Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/28/12

The system went a near-Olympic level 7-1 on Friday with Quad Cities as the only squad going down to defeat. All seven victories were decided by two or fewer runs and two went into extras.

Memphis 4 at Nashville 3 (10)

Memphis snapped a three-game slide with a 4-3 victory at Nashville in 10 innings. The Redbirds (42-64) dropped the series 1-3.

The contest was scoreless until the fifth when Ryan Jackson led off with a single, advanced to third on Bryan Anderson's ninth double of 2012 and raced home on a ground out by starter Brandon Dickson. Dickson scattered six hits and a walk over 7 2/3 and did not yield a tally until the eighth. He struck out six.

Sam Freeman (W, 2-2) restricted the Sounds to a hit and a base-on-balls in 1 1/3. A one-out walk followed by four straight singles produced three Memphis tallies in the 10th but the bad Eduardo Sanchez showed up in the bottom of the frame. Sanchez coughed up two runs on a single and two doubles and exited with the tying run at second and two out. John Gaub fanned the only batter he faced to earn his first save as a Redbird.

Saturday's game: vs. fourth-place (American Southern division) Round Rock (TEX) (45-61), 6:05 pm CT, John Gast (8-2, 4.64)

Springfield 4 at Northwest Arkansas 2

A four-run sixth was all Springfield needed to defeat Northwest Arkansas 4-2 on the road. The contest launched a seven-game road trip with three more at Northwest Arkansas and three at Arkansas ahead.

The S-Cards capitalized on their opponents' wildness as in the sixth. Consecutive singles by Jose Garcia, Jermaine Curtis and Oscar Taveras were followed by back-to-back-to-back free passes to Jaime Romak, Chris Swauger and Xavier Scruggs. Curtis, Swauger and Scruggs all had RBIs while the first three touched home during this sequence. Romak scooted home on a ground out. Garcia, Curtis and Taveras, the top three in Springfield's order, each had two of the squad's eight hits.

Our Player of the Day Scott McGregor (W, 4-1) tossed his third straight impressive outing since returning from the disabled list. The righty shut out Northwest Arkansas on just three hits and a free pass in 6 2/3. At one point he retired nine in order. McGregor struck out five.

Michael Blazek kept the Naturals off the board on just one hit over 1 1/3. New closer Jorge Rondon allowed two runs, earned, on two hits and two walks in the ninth and had to be bailed out by former closer Keith Butler. Butler recorded the final out for his 21st save.

Saturday's game: at Northwest Arkansas, 7:00 pm CT, Richard Castillo (5-3, 3.42 ERA)

Palm Beach 5 at Tampa 4

Palm Beach knocked in two in the eighth to ease by host Tampa 5-4. The four-game set is split at one all.

The Beach Birds scored three in the first on three hits, a balk and a ground out. One of the hits was Starlin Rodriguez' sixth home run of the season, a two-run shot that also brought in Mike O'Neill. Tampa bounced back with an unearned tally in the bottom of the frame, then added another in the fourth off starter Todd McInnis. McInnis scattered six hits and a walk over five with four strikeouts. He departed as the winning pitcher of record.

That changed in the seventh when Iden Nazario coughed up the lead with two runs on three hits in his second inning of work. Nazario still received the vulture win when Geoff Klein doubled home Alan Ahmady (walk) and Chris Edmondson (single) in the eighth. The southpaw fanned four. Zack Russell picked up his first professional save by tossing two scoreless frames.

Saturday's game: at Tampa, 6:00 pm ET, Ryan Sherriff (6-1, 3.23)

Clinton 10 vs. Quad Cities 1

Quad Cities could not recover from an early deficit in their 10-1 stomping by Clinton on the road. The River Bandits (16-17) were swept by their division leaders and have lost five of their last six.

Brad Watson (L, 1-1) yielded two in the first but recorded only one out in the second as the LumberKings knocked in six more on a total of nine hits and a walk. Robert Stock gave up single scores in the third and fourth and had an overall line of six hits, including a solo shot, two walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3. Ricky Martinez shut out Clinton in the seventh and eighth.

The River Bandits were held to five hits with their only run scoring in the fifth on David Bergin's fifth home run of 2012, third as a Bandit. Stephen Piscotty led the squad in the Get-Yourself-On-Base category. He went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Saturday's game: at third-place Kane County (KC) (16-17), 6:30 pm CT, Dail Villanueva (6-5, 4.38)

Batavia 2 vs. Brooklyn 0

Seven scoreless frames were book-ended by single tallies in the first and eighth as Batavia downed Brooklyn 2-0 at home. The Muckdogs (20-18) snapped a four-game losing streak with the victory.

