Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/23/12

Sunday was grand slam day in the minors as the system went 3-2 with a suspended game. The GCL and DSL squads were off.

Memphis 24 vs. Oklahoma City 7

Memphis scored in six of eight different innings on their way to a 24-7 annihilation of visiting Oklahoma City. The Redbirds have won the first three of their four games with the RedHawks, knocking them out of first place in the American South Division.

Memphis' attack included a five-run second, eight-run fourth plus a seven-run outburst in the seventh. The highlight was no less than two fourth-inning grand slams by our co-Players of the Day: Pete Kozma and Steven Hill. Kozma added a double and two singles to his bomb, crossed home three times with five RBIs. Hill was perfect in five at bats, drove in five and joined Mark Hamilton in touching home four times. Hamilton's two-run shot started the Redbirds' offense in the first. He went 2-for-4 with three walks and four RBIs.

Brandon Dickson (W, 5-8) fanned seven in six frames, scattering seven hits and a walk that resulted in two tallies, one via a long ball. Chuckie Fick yielded two in the seventh, including a solo shot, on two hits and a free pass. Nick Greenwood was ineffective in the eighth, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. Maikel Cleto kept the opposition off the board in the ninth.

Monday's game: vs. Oklahoma City, 7:05 pm CT, John Gast (8-2, 4.52 ERA)

Springfield 8 vs. Northwest Arkansas 3

Two four-run outbursts led to Springfield's 8-3 victory over Northwest Arkansas at home. The S-Cards have won four straight, including the first three of four against the Naturals.

The Cardinals put four on the board in the first and capped the contest with four more in the eighth that transformed a close 4-2 game into an easy 8-3 triumph. Seven of the eight tallies came via the long ball. Greg Garcia had a solo slam in the first and capped a three-hit performance with a three-run bomb in the eighth. Xavier Scruggs got Springfield on the board with his own three-run homer in the first, one of his two hits. Scruggs and Jamie Romak each trotted home twice.

Scott McGregor (W, 3-1) had his second straight strong outing of seven-inning ball. The right-hander held Northwest Arkansas to just three hits and the only mark against him was a solo home run in the third. Michael Blazek struck out the side in the eighth but gave up a tally on a hit and two walks. Justin Wright loaded the bases on two singles and a plunked batter in the ninth then forced in a run on a walk. Wright departed having retied only one batter but Deryk Hooker induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat and earn his first save since 2010 with Quad Cities.

Monday's game: vs. Northwest Arkansas, 7:08 pm CT, Richard Castillo (5-3, 3.21 ERA)

Palm Beach 6 at Brevard County 4

Palm Beach built a 6-0 lead through seven then held on to down host Brevard County 6-4. The third-place Beach Birds (13-15) salvaged a split of the four-game set with the Manatees.

Rainel Rosario's double in the fourth brought in Alan Ahmady and Cody Stanley after the latter two singled. Rosario eventually scampered home on Mike O'Neill's single. Geoff Klein singled and scored the inning's other run on a fielder's choice. Klein belted his fourth home run of 2012 in the first that also brought in James Ramsey who walked to open the frame.

Ryan Sheriff notched his sixth win against just one loss by limiting Brevard County to a single tally on four hits and two base-on-balls. He fanned six in 7 2/3. Dean Kiekhefer recorded the final out in the eighth with a run already in to strand two runners. However, Kiekhefer was not nearly that productive in the ninth. Three singles and a double preceded two strike outs but another single resulted in the inning's third run and ended Kiekhefer's night. Aidan Lucas retired the final batter to record his second save.

Monday's game: at second-place Jupiter (MIA) (14-14), 6:35 pm ET, Chris Corrigan (2-4, 3.66 ERA)

Fort Wayne 8 at Quad Cities 3

Quad Cities never led in the 8-3 home defeat by Fort Wayne. The River Bandits have played under .500 ball over their last 10 games with a 4-6 record.

Starter Willy Paulino (L, 2-8) had another ineffective outing. The righty yielded six runs, earned, on six hits and three walks in 4 1/3. He struck out five. Robert Stock shut out the Wizards over the next 3 2/3 although two wild pitches in the fifth brought one of two inherited runners across. Heath Wyatt allowed two runs on three hits and a free pass in the ninth.

Down 6-0, Quad Cities knocked in three in the eighth to get within striking distance. The squad loaded the bases on two free passes sandwiched around a hit batsman. Jeremy Patton's two out single brought in Matt Williams and Nick Martini while David Bergin singled home Luis Mateo.

Monday's game: vs. Fort Wayne, 7:00 pm CT, Tyrell Jenkins (2-3, 5.12 ERA)

Batavia 3 at Auburn 3 - suspended

Batavia's contest at Auburn was suspended with the game knotted at three all with a runner aboard in the bottom of the eighth. It is scheduled to be completed as part of a double-header at Auburn on August 19th.

Starter Ben O'Shea allowed three runs in the first that came on all four knocks he yielded. He departed after four with the game tied at three. Lee Stoppelman shut down the Doubledays on a hit and two walks over two while Jose Almarante tossed a scoreless seventh.

David Washington led off the second with his third bomb of 2012. Back-to-back fourth-inning singles by Garrett Wittels and Jordan Walton drove in Breyvic Valera and Patrick Wisdom who started the frame with their own consecutive singles.

Monday's game: Second-place Batavia (19-14) at third-place State College (PIT) (18-16), 7:05 pm ET, Tim Cooney (1-0, 2.66 ERA)

Princeton 13 vs. Johnson City 3

It was over early in Johnson City's 13-3 drubbing at the hands of host Princeton.

Starter Cory Jones (L, 0-2) coughed up a grand slam with none out in the second that finished his day and put the JC-Cards in an 8-0 pit. The runs came on seven hits and a walk and were split evenly between the first and second frames. Thomas Lee fanned five over the next four innings with four hits and one run yielded. He did not issue a base-on-balls. Mike Aldrete kept the Rays off the board over the next two frames with just one double and four strike outs. Cesar Aguilar served up a two-run slam in the eighth that was part of the four total runs the 20-year-old allowed.

The Cardinals knocked in single tallies in the fourth, fifth and sixth but wasted numerous opportunities, going 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Right fielder Dutch Deol doubled, tripled and drove in two. Shortstop Cesar Valera had a double to go with his single and crossed home twice. Third baseman Bruce Caldwell doubled twice and represented two of those 14 stranded runners.

Monday's game:at Princeton, 7:05 pm ET, Juan Bautista (1-3, 5.63 ERA)

GCL Cardinals - off

Monday's game: vs. GCL Astros, 12:00 pm ET, Max Foody (0-0, 1.80 ERA)

DSL Cardinals - off

Monday's game: at DSL Rays, 10:30 am ET, Dailyn Martinez (1-2, 2.51 ERA)

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