Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/20/12

Springfield, Quad Cities, Batavia and the GCL Cardinals were all victorious on Thursday. Memphis split a pair on the road while Palm Beach and the DSL Birds fell. Johnson City's game was suspended.

Albuquerque 4 vs. Memphis 3 (7) – game one
Memphis 3 at Albuquerque 2 (7) – game two

Memphis split a pair in the Land of Enchantment, dropping game one 4-3 but taking game two 3-2, both in seven innings. The Redbirds (37-61) split the four-game set and remain in fourth place, 20 ½ behind Omaha (KC).

Five of the eight hits yielded by game one starter Tyler Lyons came in the first, including a solo shot to open the frame. That produced a 3-0 set-back from which Memphis could not recover. Lyons (L, 1-5) went the distance, fanning six and walking one (also in the first).

Ryan Jackson got the Redbirds going with a solo slam in the fifth. They added two more in the seventh when Adron Chambers' 10th double of 2012 drove in Pete Kozma and Nick Derba. Matt Adams was gunned down at home for the third out. Jackson had two of the team's five hits.

Game two was a bullpen start with Nick Greenwood going the first two. The lefty gave up an unearned run in the first as the Isotopes went up, 1-0. John Gaub, Jess Todd and Adam Reifer held their opponents scoreless over the next 3 2/3 innings. Eduardo Sanchez (W, 1-3) picked up the win despite coughing up a run on two free passes and a single in the seventh.

All of the Redbirds' runs came via the long ball. Zack Cox tied things up with a shot in the fifth and Adron Chambers' two-run bomb in the seventh provided the winning margin. It was only the second home run of the season for the centerfielder. Chambers went 1-for-2 with two walks.

Friday's game: vs. first-place Oklahoma City (HOU) (58-40), 7:05 pm CT, Nick Additon (3-7, 4.88 ERA)

Springfield 3 at Tulsa 2

Jamie Romak's solo long ball in the ninth broke a two-all tie as Springfield slipped by Tulsa 3-2 on the road. The S-Cards (17-8) salvaged a split of their four-game series with the win. They remain in first, 5 ½ up on both Arkansas (LAA) and Tulsa (COL).

Kolten Wong began the game with a single to right, advanced to third on Adam Melker's ground-rule double and trotted home on a single by Oscar Taveras. Melker scored a second run on a double play. That 2-0 lead held until the fourth when starter Carlos Martinez served up two solo bombs, two of the three hits he gave up in all. Martinez departed after six with the score still knotted at two all.

Deryk Hooker and Eric Fornataro each tossed a scoreless frame with two strikeouts. Fornataro (W, 2-2) was the pitcher of record when Romak sent one over the left field wall in the ninth. Keith Butler pitched around a lead-off double to record his 19th save.

Friday's game: vs. fourth-place Northwest Arkansas (KC) (6-20), 7:08 pm CT, Anthony Ferrara (0-0, ---)

Brevard County 4 vs. Palm Beach 3

The Beach Birds battled back from a 4-0 early hole but fell just short in their 4-3 loss at Brevard County. Palm Beach (13-15) remains in second place, 2 ½ in back of Bradenton (PIT) despite losing four of the last five.

Starter Drew Benes (L, 4-7) lasted just four innings, yielding a run in the third and three in the fourth on five hits and three walks. Newcomer Travis Miller pitched a scoreless fifth while Todd McInnis was perfect over the final three frames with three strikeouts.

Starlin Rodriguez' fourth homer of 2012 was a two-run shot in the fifth that halved the Manatees' lead to 4-2. Mike O'Neill singled home Nick Longmire in the seventh for the Cardinals' final tally. O'Neill, Longmire and Cody Stanley each had two hits as Palm Beach had eight hits to Brevard County's six. James Ramsey went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strike out.

Friday's game: at third-place Brevard County (MIL) (16-11), 6:35 pm ET, Kyle Hald (0-0, ---)

Quad Cities 7 vs. Lake County 2

Quad Cities' seven-run outburst over two frames was enough for them to coast to a 7-2 victory over Lake County at home. The River Bandits (14-12) are locked in a four-team battle for first. They are currently in fourth, a game behind co-leaders Burlington (OAK) and Clinton (SEA).

Our Player of the Day Hector Hernandez (W, 7-5), turned in possibly his best performance of 2012. The southpaw fanned seven over seven frames with just two hits and no walks. His only hiccup came in the seventh when he allowed a solo home run. Hernandez had five ground outs and six fly outs. Robert Stock yielded a run in the eighth and Danny Miranda retired the side in order in the ninth.

