Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 07/29/12

The system went 4-4 Saturday with several strong starting performances and big offense by Palm Beach.

Games played Saturday, July 28.

Round Rock 8 at Memphis 4

The Redbirds struck first with two in the third, but gave the lead back in the fourth and went on to the 8-4 home loss Saturday night.

Starter John Gast scattered three runs on seven hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in six innings. Two unearned runs scored in the seventh to hang Jess Todd with the loss and Maikel Cleto was bashed for three runs in the eighth. Since being sent down from St. Louis, Cleto has allowed 10 runs in just five innings.

Lou Montanez had a walk and three hits, including a double. Steven Hill doubled twice, walked and scored twice. Matt Adams was on base three times with a pair of singles and a free pass. The aforementioned three and Ryan Jackson had RBIs.

Sunday's games: doubleheader vs. Round Rock (TEX), 4:00 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (1-6, 5.01), TBA

Northwest Arkansas 12, Springfield 4

The Naturals scored early and often against Richard Castillo as they blew out the Cardinals to even the series at a game apiece.

Northwest Arkansas plated eight first inning runs and added single tallies in the third and fourth innings to knock Castillo from the game. He was ripped for a season-high 10 runs, eight earned, on 11 hits. Kevin Thomas inherited two runners in the fourth but did not surrender a run until allowing two in the sixth.

Springfield was no-hit until the fifth when Adam Melker singled. The Cardinals finally got onto the board in the eighth when Kolten Wong slapped an RBI double and Jermaine Curtis drove in another on a single. Audry Perez launched a two-run home run, his fourth of the season, in the ninth to close the scoring.

Sunday's game: at Northwest Arkansas, 6:00 pm CT, Carlos Martinez (2-3, 2.75)

Palm Beach 12 at Tampa 0

The Cardinals were rude guests, rapping out 23 hits, most in the Florida State League this season and two short of the team record. Every starter except one had a multi-hit night. Most importantly, the lowest scoring offense in the league plated a dozen runs.

Starlin Rodriguez had his third four-hit game of the season, going 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and two RBI. Leadoff man Mike O'Neill, just 24 hits away from the single-season team record, also had four hits, including two doubles and scored three times.

James Ramsey had his first three-hit game since his professional debut, going 3-for-6 with a single, double, triple, two runs and three RBI. Alan Ahmady also had three hits, including a double.

Ryan Sherriff picked up his seventh win against just one loss. The lefty went six shutout innings on four hits, while striking out four and walking none. Newcomer Jose Almarante (two innings) and Dean Kiekhefer (one inning) finished the shutout.

Sunday's game: at Tampa (NYY), 5:00 pm ET, Chris Corrigan (2-4, 3.93)

Kane County 3, Quad Cities 2

The Bandits lost a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, dropping their season-long fourth straight game and suffering their third walk-off defeat this week. In the process, they wasted a strong start by left-hander Dail Villanueva and the first career four-hit game by second baseman Anthony Melchionda.

In the ninth, reliever Heath Wyatt gave up a leadoff single and an RBI triple. It was Wyatt's fifth blown save this season but first since June 30. With the winning run at third base, Wyatt yielded up the walkoff single to add the loss to his blown save.

Villanueva held Kane County to five hits and an unearned run in six innings in his longest start since July 7. He allowed two first-inning singles before the Cougars' first run scored when third baseman Stephen Piscotty made an errant throw. After that, Villanueva held the Cougars to just three hits and two walks without allowing a runner past second base. Right-hander Kyle Barraclough struck out four batters while pitching scoreless seventh and eighth innings.

David Medina had two singles, a walk, both Bandits RBIs and contributed an outfield assist. Melchionda scored both runs on his four hits and added a stolen base. Leadoff man Matt Williams had two singles and a double.

Sunday's game: at Kane County (KC), 5:00 pm CT, Willy Paulino (2-8, 5.97)

Batavia 2, Staten Island 1

The home Muckdogs broke a 1-1 tie with a tally in the bottom of the eighth on Patrick Wisdom's RBI single and Brandon Creath fanned two of three in the ninth to collect the save.

Starter Ben O'Shea held the Yankees to a single hit over five innings. He fanned six and walked none. Dyllon Nuernberg took the win after tossing two scoreless innings of relief following Kevin Jacob, who took a blown save after allowing the lone Staten Island run in the sixth.

Six Muckdogs singled, with Jesus Montero and Wisdom also drawing walks. Garrett Wittels and Steven Ramos scored.

Sunday's game: vs. Staten Island (NYY), 1:05 pm ET, Tim Cooney (1-0, 2.49)

Johnson City 4 at Danville 0

The road Cardinals scored single tallies in the second, sixth, eighth and ninth while holding the home Braves to four hits and no runs.

Zach Petrick was masterful, allowing just two hits and no walks to go with four strikeouts over six innings. Sam Tuivailala, Cesar Aguilar and Jeff Rauh added a scoreless inning each.

Shortstop Cesar Valera had a perfect night with two singles, two walks, two RBI and stole a base for good measure. Dutch Deol launched his first professional home run, a solo shot, and Carson Kelly had an RBI double.

Sunday's game: vs. Kingsport, 6:00 pm ET, TBA

GCL Marlins 1, Cardinals 0

Both clubs had five hits, but the Cardinals committed three errors, with the only run of the game being unearned.

Starter Johnny Polanco was the hard-luck loser, allowing only a third-inning tally after he committed a two-base error on a failed pickoff. Polanco went four innings on four hits and two walks. Josh Renfro added three scoreless innings on just one hit.

Second baseman Luis Perez was on base three times with a single, double and a walk, but he was picked off first base once.

Sunday's game: off

DSL Cardinals 5, Athletics 4

The Cardinals gave up two in the top of the first, but came back to plate five of their own and held on for the win at home.

Right-hander Luis Perdomo struck out eight and allowed four runs, just one earned, while pitching six innings.

Catcher Luis Cruz had a bases-clearing three-run double, Jeffry Cerdas went 1-for-3 with an RBI and Alejandro Mejia was 2-for-4, including a double and an RBI.

After Alirio Negrette threw two scoreless innings, closer Ismael Brito earned his ninth save.

Sunday's game: off

Brian Walton can be reached via email at Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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