Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/17/12

St. Louis' minor league squads managed just three wins in nine contests on Monday. Springfield and Quad Cities were victorious. Johnson City split a pair but Memphis, Palm Beach, Batavia, the GCL and DSL Cardinals all fell.

Albuquerque 9 vs. Memphis 8

Memphis' bullpen could not hold a late-inning lead as the Redbirds (35-60) were clipped by the Isotopes 9-8 on the road. The team remains in fourth (last) place, 22 ½ behind Omaha (KC).

Maikel Cleto gave up four runs, earned, on four hits, including two doubles and a walk to turn an 8-5 advantage into a 9-8 deficit. Cleto (L, 2-2) retired just two batters before being replaced by Adam Reifer. Reifer retired all four batters he faced to keep the game close.

Brandon Dickson had his worst start in over a month when he yielded five runs on 10 hits and two walks. Four of the five runs came in his fifth and final inning of work and two of those were via a two-run slam. Jess Todd tossed a scoreless sixth.

The Redbirds saw their 6-1 lead after three tighten to 6-5 after five. They extended their lead with two more in the sixth but that was B.C. (Before Cleto). Matt Adams returned from the disabled list with a bang, going 3-for-4 with a walk, a double, a two-run bomb, three runs scored and two knocked in. Adron Chambers came home twice with an RBI as well. All four of Mark Hamilton's hits were singles and the left fielder touched home once and drove in another.

Tuesday's game:at Albuquerque (55-40), 8:05 pm CT, John Gast (7-2, 4.88 ERA)

Springfield 4 at Tulsa 3

Adam Melker's solo shot to start the ninth provided the winning margin as Springfield edged Tulsa 4-3 on the road. The Cardinals (16-6) remain in first place, 6 ½ up on both Arkansas (LAA) and Tulsa (COL).

The S-Cards took an early lead with a tally in the first which held until the Drillers tied it up in the bottom of the fifth. Springfield knocked in two more in the sixth to take a 3-1 lead. Tulsa responded with another run in the seventh. Both Drillers' runs were charged to Scott McGregor (W, 2-1) who had his best outing of 2012. The right-hander scattered six hits and a walk over seven frames while striking out five. McGregor had 13 ground outs and one fly out.

Closer Keith Butler made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth when he yielded three singles that brought in a run while putting the tying and winning runs on base. Butler bore down to record the final two batters and pick up his 18th save.

Four different Cardinals scored a run and three Cardinals had an RBI. Third baseman Jamie Romak was the only player that overlapped the two groups with a home run, with a run scored and an RBI. Romak joined Greg Garcia, Oscar Taveras and Melker in Springfield's two-hit club.

Tuesday's game:at Tulsa (10-13), 7:05 pm CT, Scott Gorgen (3-5, 4.18 ERA)

Lakeland 4 at Palm Beach 0

The Beach Birds scrounged just four hits as they were shut out by Lakeland 4-0 at home. Palm Beach (12-13) has dropped the first two of four games with Lakeland and is now tied for second with Jupiter (MIA), two games behind Bradenton (PIT).

Ryan Sherriff (L, 5-1) gave up two in the second and another two in the seventh, his final inning of work. The southpaw yielded seven hits and a seventh-inning walk while striking out five. Zack Russell and Todd McInnis pitched the eighth and ninth, respectively.

Lead-off batter Mike O'Neill had half of the Cardinals knocks. The left fielder is swinging a hot bat, going .361/.455/.500/.955 in 36 at bats over his last 10 games. Neither of Lakeland's pitchers issued a free pass.

Tuesday's game: vs. Lakeland (13-9), 6:35 pm ET, Chris Corrigan (2-4, 4.07 ERA)

Quad Cities 6 at Great Lakes 2

Quad Cities tallied in five separate frames to salvage the last of three road games against Great Lakes, 6-2. The River Bandits (13-11) are knotted in a three-way tie for second with Burlington (OAK) and Clinton (SEA), a game behind Kane County (KC).

Single scores in the first, second, fourth and sixth plus two in the eighth provided the winning margin. Nick Martini accounted for four of the squad's tallies by knocking in three and scoring one in a 2-for-3 performance that included a double. David Medina was a perfect 2-for-2 with a walk, a double, a solo shot and two runs scored. Luis Mateo crossed home twice as well.

Tyrell Jenkins (W, 2-3) showed improvement in his third start since coming off the disabled list. The righty shut out the Loons on two hits and three walks over five. He had eight ground outs, two fly outs and two strike outs. Both of Great Lakes' runs came in the sixth, the first of Jonathan Cornelius' 3 1/3 innings on the mound. Cornelius fanned six with three hits and two walks given up. He issued both free passes in the ninth which led to Heath Wyatt's entrance. Wyatt sandwiched a plunked batter around a strike out and a fly out to record his 14th save.

