Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/25/12

Bruce Caldwell provided nearly all of the offense as Johnson City won a game critical to their play-off chase. The JC-Birds joined Memphis as the system's only victors, with the minors going 2-5.

Results from games played Friday, August 24.

Memphis 9 vs. Albuquerque 8

The Redbirds were the last team standing in the 9-8 slugfest over Albuquerque at home.

John Gast, who had his third straight sub-par outing, dug his team an immediate ditch by yielding four in the first on a lead-off single, back-to-back-to-back free passes and a one-out double. Memphis battled back to tie it up in the bottom of the frame via a plunked batter, two walks and three singles. Gast tossed an uneventful second but coughed up a two-run bomb in his third and final inning to put the Isotopes up 6-4.

Pete Kozma's first knock on a perfect 3-for-3 night was a two-run slam in Memphis' half of the second that brought across Steven Hill, who had started the rally with his 15th double. The lead went right back to Albuquerque in the third when Nick Greenwood allowed an unearned run on two singles and Kozma's throwing error. Greenwood (W, 3-2) was the pitcher of record when the Redbirds grabbed their first lead with two in the sixth.

Adron Chambers doubled with two out, setting the table for Brock Peterson's first long ball since joining the organization last week. Maikel Cleto worked around two bases-on-balls in the seventh then Vance Albitz singled in Kozma in the bottom of the frame. Kozma reached on a single then stole his seventh bag of 2012. Adam Reifer had a messy eighth in which he gave up a single, run-scoring double, walk and hit a batter. Eduardo Sanchez made things interesting in the ninth by putting runners at first and third with one out but got a fly out and ground out for his ninth save. Lance Berkman began his rehab assignment by going 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored.

Saturday's game: vs. Albuquerque, 6:05 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (3-8, 4.21)

Northwest Arkansas 3 vs. Springfield 2 (14)

Michael Blazek sandwiched a wild pitch around two singles that resulted in the winning tally as Springfield was clipped by Northwest Arkansas 3-2 in 14. The S-Cards (37-22) split the four-game set and head home for three against second-place Arkansas, who the Cardinals face in six of their ten remaining contests.

All of the damage against Blazek (L, 5-7) in the 14th came with two out and in his second inning on the bump. Blazek was the fifth Springfield pitcher of a game that began with Richard Castillo. Castillo scattered eight hits over six, yielding single tallies in the fifth and sixth. Michael Wacha, Deryk Hooker and Keith Butler each threw two scoreless innings with Wacha fanning four while Hooker and Butler struck out three apiece. Wacha and Hooker gave up a hit and Wacha issued two free passes.

Both of the S-Cards' runs came in the fourth when Jermaine Curtis was hit by a pitch then went to third on a double by Oscar Taveras. Jaime Romak's line drive single up the middle knocked in both runners. Romak singled twice and Mike O'Neill continued his torrid pace with a single and a double as those two had half of the team's hit total.

Saturday's game: vs. Arkansas (LAA) (32-28), 6:08 pm CT, Kevin Siegrist (1-1, 3.38)

Fort Myers 8 vs. Palm Beach 1

The Beach Birds were held to four hits as they were slammed by host Fort Myers 8-1. The loss drops the team back into fifth place, ½ game behind the fourth-place Miracle.

Kyle Hald absorbed his fourth loss in seven decisions, although he had the best outing of the three Cardinals pitchers. Hald yielded two tallies on eight hits and three walks in six. Travis Miller and Danny Miranda joined forces to put the game out of reach with a six-run seventh. Miller was charged with four runs on two hits and two base-on-balls in 2/3 of an inning. Two of those runs came in under Miranda's watch who coughed up another two runs of his own. Miranda allowed four and a free pass in 1 2/3.

The PB-Cards' only tally came in the seventh to cut the lead to 2-1. Alan Ahmady opened with his third slam of the season. The Beach Birds had very few opportunities, going 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and stranding three.

