Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/09/14

It was a split decision in the minors on Tuesday. Memphis and Peoria both came out on top but leaky bullpens for Springfield and Palm Beach sent them down to defeat, despite stellar outings by Aledmys Diaz and Kyle Helisek.

Results from games played Tuesday, April 8th.

Memphis 9 at Omaha 4

A six-run ninth helped Memphis (4-2) flip a 4-3 deficit into a 9-4 win in game two of its series at Omaha.

The first-place Redbirds pecked the Storm Chasers to death via three singles, a double, three walks – one intentional – an error and plunked batter resulting in the six tallies. Four different players had two hits apiece – Randal Grichuk, Scott Moore, Joey Butler and Audry Perez.

Moore did the most damage with two doubles, including one in the ninth, two runs scored and two knocked in. Butler added an RBI single in the ninth to his two-run fourth-inning long ball. Each drew one of their team's five free passes.

Eric Fornataro, the fifth Memphis hurler, picked up his first win of 2014, tossing two frames of one-hit ball. Two errors in the third resulted in two unearned runs off starter Boone Whiting, the only scores he allowed on five hits and two walks through four. He struck out six.

Lee Stoppelman and David Aardsma each yielded a tally on a hit and one and two base-on-balls, respectively, in their inning of work. Jorge Rondon gave up a hit in the seventh.

Wednesday's game: at Omaha (3-3), 11:05 am CT, Angel Castro (1-0, 0.00)

Corpus Christi 7 at Springfield 6 (11)

Springfield (1-5) ended its dismal home stand by blowing a four-run lead in the ninth, falling to Corpus Christi 7-6 in 11.

Ronnie Shaban entered the contest in the ninth with his team up 5-1 but was totally ineffective, yielding five tallies on four hits and two free passes while retiring just one batter. The final score of the frame crossed under Ryan Sherriff's watch as he gave up the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth and game-winning solo shot in the 11th. Sherriff (L, 0-1) permitted three hits and two base-on-balls over 2 2/3.

Those performances spoiled a dandy effort by Kurt Heyer, who bounced back from a sub-par Double-A debut, limiting the opposition to a run on four hits and a walk through seven. He fanned four. Joe Donofrio yielded a hit while retiring two batters in the eighth with Dean Kiekhefer struck out the only batter faced.

The S-Cards did not go down without a fight, specifically shortstop Aledmys Diaz who accounted for four of his squad's six runs. Diaz, our co-Player of the Day, went 4-for-5 with a run scored and three driven in. He tripled home James Ramsey (double) in the first to tie the game at one all before touching home on Jonathan Rodriguez' second bomb of the season. His sac bunt in the third led to a sac fly that produced Springfield's fourth run before doubling in Ramsey (double) in the seventh, tally #5 for the home team. Diaz' final hit of the game singled in Mike O'Neill (walk) to re-tie the game 5-5 in the ninth.

Ramsey added a single to his two doubles, going 3-for-6 with two runs scored. Mike O'Neill singled twice in four at bats while crossing home twice with two free passes.

Wednesday's game: Off. Springfield embarks on its first Texas trip of 2014, starting with three at San Antonio (SD).

Palm Beach 3 at Bradenton 4

The Beach Birds' bullpen could not hold a 3-0 seventh-inning lead, falling to the Marauders 4-3 in the first of their six-game road trip.

Robert Stock and Thomas Lee (L, 0-1) combined to serve up two runs each in the eighth and ninth to give Bradenton the walk-off victory. Stock allowed a hit, two walks and a wild pitch for two tallies in just 2/3 of an inning before Lee yielded three hits that produced two runs, one earned, in the ninth.

Kyle Helisek, our co-Player of the Day, was superb in his Florida State League debut, dominating the home team through six by giving up just one hit and a base-on-balls. Helisek induced seven groundball outs to four flyball outs with three strikeouts. Sam Tuivailala struck out the side in the seventh.

Second-place Palm Beach (3-2) pushed across single scores in the second, third and seventh to build the lead. Starlin Rodriguez singled and scored on a groundout by Ildemaro Vargas to get things started in the second. Anthony Garcia's only hit in four at bats was his first bomb of 2014 in the third. Alex Mejia reached on a fielding error to begin the seventh, scoring on the second of Breyvic Valera's two singles. Valera was the only PB-Card with more than one of the team's seven hits.

Wednesday's game: at first-place Bradenton (4-1), 6:30 pm ET, Marco Gonzales (season debut)

Peoria 1 vs. Dayton 0

Four Chiefs combined for a five-hit shutout as Peoria (3-2) edged Dayton 1-0 in its home opener.

Nick Petree worked around five walks and two hits to keep the Dragons off the board through the first five, handing the ball off to Zach Loraine (W, 1-0) for the next two.

Loraine permitted just a single hit with a K, giving way to Chris Perry who gave up two hits with two strikeouts over the next 1 2/3. Both of the singles off Perry came in the ninth, putting the tying and go-ahead runners on base for Chris Thomas. Thomas squelched the threat by inducing a comebacker for his first save since 2012.

Peoria maintained its spot in a four-way tie for first with a single tally in the sixth. C.J. McElroy doubled to open the frame but was thrown out at third. Mason Katz followed by drawing one of three walks issued by Dayton hurlers, advanced to second on a balk and raced home on an RBI single by Ronald Castillo. McElroy accounted for two of his team's five hits in all.

Wednesday's game: vs. third-place (Eastern) Dayton (2-3), 6:30 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (1-0, 9.00)

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