Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/24/12

It was Match Game Night in the minors on Monday as four contests had identical 9-8 scores. Five of the seven contests were decided by a single run.

Memphis 9 vs. Oklahoma City 8

Mark Hamilton singled home Shane Robinson in the bottom of the ninth as Memphis walked off with a 9-8 victory over Oklahoma City. The Redbirds (41-61) swept the four-game set and climbed into third place, one-half game up on Iowa (CHC).

Our co-Player of the Day Steven Hill had his second grand slam in as many days to put Memphis up 6-1 after three. But starter John Gast yielded four tallies in the fourth to allow the RedHawks within one. Gast went six frames, with five runs, four earned, on seven hits and two walks. He struck out four.

After the Redbirds knocked in one in the fifth, the two squads traded tallies in the seventh with Oklahoma City's coming off John Gaub. A two-run bomb served up by Adam Reifer in the eighth tied the game at eight all and set up the ninth. Shane Robinson and Eugenio Velez drew consecutive free passes then executed a double steal with Hamilton delivering his game-winner. Eduardo Sanchez (W, 2-3) worked around two base-on-balls in 1 1/3 for his second victory.

Hill went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and six RBIs. Robinson and Velez each went 2-for-4 with three runs scored. Hamilton added a double to his game-winning single and drove in two.

Tuesday's game: at second-place Nashville (MIL) (45-57), 7:05 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (1-5, 5.09)

Springfield 5 vs. Northwest Arkansas 4

A free pass issued to Oscar Taveras forced in the winning tally as Springfield edged Northwest Arkansas 5-4 at home. The S-Cards (21-8) used the brooms on the Naturals in their four-game series and remain in first, 6 ½ in front of Arkansas (LAA).

With Springfield trailing 4-2, Taveras opened the eighth with a single, advanced to third on a walk and a hit batsman then scooted home on a ground out. Jaime Romak's pinch-hit double in the ninth tied the game as it knocked in Adam Melker, who led off with a single. After Kolten Wong reached on a fielding error by Naturals' pitcher Jon Keck, the southpaw intentionally walked Jermaine Cutis to face the league's batting leader Taveras for a lefty-lefty match-up.

Six different Cardinals either scored or drove in a tally. Xavier Scruggs's only hit was a two-run long ball in the first although Scruggs did draw two free passes. Taveras and Melker each had two hits while Curtis had three, including a double.

All four tallies yielded by starter Richard Castillo in six frames came in the fourth, on five of his seven hits allowed, including a three-run bomb. Castillo fanned three and walked one. Scott Gorgen (W, 4-6) shut out the opposition on a hit and a walk over the final three innings in his first relief appearance of 2012. He struck out five.

Tuesday's game: vs. Arkansas (15-15), 7:08 pm CT, Carlos Martinez (2-2, 2.43)

Jupiter 9 vs. Palm Beach 8 (13)

Three singles in the 13th led to the Beach Birds' 9-8 defeat by Jupiter. Palm Beach (15-17) is tied for third with Fort Myers (MIN), four games in back of Bradenton (PIT).

Todd McInnis was charged with his sixth loss as a result, although Cardinals' pitchers blew earlier opportunities. Twice they were unable to close out the contest. The first was in regulation when Zack Russell gave up two doubles that knotted the game 7-7 and again in the 10th, when Aidan Lucas issued a two-out walk and a double that re-tied it at eight all.

Chris Corrigan started and held the Hammerheads off the board in five of the six innings he pitched. All four tallies yielded by the right-hander came in the third on a walk and four hits (three doubles). Corrigan allowed seven hits and two base-on-balls while striking out three. Travis Miller gave up two runs, one earned, in the seventh.

Our other co-Player of the Day Cody Stanley led the Beach Birds by driving in five on four hits while crossing home once. Starlin Rodriguez and Rainel Rosario had three hits apiece with Rodriguez touching home three time times.

Tuesday's game: at second-place Jupiter (15-14), 6:35 pm ET, Kevin Siegrist (4-0, 2.51)

Quad Cities 9 vs. Fort Wayne 6

Quad Cities battled back from a 6-0 hole after one to down visiting Fort Wayne 9-6. The River Bandits (16-14) salvaged the final game of three against the TinCaps and are in a three-way tie for second with Burlington (OAK) and Kane County (KC), a game behind Clinton (SEA).