Saturday's game: at Fort Myers, 6:05 pm ET, Todd McInnis (3-6, 5.00)

Kane County 11 at Quad Cities 10

Quad Cities blew a three-run lead in the ninth to fall to Kane County 11-10 at home. The River Bandits (29-31) dropped into sixth with the loss, a game behind Wisconsin (MIL) and their visitors.

Kyle Barraclough put ‘em on and Heath Wyatt put ‘em across in the ninth. Barraclough retired the last batter in the eighth but yielded three runs, earned, on three hits and a walk while recording just one out in the ninth. Wyatt (L, 4-7) let Barraclough's runner cross then gave up an unearned tally of his own on two singles, a balk and a throwing error by Luis Mateo.

Starter Tyrell Jenkins departed with an injury after striking out the first two batters he faced. Jonathan Cornelius was quickly inserted and coughed up six runs, five eanred, on 10 hits in 2 2/3. Yunior Castillo went the next 2 2/3 with three hits and a free pass. Ricky Martinez allowed a tally on a hit and a base-on-balls in 1 2/3.

Nick Martini led the River Bandits' scoring attack, going 3-for-4 with two triples, three runs scored, and three driven in. Colin Walsh and Matt Williams each touched home twice while Stephen Piscotty and Casey Rasmus each drove in two.

Saturday's game: at first-place Clinton (SEA) (38-22), 6:00 pm CT, Sam Gaviglio (8-8, 4.09)

Williamsport 7 at Batavia 4

Batavia squandered a golden opportunity to gain ground on Auburn by losing to Williamsport 7-4 at home.

Tim Cooney faced Williamsport for the second time in 13 days and had his worst outing to date. The southpaw allowed five runs, earned, on six hits and a base-on-balls in three frames with three strikeouts. Three of the tallies came on a long-ball in the third, only his fourth home run served up this season.

Kevin Jacob yielded a run on two hits and a walk in three while fanning six. Mike Aldrete's second appearance as a Muckdog was an improvement on his first as he kept the Crosscutters off the board in the seventh. Jose Pasen gave up a run on two hits over two.

Danny Stienstra continues to swing a hot bat, going 3-for-4 with a two-run bomb and another driven in. Patrick Wisdom's only hit was a solo shot. Breyvic Valera singled, doubled, walked and crossed home twice.

Saturday's game: vs. Williamsport, 7:05 pm ET, Kyle Helisek (2-2, 3.63)

Johnson City 6 at Burlington 5

The Appy Birds led 6-3 after seven and held on to edge host Burlington 6-5. The win, combined with a loss by Greenville (HOU), puts them 1 ½ up in the second-place post-season race with a magic number of four.

Johnson City struck quickly with a grand slam in the first by Player of the Day Bruce Caldwell. The home run brought across Ildemaro Vargas (single), Adam Ehrlich (single) and Jeremy Schaffer (walk). Caldwell was a one-man wrecking crew as he was responsible for all of the Cardinals' tallies. He doubled and scored in the fourth on a sac fly by Cesar Valera then capped off the scoring with a solo long ball in the sixth.

Victor De Leon moved to a perfect 3-0 with nine strikeouts over six with three tallies, earned, on six hits and two free passes. Sam Tuivailala gave up two in the seventh on a hit and three base-on-balls. Roberto Canache and Ronnie Shaban each kept the opposition off the board for an inning with Shaban fanning three and earning his 16th save.

Saturday's game: at Burlington, 7:00 pm ET, Stalyn Lopez (3-4, 4.89)

GCL Marlins 8 at GCL Cardinals 0 (6)

The Cardinals were no-hit 8-0 by the Marlins in a game that was called with two outs in the top of the sixth.

Ramon Ulacio (L, 2-4) took the loss in his first start since July 26th when he allowed seven runs, earned, on 12 hits and three walks in four. Ramon Delgado yielded a tally on two hits in the fifth. Juan Caballero recorded the final two outs.

The Gulf Birds did not have a hit, walk or baserunner. In other words, a perfect game was in process, never to be completed.

Saturday's game: at GCL Marlins, 10:00 am ET, TBA

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