Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/20/13

The system took a split decision on Friday. Springfield took both ends of a double-header to join Peoria in the win column. Memphis and Palm Beach, however, were hung with losses.

Results from games played Friday, April 19.

New Orleans 4 vs. Memphis 0

The Redbirds (8-6) mustered just four hits in a 4-0 defeat to host New Orleans. The loss drops Memphis ½ game out of first place, but they did take the series, three games to one.

Tyler Lyons (2-1) held the Zephyrs scoreless until the sixth when he gave up all four tallies on three hits and a walk. The big blow was a three-run bomb with two out. Lyons yielded seven hits in total to go with the one base-on-balls and struck out five over six innings. Maikel Cleto issued two free passes in his two-inning stint while fanning three.

Jaime Romak's only hit in three at bats was a double for his squad's lone extra-base hit, while Kolten Wong stole his third base of 2013. Wong singled in four at bats.

Saturday's game: vs. Iowa (CHC) (5-9), 6:05 pm CT, Nick Additon (0-1, 7.00)

Springfield 3 at Arkansas 2 (7) – game one
Springfield 3 at Arkansas 0 (7) - game two

The S-Cards swept a pair from Arkansas on the road, 3-2 and 3-0, to bring their winning streak to four. Springfield (7-7) moved into a tie for first with Tulsa (COL) as a result.

In game one, Arkansas struck first with a tally off Carlos Martinez on a two-out double and single. Martinez retired the next six batters before back-to-back singles led to his departure. The right-hander threw 44 pitches, 26 for strikes, in his three-inning 2013 debut.

Anthony Ferrara (1-1), the second ‘starter' in the game's tandem-start arrangement, put down the first nine batters he faced, three via strikeout, before allowing a solo blast with two out in the sixth that cut the Cardinals' lead to 3-2. A base-on-balls ended his night and brought Michael Blazek into the game. Blazek earned his second save after he worked around a hit and two walks in 1 1/3.

Starlin Rodriguez' assertive base-running got things started for Springfield in the third. Rodriguez reached when he was hit by a pitch, promptly stole his first bag of 2013 then raced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. The first of Mike O'Neill's two singles brought Rodriguez in to tie it up at one all. Chris Swauger's second bomb of the season plated Ruben Gotay (walk) and gave his team the lead in the sixth. Swauger, who singled earlier, joined O'Neill as the only Cardinals with a multi-hit performance.

In the nightcap, starter Boone Whiting and Kevin Siegrist joined forces to shut down Arkansas on five hits. Whiting (2-0) scattered four singles and a walk over five with six strikeouts. The 18th-round selection back in 2010 tossed 76 pitches, 54 for strikes. Siegrist fanned six in the last two frames, yielding an eighth-inning single and working around a missed catch error that put a runner on in the ninth.

The S-Cards' six hits were produced by six different players with the biggest hit being Gotay's double in the third that drove in Vance Albitz (single) and Tommy Pham (walk). Audry Perez singled home Adam Melker (single) in the seventh.

Saturday's game: at Arkansas (6-8), 6:10 pm CT, Seth Blair (0-1, 11.25)

Bradenton 6 vs. Palm Beach 5

The Beach Birds could not hold an early 3-0 lead, falling to Bradenton 6-5 on the road. Each squad now has a win in the three-game set with the tie-breaker set for Saturday evening.

Palm Beach (9-6) put a straight number on the board in each of the first three frames plus two in the ninth but Bradenton responded with single tallies in the third and fifth through ninth. Jose Almarante (0-1) enabled the Marauders the walk-off win when he yielded a lead-off single then allowed the runner to advance to third on an errant pick-off attempt. A triple to the next batter brought the winning run across. Almarante allowed a tally in another two hits in the eighth as well.

Almarante pitched in relief of starter Tyler Melling, who permitted three tallies, two earned, on seven hits, including a solo shot, and a base-on-balls in 5 1/3. Melling fanned six. The last run charged to Melling crossed with Iden Nazario toeing the rubber. Nazario permitted that run to score, plus one of his own, on three hits in 1 2/3. He did not issue a free pass and struck out one.

Danny Stienstra had three hits in four at bats, including a double and two singles, to pace the PB-Cards. The third baseman touched home once himself and pinch runner Matt Williams scored another on his behalf. Right fielder Stephen Piscotty and catcher Cody Stanley each singled twice with Piscotty scoring one and Stanley driving in James Ramsey for another. Ramsey worked two free passes while going hitless at the plate.

Saturday's game: at Bradenton (3-12), 6:30 pm ET, Travis Miller (0-2, 1.86)

Peoria 4 vs. Cedar Rapids 1

Shortstop Alex Mejia accounted for three of Peoria's four tallies as they downed Cedar Rapids 4-1 at home. The win gives the Chiefs (7-6) the first two of the three-game series, thus ensuring Peoria takes its first series of 2013.

Mejia, our co-Player of the Day, was perfect at the plate, singling twice in two at bats while walking twice. Down 1-0 going into the bottom of the third, Mejia drove in Ildemaro Vargas (single) to tie it, then scored the go-ahead run on a double by Jordan Walton. The shortstop's second single resulted in his squad's third tally when he swiped second and raced home on another hit by Walton. A sac fly by Jacob Wilson later that frame knocked in Breyvic Valera who got aboard via a free pass.

Vargas, Walton and Michael Swinson joined Mejia with two hits each, with one of Swinson's hits being his third triple of 2013. Vargas and Swinson also joined Mejia by swiping a bag.

Kurt Heyer (1-0), our co-Player of the Day, held one of the league's better hitting squads to just four hits and one tally over seven to earn his first professional win. The right-hander struck out eight with eight ground outs and four fly outs. Zach Petrick notched his second save with three hits allowed while fanning two over the final two frames.

Saturday's game: vs. Cedar Rapids (9-5), 1:00 pm CT, Dail Villanueva (0-1, 5.14)

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