Jeremy Patton's first smash of 2012 came with Anthony Garcia and David Medina aboard in the fourth and put the River Bandits up 3-0. The squad added four more in the fifth, including Roberto Reyes' lead-off homer. Garcia led the team in hits, going 2-for-4, while Medina touched home twice and drove in another.

Friday's game: vs. fourth-place Lake County (14-12), 7:00 pm CT, Brad Watson (0-0, ---)

Batavia 3 at Auburn 0

Batavia's pitchers held the opposition to four hits in the Muckdogs' 3-0 shutout at Auburn. Batavia (18-13) is in second, 1 ½ back of Auburn (WSH).

All four hits were yielded by starter Ben Freeman, two of them in the first. Freeman (W, 2-1) fanned a whopping nine batters in five innings while issuing just one free pass. Cory Baker held the Doubledays scoreless over the next three, pitching around fielding errors in each frame. Jose Almarante struck out the side in the ninth to earn his first save.

The Muckdogs notched single tallies in the third, fourth and fifth. Alex Mejia doubled and scored in the third on a three-hit performance. One of Jordan Walton's two singles drove in David Washington in the fourth while Patrick Wisdom's only hit scored Matthew Young in the fifth. Breyvic Valera had two singles, one of which brought in Mejia. Jesus Montero went 2-for-4 with a double.

Friday's game: vs. Auburn (19-11), 7:05 pm ET, Tyler Melling (2-0, 1.95 ERA)

Johnson City at Elizabethton - suspended

Johnson City's contest at Elizabethton lasted just long enough to likely burn their respective starters. The scoreless game was suspended due to rain with two out in the top the second. It is scheduled to be completed as part of a double-header at Elizabethton on Saturday, July 21st.

Friday's game: vs. Elizabethton (MIN) (19-10), 7:00 pm ET, Zach Petrick (2-0, 3.07 ERA)

GCL Cardinals 9 at GCL Nationals 4

Three runs in the first set the Gulf Birds on course for a 9-4 road victory over the GCL Nationals. The Cardinals (19-9) remain in first, six games up on both the Astros and the Mariners.

Three straight two-out singles followed by a double brought home three in the first. The scoring was kicked off by designated hitter Aaron Luna who began his rehab after missing the entire 2012 season to date with a foot injury. Luna went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. He was also hit by a pitch, hopefully not in the foot. The Gulf Birds added two in the fourth, single tallies in the sixth and eighth then two more in the ninth.

Brett Wiley and Rafael Medina each drove in three while Yoenny Gonzalez and Daniel Barbuena crossed home twice. David Popkins and Jose Gomez had three hits apiece, part of the Cardinals' 18-hit attack.

Kender Villegas (W, 2-2) scattered seven hits over five frames with two runs, earned. He fanned six, did not walk a batter but plunked two. Juan Caballero tossed a scoreless sixth but did not retire a batter in the seventh, allowing two runs on two walks and a plunked batter. Both runners scored under Josh Renfro who inherited a bases-loaded with no one out mess. Renfro (W, 2-0) limited the damage to Caballero's two tallies and pitched a scoreless eighth. Cole Brand worked around two hits to hold the Nationals off the board in the ninth.

Friday's game: at GCL Marlins (13-15), Brian Fuentes (0-0, ---)

DSL Royals 9 at DSL Cardinals 6 (10)

The Dominican Birds could not hold a 5-3 lead after five, falling 9-6 to the DSL Royals in ten. The Cardinals (20-19) remain in fourth, 8 ½ behind the DSL Mariners.

Ramon Santos (L, 0-1) yielded all three tenth-inning tallies in his only inning of work. They came on two hits and three walks, one intentional. The Cardinals committed five errors that led to four unearned scores. Starter Hector Salazar limited the Royals to an unearned run in his three-inning stint.

Jose Lara followed with two plus frames, giving five runs, two earned, on three hits and a walk. Jorge Rodriguez allowed all three of Lara's runners to cross for the blown save. Ismael Brito tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless ball.

Designated hitter Luis Cruz accounted for three tallies, two of them on a two-run slam. He scored another run as well and was credited with the team's only RBIs. Third baseman Leobaldo Pina went 2-for-3 and touched home once.

Friday's game: vs. second-place DSL Dodgers (25-15), Luis Perdomo (2-2, 2.17 ERA)

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