Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/13/12

The system went 5-2 on Thursday with Memphis, Springfield, Palm Beach, Quad Cities and the DSL Cardinals all coming out on top. Batavia and the GCL Cardinals fell. Johnson City's game was postponed again.

Memphis 3 at Round Rock 0

Small ball met long ball in Memphis' 3-0 road win at Round Rock. The victory in the Redbirds' return to action after the Triple-A All-Star break snaps a three-game skid.

Pete Kozma's solo shot to kick off the sixth broke a scoreless tie. It was the second baseman's seventh bomb of 2012. Mark Hamilton drew a free pass to start the seventh, advanced on a Eugenio Velez' single and a ground out then scored on another. The eighth opened with Adron Chambers' single. He advanced to second on Cedric Hunter's sac bunt then made it to third on Steven Hill's single to short. A sac fly by Mark Hamilton brought in Chambers for the game's final tally. The Redbirds' managed just five hits to the Express' ten with no player having a multi-hit game.

John Gast (W, 7-2) scattered seven hits and a walk over five frames in picking up the win. The lefty fanned six. Nick Greenwood, Chuckie Fick, Sam Freeman and Adam Reifer combined to bridge the three-inning gap between Gast and Eduardo Sanchez who tip-toed through a self-made land mine in the ninth. Sanchez put three batters on via a walk, single and hit batsman but reduced the threat by inducing a double-play ball. Sanchez retired what would have been the tying run at the plate to get his shaky seventh save.

Friday's game: at Round Rock, 7:05 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (0-4, 6.18 ERA)

Springfield 7 vs. Northwest Arkansas 0

Opening a four-game series with fourth-place Northwest Arkansas (KC), the Cardinals shut out the Naturals 7-0 on Thursday. Springfield (12-6) is the division leader, 4 ½ up on both Arkansas (LAA) and Tulsa (COL).

A four-run fourth broke open a close contest as the S-Cards built their lead to 6-0. A solo slam by Oscar Taveras in the eighth was the team's final tally. Taveras went 4-for-5, came home twice and drove in three as Springfield hitters went a healthy 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Chris Swauger's 10th home run of the season was a three-run shot in the fourth that was one of his three hits for the game. Swauger was also plunked once. Jamie Romak singled three times, scored one and had an RBI. Kolten Wong added two hits, including a double and touched home once.

In his return from the DL, Trevor Rosenthal (W, 8-6) held the opposition to four hits and a walk over six innings while striking out four. Jorge Rondon, Justin Wright and Michael Blazek each tossed a scoreless frame.

Friday's game: vs. Northwest Arkansas, 7:08 pm CT, Richard Castillo (5-2, 3.10 ERA)

Palm Beach 5 at Daytona 4

The Beach Birds rallied from a 4-1 deficit after five to edge Daytona 5-4 on the road. The Cardinals (10-11) moved into a tie for third with Fort Myers (MIN) with the win, putting them three games behind Bradenton (PIT).

James Ramsey began the rally in the sixth when he doubled with two outs and scored from second on a passed ball. That brought the score to 4-2. Ronny Gil tied the game in the seventh with a two-out double that brought in Jeremy Patton and Tyler Rahmatulla after they had walked and been hit by a pitch respectively.

Starlin Rodriguez was hit by a pitch to begin the eighth and moved into scoring position when Alan Ahmady worked a walk. Geoff Klein knocked in Rodriguez on a single to left for the game-winning run. Five different Cardinals each had a hit with Ahmady walking three times.

Kevin Siegrist improved his record to 4-0 in his return to Florida State League action. The southpaw allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits and a walk in seven frames. He fanned three. Aidan Lucas struck out two of the three batters he faced in the eighth while Dean Kiekhefer sealed the win with a perfect ninth and earned his ninth save in the process.

Friday's game: at Daytona, 7:05 pm ET, Drew Benes (4-6, 4.56 ERA)

Quad Cities 15 at Lansing 3

Quad Cities' offensive engine was revving on high in the 15-3 romp over host Lansing on Thursday. The River Bandits (12-8) are in first, a game up on four other squads.

