Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/22/13

It was a day of late-inning excitement as all three wins were decided in the final frame. Memphis and Palm Beach won in walk-off fashion while Palm Beach and Springfield triumphed in extras. Peoria suffered a one-run loss.

Results from games played Sunday, April 21.

Memphis 1 vs. Iowa 0

Jermaine Curtis' two-out single in the ninth was the difference maker as Memphis walked off with a 1-0 win over Iowa at home.

The Redbirds (10-6) mustered only four hits the entire game but two of them came in the decisive ninth. Jaime Romak's second single of the day opened the frame. Ryan Jackson's 3-4 sac bunt got him to second, which led to an intentional free pass being issued to Justin Christian. After Rob Johnson struck out swinging, Curtis, who entered the game in a double-switch in the seventh, lined a single to center for the game-winner. Romak added a walk to his two hits in three at bats and Brock Peterson went 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls and a stolen base.

Jorge Rondon (1-0) played with danger in his only inning of work when he issued a two-out walk followed by a single that put the go-ahead run in scoring position. He escaped by getting a called strike three to end the threat.

John Gast went the first 6 2/3, allowing four hits, walking one and striking out six. The lefty threw 101 pitches, 73 for strikes, with six ground outs to five fly outs. Eric Fornataro yielded a hit and a walk in 1 1/3 before giving way to Rondon.

Monday's game: vs. Iowa (CHC) (5-11), 7:05 pm CT, Seth Maness (2-1, 3.32)

Springfield 3 at Arkansas 1 (10)

The S-Cards plated two in the 10th as they edged Arkansas 3-1 on the road. Springfield (8-8) took the series three games to one and moved into a first-place tie with Tulsa (COL).

The Naturals struck first with a tally in the third on a double, sac bunt and single against starter Richard Castillo. Castillo went six, giving up four hits and two base-on-balls, one intentional, with three strikeouts, eight ground outs and one fly out. He was also called for a balk and picked off a runner.

Castillo exited with a no decision thanks to a sac fly by Vance Albitz that drove in Adam Melker. Melker doubled to left to begin the fifth and was sacrificed to third by Starlin Rodriguez. Deryk Hooker (1-0), our co-Player of the Day, was superb, retiring all nine batters faced while striking out three to send the game into extras.

An infield single by Rodriguez kicked off the 10th followed by a sac bunt by Neal Pritchard that resulted in runners at first and second. Albitz sacrificed both runners over before Tommy Pham's single to right drove in Rodriguez. Pritchard subsequently scored on a ground out by Ruben Gotay. Seven different Cardinals each had one of the team's seven total hits while Mike O'Neill had all three of his squad's walks. Michael Blazek earned his third save, fanning one of three faced in the 10th.

Monday's game: vs. Northwest Arkansas (KC) (5-10), 7:09 pm CT, Scott McGregor (2-1, 2.12)

Palm Beach 6 vs. Fort Myers 5 (10)

Jonathan Rodriguez, our co-Player of the Day, pounced on the Miracles' new reliever with a home run in the 10th for a 6-5 walk-off victory over Fort Myers. It was only the third loss of the season for the visitors, two of them at the hands of Palm Beach (10-7).

Rodriguez' third hit of the day was a line drive shot over the wall in left that made a winner out of Heath Wyatt (2-1). Wyatt, the fifth Cardinals' pitcher of the day, worked around a lead-off single in the 10th that resulted in a sac bunt and prompted an intentional free pass to put two on with one out. A fly out and swinging K doused the fire. Rodriguez was a triple shy of the cycle while touching home twice.

Palm Beach built a 3-0 lead with single tallies in the first three innings but Fort Myers knotted it up in the top of the fourth with two off starter Jose Almarante and one off reliever Brandon Creath. Almarante allowed four hits and a base-on-balls in 3 1/3 with one of the two runs charged to him crossing when Creath served up a long ball to the first batter faced.

The Beach Birds battled back with two more in the bottom of the frame but Creath gave one of them right back in the top of the fifth on another solo bomb. All three home runs yielded by the 24-year-old in nine innings have been to Miracles batters. Creath gave up three hits and a walk in 1 1/3 with one strikeout. Lee Stoppelman got a fly out to left to strand two of Creath's runners in the fifth. Stoppelman slipped out of a sixth-inning jam when he issued free passes to the first two batters but was not so fortunate in the seventh. Consecutive doubles with two outs tied the contest at five all. All of the hits and walks permitted by the southpaw in 2 1/3 came in the seventh. He fanned three. Ronnie Shaban kept Fort Myers off the board over the eighth and ninth although he did give up a hit and three base-on-balls.

Rodriguez' bomb was the third home run of the game for Palm Beach. Anthony Garcia had a solo shot in the third while Colin Walsh's two-run blast came in the fourth. Walsh singled twice as well for three hits in five at bats with three driven in. Matt Williams joined Rodriguez and Walsh with a three-hit game. The Cardinals' lead-off hitter had a double, two singles and a walk while crossing home twice.

Originally, just-activated Scott Gorgen was the scheduled starter, but was scratched after the start of the game was delayed two hours.

Monday's game: vs. Fort Myers (MIN) (14-3), 6:35 pm ET, Kyle Hald (1-0, 2.12)

Kane County 7 vs. Peoria 6

A six-run sixth capped by Patrick Wisdom's grand slam was not enough as the Chiefs (7-8) fell at Kane County 7-6.

Down 4-0 through five due to starter Tyrell Jenkins and reliever Corey Baker (0-1), Peoria's offense finally got going when Charlie Tilson led off with a single and eventually scored on a sac fly by Jacob Wilson. A base-on-balls by Jordan Walton jammed the sacks full for Wisdom who launched one over the left field wall that plated Gerwuins Velazco (single), Alex Mejia (single) and Walton.

The next Cougar pitcher promptly plunked David Popkins. He advanced to second on Carson Kelly's first full-season hit, a single to left, and raced home on a single by Tilson. Unfortunately, Kelly was nailed at home on the play for the third out.

The Chiefs' 6-4 lead only lasted until Kane County came to bat in the bottom of the frame. Baker gave up four hits that produced three tallies. The 23-year-old allowed five hits in all to go with one walk and one strikeout. Those four tallies are the first Baker has yielded in seven appearances to date.

Jenkins allowed three runs for the third straight start but this time it only took him four innings to do it. The Texas native retired six of the first seven he faced but ran into trouble in the third. Jenkins yielded two in the third and one in the fourth on seven hits in all while fanning seven. He did not issue a free pass. Jhonny Polanco tossed two perfect innings with two strikeouts to finish the game. Tilson led Peoria with three singles in four at bats while no other Chief had more than one hit.

Monday's game: at Kane County (CHC) (7-8), 12:00 pm CT, Kyle Helisek (1-1, 5.56)

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