationals, 12:00 pm ET, Hansel De Los Santos (1-1, 3.68 ERA)

DSL Cardinals - off

Monday's game: at DSL Astros, 10:30 am ET, Juan Perez (0-3, 7.00 ERA)

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