Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/27/12

Johnson City clinched a play-off spot, aided by the hot bats of Ildemaro Vargas and C.J. McElroy. Springfield edged closer to a second-half division title with Memphis and Batavia both victorious as well. The GCL Cardinals' play-offs consisted of a single game. Palm Beach's contest was cancelled and Quad Cities' was postponed.

Results from games played Sunday, August 26.

Memphis 7 vs. Albuquerque 1

Three Redbirds' pitchers tossed a combined three-hitter as Memphis flew past Albuquerque 7-1 at home. Memphis (51-85) takes the series 3-2.

Shelby Miller built on his post All-Star break numbers by limiting the Isotopes to just two hits over 5 2/3 even up his record at 10-10. His only run yielded was via a long ball in the fifth. The righty struck out seven and issued three free passes. Miller has compiled a 3.04 ERA in nine starts after the All-Star break with 43 hits and 61 strikeouts to seven walks in 53 1/3 innings. Maikel Cleto gave up a hit with two strikeouts over 2 1/3 and Victor Marte fanned the side in the ninth.

Five of the Redbirds' tallies were on four home runs. Adron Chambers got it started when he led off the game with a bomb to right. Steven Hill added the first of his two dingers with none on in the third to make the score 3-0. Hill joined Brock Peterson for two more in the fifth, Peterson's coming with one aboard. Hill added a double and a run scored in the seventh. Pete Kozma singled and touched home in the first while Eugenio Velez scored one and knocked in Hill in the seventh.

Monday's game: vs. first-place Omaha (KC) (80-56), 7:05 pm CT, Trevor Rosenthal (0-0, 4.20)

Springfield 9 vs. Arkansas 4

A grand slam by Adam Melker highlighted a five-run third as Springfield easily handled second-place Arkansas 9-4 at home. The victory reduces S-Cards' magic number to one.

Melker's big blast broke open a tight 2-1 contest and gave starter Carlos Martinez some breathing room. Martinez limited the Angels' affiliate to single tallies in the third and sixth on four hits, one of them a solo blast, to earn his fourth victory in seven decisions. The 20-year-old fanned six in six frames and walked one on 83 total pitches, 51 for strikes. Chase Reid tossed two perfect innings but back-to-back long balls to start the ninth brought in Justin Wright for the final three outs.

Greg Garcia and Mike O'Neill had three hits apiece with Garcia scoring on his three singles and O'Neill with two doubles. Jamie Romak was 2-for-4 with a two-run bomb and drove in another.

Monday's game: vs. Arkansas, 7:08 pm CT, Seth Maness (10-3, 3.39)

Palm Beach at Fort Myers – cancelled due to storm

Monday's game: Fourth-place Palm Beach (29-33) at sixth-place Charlotte (TB) (24-36), TBA

Quad Cities at Clinton – postponed due to rain

Re-scheduled as part of a twin-bill on Monday, August 27th.

Monday's games: Sixth-place Quad Cities (29-32) at first-place Clinton (SEA) (39-22). Game one - 6:00 pm CT, Hector Hernandez (7-6, 4.12); Game two - upon completion of game one, Brad Watson (3-3, 5.40).

Batavia 7 vs. Williamsport 1

The Muckdogs bunched six of their eight hits into two frames in their 7-1 tromping of Williamsport at home. It is Batavia's (37-29) sixth victory in their last seven contests and keeps them two back of Auburn.

Jacob Wilson, who was named the league's Player of the Week on the 20th, put his squad on the scoreboard in the fourth with his first professional grand slam. The long ball knocked in Steven Ramos (lead-off single), Danny Stienstra (single) and David Popkins (walk). Breyvic Valera worked a free pass to kick off the sixth that was followed by three straight multi-base hits. The second of Stienstra's three knocks was a double that sent Valera to third. Both raced home on Patrick Wisdom's third triple of 2012 and Wisdom was driven in by David Popkins' double.

Corey Baker earned his third win in five decisions by shutting out the Crosscutters on three singles and a double over six. He issued two free passes and struck out four. Williamsport scored their only tally in the eighth off Joe Scanio in his second inning of work. Chris Thomas tossed a perfect ninth.

Monday's game: at fourth-place Mahoning Valley (CLE) (29-36), Joey Cuda (6-1, 4.01)

Johnson City 15 vs. Danville 7

The Appy Birds' quest to three-peat as League Champions took a big step forward with a 15-7 victory over visiting Danville. The win, combined with Greeneville's loss, clinched their division's second play-off slot for the JC-Cards.

The bats ruled the day in a contest that saw a total of 34 hits and 22 runs. Our co-Player of the Day Ildemaro Vargas was responsible for six tallies with a double, two singles, three runs scored and three RBIs. C.J. McElroy, our other co-Player of the Day, accounted for five runs as he singled twice, doubled, crossed home three times and brought in another two. Jeremy Schaffer had a two-run blast in the sixth for his 10th long ball of 2012. Schaffer added a single and another run driven in as well. Cesar Valera and Trevor Martin each touched home twice.

Thomas Lee was credited with his fourth win against four losses even though he got off to a rough beginning. The right-hander allowed four in the first on three singles, a double and a hit batsman but scattered five hits and a base-on-balls over the following five innings. Lee struck out seven. Cesar Aguilar yielded two tallies in the seventh, the first of his two-inning stint, and Roberto Canache gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the ninth.

Monday's game: vs. Danville, 7:00 pm ET, Juan Bautista (2-5, 5.73)

GCL Pirates 1 at GCL Cardinals 0

The 2012 Gulf Birds' playoffs ended after one game as they fell 1-0 in a semi-final that was supposed to be at home, but was relocated to Bradenton due to Tropical Storm Isaac.

The Cardinals mustered just four hits and one base-on-balls off the four Bucs' pitchers and only had three base runners in scoring position. All of the hits were singles.

Fidencio Flores' excellent season ended with him being charged with the tough-luck loss. The right-hander, who turns 21 on September 10th, gave up five singles with the winning tally crossing in his fifth and final inning. Flores had two strikeouts, six ground outs and three fly outs with no walks. Ramon Delgado and Josh Renfro each yielded a single over two frames with Renfro striking out three.

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