Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 05/20/13

The minors laid a big goose egg on Sunday as all four teams went down to defeat in close contests. Although Palm Beach fell, Jonathan Cornelius' performance was truly noteworthy.

Results from games played Sunday, May 19.

Tacoma 6 vs. Memphis 5

Jorge Rondon served up a one-out long ball that gave Tacoma a 6-5 walk-off win over Memphis. The Redbirds (22-18) split the opening series of their current road trip.

The visitors overcame an early 1-0 deficit with two each in the third and fourth plus one in the fifth to go up 5-3 at the end of that stanza. Brock Peterson went 2-for-4 with a single and his sixth home run of 2013, a solo blast in the fifth. Jaime Romak singled and doubled in four at bats, touching home once.

Catcher Rob Johnson went 1-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI in his first action since spending time on the disabled list due to a concussion. Designated hitter J.R. Towles doubled once in three at bats while crossing once and knocking in one. He was hit by a pitch as well.

Three of the five runs charged to starter Maikel Cleto in five plus frames came via two long balls. The righty yielded five hits and three bases-on-balls in total while striking out five. Eduardo Sanchez permitted the last two of Cleto's runners to cross in the sixth after he wild-pitched both into scoring position then gave up a sac fly and a single that tied the contest. Sanchez finished the frame with a ground out and fly out.

Eric Fornataro was the only Redbirds hurler to not be scored upon. The sixth round selection in the 2008 draft allowed a hit with a strikeout and four ground outs over two. Jorge Rondon faced two batters in the ninth and saw his record fall to 1-5.

Monday's game: at Salt Lake (21-23) (LAA), 7:35 pm CT, Boone Whiting (1-0, 1.80)

Arkansas 5 vs. Springfield 3

Twice the S-Cards (22-19) came back to tie Arkansas but could not break out on top in a 5-3 road loss. Second-place Springfield trails in their four-game set versus the first-place Travelers two games to one.

Behind 2-0 and 3-2, the Cardinals rebounded to tie, scoring two in the fourth and one in the fifth. The only multi-hit performance was by Mike O'Neill, who singled twice in four at bats with an RBI. Xavier Scruggs doubled, drove in one and scored another but joined O'Neill in leaving runners in scoring position with two outs. In fact, Scruggs did it twice. Cody Stanley and James Ramsey both singled in four at bats while touching home once.

Arkansas broke the final tie with two in the eighth. Kevin Thomas was charged with the loss when he yielded an unearned run that came across with Michael Blazek on the mound. Blazek permitted two hits and an intentional free pass that resulted in a run of his own in just 2/3 of an inning. Thomas went 1 1/3 with a hit and a walk.

Seth Blair fanned six over six frames while allowing six hits in all that produced two in the second and a solo shot in the fourth. The right-hander induced eight ground outs to one fly out and threw 89 pitches, 56 for strikes. Blair did not walk a batter.

Monday's game: at Arkansas 24-18), 7:10 pm CT, Richard Castillo (3-3, 3.52)

Jupiter 1 at Palm Beach 0

Palm Beach outhit but could not outscore Jupiter in a 1-0 loss on Sunday. It is the fifth loss in the PB-Cards' last six games.

Jonathan Rodriguez' two singles and a double in four at bats was half of his team's six total hits. The Beach Birds (17-25) did not have many opportunities, either, going 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranding five.

Jonathan Cornelius, our Player of the Day, was superb in his third appearance and second start against the Hammerheads this season. Cornelius retired 10 in a row to start the game before allowing three of the next four to reach base on a plunked batter, base-on-balls and single to left that generated an inning-ending 7-2 out at the plate by left fielder Anthony Garcia and catcher Jesus Montero.

The southpaw turned back nine of the next 10 faced as he allowed just a two-out single to left in the sixth in that span. Cornelius induced 12 ground outs to five fly outs and one strikeout.

Cornelius' excellence went for naught when Heath Wyatt gave up a lead-off single in the eighth then compounded the matter with back-to-back throwing errors that put runners at second and third with none out. Another single brought in the winning run and saddled Wyatt with his second loss in four decisions. Wyatt ended up allowing two hits and an intentional free pass in the eighth, the first of two frames tossed by him.

Monday's game: at Brevard County (22-20) (MIL), 6:35 pm ET, Travis Miller (0-6, 4.71)

Clinton 5 at Peoria 2

Josh Lucas yielded five runs on 10 hits and a free pass in 6 1/3 as Clinton easily handled Peoria 5-2 at Chiefs Stadium.

Lucas (L, 0-4) gave up two in the third and one in the sixth before seeing the final two cross in the seventh under Mike Aldrete's watch. Aldrete inherited runners at the corners and permitted both to touch home after a steal and two-run single. That was the only hit allowed by the reliever in 2 2/3.

Peoria (20-21) pushed across single tallies in the eighth and ninth to prevent the shutout. Nick Martini's double to begin the eighth was only the second hit for the Chiefs to that point. The right fielder advanced to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch. Jacob Wilson's one-out single in the ninth was the fourth and final hit for his squad. Wilson eventually came around and scored on a force out. Patrick Wisdom and Gerwuins Velazco each had two of Peoria's six base-on-balls.

Monday's game: vs. Clinton (22-20), 11:00 am CT, Hector Hernandez (2-1, 4.31)

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