Cardinals Arizona Fall League Notebook 11/3

Kolten Wong's West squad fell to the East in Saturday's AFL Rising Stars Showcase Game.

I was in attendance at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Saturday night along with 5,713 Arizona Fall League fans who came to see the annual Rising Stars Showcase Game. The East Division team topped Kolten Wong's West squad by 9-4 score.

Among the standout players performing in front of the locals as well as nationwide viewers on MLB Network were outfielders Billy Hamilton (Reds) and Rymer Liriano of San Diego plus outfielder Brian Goodwin of Washington and Arizona pitcher Chase Anderson from the East.

The speedy Hamilton went 1-for-3 with two walks, two stolen bases, two runs scored and made a diving catch in the deepest part of centerfield. Liriano was on base four times in five plate appearances with a single, two doubles and walk. He scored one and drove in another.

Goodwin smacked a solo home run leading off the bottom of the first on his way to a 2-for-5 day that included a double, two runs scored and two RBI. Anderson fanned four in two two-hit, scoreless innings of relief.

With Seattle second base prospect Nick Franklin getting the start for the West, Wong did not enter the game until the bottom of the fifth. As the old adage reminds us, the ball has a way of finding one quickly.

The first East batter hit a liner to Wong's left that just eluded him for a single. After a hit batsman, the next hitter launched a screamer to Wong's right. Especially this second single would have required an outstanding fielding play to convert. Both runners would eventually score in a six-run inning that turned a 4-3 West lead into the final 9-4 deficit. Wong participated in one 6-4-3 double play.

In the field, Springfield's 2012 second baseman went 0-for-2. Wong grounded out 4-3 to start the West sixth. With one out in the top of the eighth, he hustled down the line to reach base as the result of a fielding error by the East first sacker, but was stranded as the next two hitters fanned swinging. The game ended with Wong on deck.

Cardinals left-handed relief prospect Sam Freeman was selected to play, but did not participate in the game. He encountered a case of bicep tendinitis and was sent to St. Louis to get checked out. The injury is expected to be minor, but his AFL campaign is over.

Among Cardinals officials taking in the action were minor league hitting coordinator Derrick May, Surprise hitting coach Joe Kruzel and scout Deric McKamey. Other dignitaries in the house included Reds general manager Walt Jocketty and long-time MLB executive Roland Hemond.

Link to boxscore: East 9, West 4.

Next game: On Monday afternoon, the Saguaros will entertain Phoenix at home. Seth Blair (2-0, 0.68) gets the start for Surprise.

Coming soon: Interviews with Kruzel and the seven Cardinals prospects still competing in the 2012 Arizona Fall League.

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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