Tuesday's game: off

Aberdeen 7 vs. Batavia 4

A seven-run chasm was more than Batavia could cross as they fell 7-4 at Aberdeen. The loss prevented a three-game sweep by the Muckdogs (17-11) who are in second, 1 ½ in back of Auburn (WSH).

Ben O'Shea absorbed his first loss of 2012 against one victory when he yielded four runs, earned, on five hits, including a three-run shot in the third, his last inning. Aberdeen's final three tallies came in the fifth and were charged to Kevin Jacob, although only two were earned. Jacob allowed three hits and here walks in 1 2/3. Jose Almarante and Dyllon Nuernberg combined to shut out the IronBirds over the last 3 1/3.

Our co-Player of the Day Patrick Wisdom was responsible for all four of Batavia's tallies. Wisdom got the scoring started in the sixth when he launched a three-run shot over the left field wall and chased Aberdeen's starter from the game. Wisdom sent another one over the left field wall in the ninth for the Muckdogs' final score. Those two slams were two of his squad's three hits for the contest.

Tuesday's game: vs. Jamestown (MIA) (12-15), 7:05 pm ET, Tim Cooney (1-0, 2.93 ERA)

Kingsport 1 at Johnson City 0 (7) – game one
Johnson City 4 vs. Kingsport 1 (7) – game two

Johnson City split a double-header at home on Monday, losing the opener 1-0 but taking the nightcap 4-1. The JC-Cards (13-12) have dropped to third place, four games back of Elizabethton (MIN).

Starter Cory Jones gave up a solo long ball in game one and that was all Kingsport's pitchers needed. Jones (L, 0-1) yielded four hits and four walks in 5 1/3. Cesar Aquilar pitched the final 1 2/3. The Cardinals' batters managed just four hits and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.

Our co-Player of the Day Silfredo Garcia picked up where he left off in the Gulf Coast League by holding the Mets to one unearned run on five hits over six. Garcia (W, 1-0) fanned eight and did not walk a batter in an impressive Appalachian League debut. Dixon Llorens tossed a scoreless seventh for his second save.

Ildemaro Vargas was a perfect 3-for-3 with a solo bomb, two runs scored and two driven in. He was responsible for three of the squad's eight hits and was the only player with more than one.

Tuesday's game: at Elizabethton (18-9), 7:00 pm ET, Juan Bautista (1-2, 3.54 ERA)

GCL Astros 5 vs. GCL Cardinals 4

The Gulf Birds rallied from a 4-0 hole to tie but could not get over the hump as the GCL Astros walked off with a 5-4 victory. The Cardinals (17-8) have now lost four of their last six after reeling off a 10-game winning streak. They remain in first, five games ahead of the Astros.

Norge Paredes (L, 1-1) hit the first batter he faced in the ninth which became the winning run. A sac bunt and passed ball took the runner to third and the only hit allowed by the right-hander was the game-winner. Starter Nick Additon fanned four in three frames while shutting out the Astros on just one hit in his second rehab appearance. Fidencio Flores followed in what is his usual rotation slot and coughed up a three run shot in the third and another tally in the fourth. Flores walked two and gave up four hits in 4 2/3.

Down 4-0 after five, the Gulf Birds fought back to tie the contest with two each in the sixth and seventh. Lead-off batter Anthony Bryant reach base four times in five plate appearances, going 2-for-3 with a double, two walks and a run scored. One of Jem Argenal's two hits was a triple that knocked in Brett Wiley. Argenal also drew two free passes and scored once. Wiley went 2-for-4.

Tuesday's game: vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 pm ET, Max Foody (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

DSL Indians 6 vs. DSL Cardinals 1

A four-run outburst changed a tight contest into a clear defeat as the DSL Cardinals lost to the DSL Indians 6-1 on the road. The Cardinals (19-17) are in fourth, eight games back of the DSL Mariners.

The contest remained scoreless until the fifth when the Indians brought two across against starter Dailyn Martinez (L, 1-2). Martinez could not finish the frame and departed with two out and a line of six hits and three walks yielded. Esteban Vallejo held the opposition scoreless over the next 1 1/3 but did not record an out in the seventh, giving up three runs, two earned, on two hits including a two-run bomb and a walk. Fernando Gonzalez gave up a solo home run that completed the scoring in the seventh.

The Dominican Birds' sole score came in the top of the seventh and temporarily cut the Indians' lead to one. Luis Cruz singled with one out, advanced to third on Carlos Torres' double and crossed home on a ground out. Six different Cardinals each had one hit.

Tuesday's game: vs. DSL Indians (17-20), 10:30 am ET, TBA

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