All six tallies were the responsibility of Tyrell Jenkins who shut out Fort Wayne in his final three frames. Jenkins yielded five hits and four free passes while fanning seven. Pitching in relief, Dail Villanueva earned his sixth win by holding the TinCaps scoreless over the fifth and sixth after having not finished the second inning on July 21st against the same squad. Ethan Cole tossed two scoreless frames and Heath Wyatt picked up his 16th save with a perfect ninth.

The River Bandits cut the lead in half with three in the second then went ahead with four in the fifth on David Bergin's first Midwest League home run, a three-run bomb that was immediately followed by Luis Mateo's solo shot. The Bandits gave themselves a bit of breathing room with two final tallies in the eighth. Mateo came home three times with two RBIs while Juan Castillo and Jeremy Patton each scored twice on two hits. Matt Williams went 1-for-2 with four walks from the top of the order and drove in two.

Tuesday's game: off

State College 9 vs. Batavia 8

Batavia could not hold a 6-2 lead through the mid-seventh as they were downed by State College 9-8 on the road. The Muckdogs (19-15) remain in second place, a game behind Auburn (WSH).

Joe Scanio allowed two runs in the eighth that tied the game and another in the ninth for his second loss against one win. All three tallies, two earned, came on two hits and two plunked batters. Tim Cooney held the Spikes to a single earned run, two in all, on seven hits through five. Cory Baker yielded four runs in the seventh, the second of his two innings of work, on six hits in total. Batavia's three pitchers did not issue a free pass.

The Muckdogs had 13 hits with lead-off batter Garrett Wittels accounting for half of the team's tallies. The shortstop doubled, tripled, drove in two and crossed home twice. Patrick Wisdom, Breyvic Valera and Jacob Wilson each singled twice with a run scored. Wisdom and Valera also knocked in a tally as did Jonathan Keener who had three singles.

Tuesday's game: at third-place State College (PIT) (19-16), 12:00 pm ET, Kyle Helisek (1-1, 2.45)

Johnson City 9 at Princeton 8 (11)

C.J. McElroy's single in the 11th was the game-winning knock in Johnson City's 9-8 road victory over Princeton. The JC-Cards (15-17) are in third, seven games in back of Elizabethton (MIN).

Catcher Steve Bean reached on a fielding error with one out in the 11th and Dutch Deol's double advanced him to third. Bean was replaced by pinch runner Thomas Lee, a pitcher, who scored on McElroy's single. That made a winner out of Dixon Llorens, who earned his second win by fanning seven over three frames with no runs allowed. Ronnie Shaban notched his eighth save with a scoreless 11th.

Starter Juan Bautista yielded five of the six tallies Princeton scored in the fourth and departed having retired just one batter that inning. One of the seven hits given up by Bautista was a three-run slam in the fourth which was part of the seven runs, five earned, he coughed up in 3 1/3. Joey Donofrio allowed the Rays' final score in the fourth, unearned, but kept his opponents off the board over the next 3 2/3. None of the four Muckdogs' pitchers walked a batter.

Both of Bean's hits went for extra bases. He and Carson Kelly had solo shots in the fourth and Bean doubled home two in the eighth, which tied the contest at 8-8. Jeremy Schaffer went 2-for-6 with a double, run scored and two RBIs. Five other players either scored or drove in a tally.

Tuesday's game: at third-place (East Division) Princeton (TB) (17-17), 11:00 am ET, Victor DeLeon (1-0, 0.83)

GCL Cardinals vs. GCL Astros – postponed due to rain

Re-scheduled as part of a double-header Tuesday.

The Gulf Birds are tied with the GCL Tigers for the best record in the Gulf Coast League at 21-9. The Cardinals are seven games up on the Astros,

Tuesday's games: at GCL Astros (14-16). Game one – 11:00 am ET, Max Foody (0-0, 1.80); game two - upon completion of game one, TBA

DSL Rays 6 vs. DSL Cardinals 1

The Dominican Birds were held to one measly hit in their 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Rays. The Cardinals (21-21) remain in fourth place, 10 ½ behind the Mariners.

Junior Agustin's double to lead off the eighth broke up the Rays' combined no-hitter. Agustin advanced to third on a fly out to right and scored on Jeffry Cerdas' sac fly to center.

Dailyn Martinez (L, 1-3) was charged with four runs, three earned, on seven hits and a base-on-balls in five. He struck out five. Fernando Baez threw two perfect frames but Alirio Negrette yielded two runs, earned, on three hits and a walk in the eighth.

Tuesday's game: vs. eighth-place (last) DSL Rays (12-31), 10:30 am ET, Juan Perez (1-3, 4.71)

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