The visitors put up crooked numbers in the first, second, fifth and sixth, then added straight ones in the eighth and ninth. Our Player of the Day Matt Williams missed hitting for the cycle in an unusual way. The shortstop had two doubles, a triple and a three-run bomb to miss the cycle by a single. Williams scored four times.

Stephen Piscotty accounted for three more tallies by knocking in one and scoring twice on three hits. One of Anthony Garcia's two hits was a two-run shot that was one of four River Bandits' long balls in the contest. David Medina and Roberto De La Cruz each had a solo blast as well.

Hector Hernandez (W, 6-5) moved over .500 in the won/loss column with the victory. The only mark against the lefty was the two runs yielded in his sixth and final inning of work. Hernandez fanned four, gave up five hits and did not walk a batter. Robert Stock allowed an unearned run in the seventh while Travis Miller and Ethan Cole finished the contest with a scoreless frame each.

Friday's game: at Lansing, 6:05 pm CT, Kyle Hald (4-4, 3.14 ERA)

Hudson Valley 5 vs. Batavia 3

Batavia had the potential tying run in the batter's box in the ninth but fell short in their 5-3 loss at Hudson Valley. The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak by the Muckdogs (15-9) who are in second, 1 ½ behind Auburn (WSH).

Kyle Helisek absorbed his first loss when he gave up four runs, earned, on six hits in just four innings. He did not issue a free pass. His tandem-starter mate Tim Cooney permitted another tally on two hits and a walk in three frames. Kevin Jacob tossed a scoreless eighth.

Batavia went a frustrating 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. David Bergin had a double and a solo home run and Anthony Melchionda had two hits as well, including a double and a run scored. Jesus Montero drove in two.

Friday's game: at Hudson Valley, Ben Freeman (1-0, 3.38 ERA)

Johnson City at Bristol - double-header postponed due to rain
One of the contests is rescheduled as part of a double-header today and the other will take place at Johnson City via a twin bill on August 20th.

Friday's games: Game one - 6:00 pm ET, Stalyn Lopez (0-0, 6.75 ERA); game two - upon completion of game one, Nick Gillung (1-1, 6.23 ERA)

GCL Astros 4 vs. GCL Cardinals 3

The Gulf Birds were clipped 4-3 by the GCL Astros on the road on Thursday. The Cardinals (16-6) remain in first, six games ahead of the Astros.

Starter Max Foody's much anticipated pro debut went about as well as could be expected. Foody faced the minimum in his two-inning stint with three ground outs, one fly out and two strikeouts. Johnny Polanco could not match Foody's performance as he gave up two runs, one earned, on three hits and a walk over the third and fourth innings.

Two unearned tallies, one in the fifth and the other in the seventh, occurred with Ramon Ulacio (L, 0-2) on the mound and were the difference in the game. Ulacio yielded four hits and a walk in three frames. Cole Brand pitched a perfect ninth. Brand has allowed just one earned run in eight appearances covering 9 2/3 innings.

Second baseman Luis Perez was a perfect 4-for-4 but only crossed home once as the team stranded 12 base runners. Perez had almost half of the Cardinals' nine hits with no other player having more than one.

Friday's game: vs. GCL Marlins, 10:00 am ET, Kender Villegas (1-1, 7.00 ERA)

The Dominican Birds overcame a 2-0 hole to sink the first-place Mariners 3-2 on the road. The win puts the fourth-place Cardinals (19-15) six game behind the Mariners.

Two runners crossed in the fifth when Robelys Reyes's single knocked in Bladimil Franco who reached base with a double. Reyes advanced to third on a throwing error and came home on a wild pitch. Leobaldo Pina singled to left to start the seventh and promptly swiped second and third for his ninth and tenth steals of 2012. Luis Cruz' single drove in Pina to break the two-all tie.

Fernando Gonzalez (W, 1-0) pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth in his 2012 debut to earn his first win. The only batter to reach against the 18-year-old was due to a throwing error that opened the sixth. Gonzalez was pitching in relief of Isaac Silva who gave up both of the Mariners tallies on five hits and three walks in just four frames. Silva struck out four. Jose Lara held his opponents scoreless for 2 1/3 and Jorge Rodriguez recorded the final two outs to pick up his first professional save.

Friday's game: at DSL Mariners, 10:30 am ET, Dailyn Martinez (1-1, 2.28 ERA)

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