Four Batavia pitchers combined to toss a three-hitter, beginning with Joey Cuda. The 27th-round pick fanned seven in five frames and retired his first 12 batters. Cuda fanned the side in the fifth after giving up a lead-off double. Cory Baker struck out three over the next 2 1/3 with just one hit while Ryan Copeland finished the eighth with a bunt single and a walk yielded. Yunier Castillo earned his fifth save with a scoreless ninth.

Alex Mejia singled up the middle to start the first and scampered home on Garrett Wittels' one-out double to left. That was all the scoring until the eighth when Patrick Wisdom beat out a grounder to third for an infield hit with one out. David Washington's double to left with two outs brought Wisdom in from first base. The Muckdogs missed numerous chances by going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Mejia's three singles led Batavia with Wisdom and Washington having two hits each.

Saturday's game: vs. fourth-place (McNamara Division) Staten Island (NYY) (15-23), 7:05 pm ET, Ben O'Shea, (1-1, 4.44)

Johnson City 6 at Danville 5 (11)

A failed double-play attempt by Danville led to Johnson City's winning score in the 6-5 victory over host Danville in 11. The JC-Cards have won the first two of three against the Braves.

Singles by Ronald Castillo and Cesar Valera in the 11th put runners at first and second with one out for Gerwuins Velazco. The catcher hit into a 4-6 force at second but Castillo raced home on a throwing error by the Braves' shortstop that failed to get Velazco at first. Joey Donofrio (W, 1-1) fanned three over the final two frames for his first professional win.

Silfredo Garcia served up a solo shot in the first that put Danville up 1-0 but the JC-Cards tied it up in the third when C.J. McElroy doubled home Valera (single). The Braves re-took the lead with two in the fifth off Garcia but the Appy Birds fought back with two in the sixth. Danville's final lead came in the seventh with yet another tally off Garcia. He finished with a line of four runs, earned, on six hits and two base-on-balls in 6 1/3. Garcia struck out six.

Johnson City tied it up for the third time with a tally in the eighth then took their first lead with another score in the ninth. Six Cardinals scored and Jeremy Schaffer's two doubles knocked in two. McElroy led the team with three hits, drove in one and scored once. Ronnie Shaban blew the save when he served up a two-out solo shot in the ninth.

Saturday's game: at Danville, 7:00 pm ET, Zach Petrick (2-0, 2.75)

GCL Cardinals 10 vs. GCL Marlins 9

An eight-run outburst in the fifth helped the Gulf Birds slip by the GCL Marlins.

Trailing 8-1 midway through the fifth, the Cardinals erupted for eight tallies comprised of three singles, a double, a two-run slam, three free passes, a hit batsman, 12 batters against three Marlins' pitchers. Adam Ehrlich led the hit parade, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. The home run belonged to Luis Perez, who knocked in four on his two hits. Jem Argenal doubled and crossed home twice.

The Rehab Tour made another stop in Palm Beach on Friday. Seth Blair made his first start and second appearance of 2012. Blair limited the Marlins to two walks in the first two frames with one strike out. Boone Whiting's second appearance resulted in a walk, two singles, a double and a home run which produced four runs and three strikeouts.

Reliever Javier Machuca yielded three runs, earned, on three hits in 1 1/3. Two of the three fifth-inning runs crossed on Juan Caballero's watch. Caballero gave up two tallies on two hits in 1 2/3. Cole Brand allowed the Marlins to tie the game in the eighth on an unearned run but picked up his second win when the Cardinals scored one in the bottom of the frame. Chris Thomas pitched a one-two-three ninth for his third save.

Saturday's game: at GCL Marlins, 10:00 am ET, Fidencio Flores (3-1, 1.88)

DSL Cardinals 5 at DSL Athletics 3

The Dominican Birds led all the way in the 5-3 road victory over the DSL Athletics.

The Cardinals broke the scoreless contest with two in the fourth and added three in the ninth to go up 5-0. Lead-off batter Eliezer Alvarez drove in two on a single and a sac fly while Robelys Reyes went 2-for-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI, hitting in the nine hole. Clean-up hitter Luis Cruz also had two hits and came home once.

Two of the three hits allowed by starter Isaac Silva came in the second but one runner was out on a double-play. A walk to start the sixth was also erased on a double-play as Silva (W, 2-1) faced the minimum in the fourth through sixth, his last three innings. Fernando Baez did not allow a hit in the seventh or eighth but apparently ran out of gas in the ninth. The right-hander exited with one run across, one out and the sacks jammed for Ramon Santos. A ground out and single by Santos brought the Athletics to within two but Santos recorded the final out to pick up his third save.

Saturday's game: vs. DSL Athletics, 10:30 am ET, Luis Perdomo (2-3, 2.38)

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