Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/22/14

Newly-promoted starters helped Memphis and Springfield win. Peoria came back late for a victory, but Palm Beach faced the opposite result.

Results from games played Monday, April 21st.

Memphis 7 vs. Oklahoma City 4

Greg Garcia's two-run home run in the seventh snapped a 3-3 tie, launching the Redbirds (10-8) to a 7-4 win over the RedHawks. After dropping the opener, Memphis has taken the next two with one remaining Tuesday morning.

Garcia's only hit in five at bats followed solo long balls by Pete Kozma and Stephen Piscotty. Kozma scored three of his team's tallies on a 2-for-3 performance with a walk, stolen base and strikeout. Piscotty added a double to his long ball and touched home once in four at bats. One of Randal Grichuk's three hits in five at bats was his eighth double that knocked in Kozma and Tommy Pham in the eighth for the winning margin.

According to reports, outfielder Oscar Taveras left the game under his own power after singling in the seventh due to what may be a left ankle injury. His 2013 surgery was on his right ankle. Taveras was making his first start of the season in centerfield Monday night.

Jorge Rondon picked up his first win in two decisions despite yielding a solo bomb, one of three hits he allowed in 1 1/3. Keith Butler tiptoed around a single and free pass to record the eighth's final two outs. David Aardsma utilized a 4-6-3 to erase a lead-off walk in the ninth, notching his first save.

All three pitched in relief of Player of the Day Zach Petrick, who tossed a quality start in his Triple-A debut. Petrick gave up three runs on four hits, including a home run, and a base-on-balls over six. The righty threw 93 pitches, 61 for strikes, with five groundball outs, four fly-ball outs and five strikeouts.

Tuesday's game: vs. Oklahoma City (11-8), 11:02 am CT, Scott McGregor (0-2, 5.84)

Springfield 5 at Northwest Arkansas 2

Kyle Hald won his Double-A unveiling as Springfield (9-8) kicked off an eight-game road excursion by downing Northwest Arkansas 5-2.

Called up to take Zach Petrick's start after the latter was elevated to Memphis, Hald (W, 1-0) worked a high wire act for five frames, maneuvering around five hits, four walks, two wild pitches and a balk that produced two tallies, one earned. His earned run crossed on the balk call. Hald fanned two and induced one double play.

Logan Billbrough permitted a hit and walk with one strikeout over the next 1 1/3 while Justin Wright fanned two in 1 2/3, giving up two hits and a free pass. Dean Kiekhefer's third save included one hit and one K in the ninth.

Jonathan Rodriguez and Curt Smith each had three of their squad's nine hits. Rodriguez doubled twice, scored one and drove in one with Smith knocking in one as well. Mike O'Neill, Rafael Ortega and Luis Mateo had two hits apiece with Ortega's triple being the only extra-base hit of the three. O'Neill crossed home once, Mateo had an RBI and Ortega contributed one of each.

Tuesday's game: at Northwest Arkansas (4-13), 7:05 pm CT, Seth Blair (1-0, 3.24)

Palm Beach 4 at St. Lucie 5

Five eighth-inning walks by two relievers transformed a win into a 5-4 loss by Palm Beach (8-9) in game one of four versus St. Lucie.

Those five were just half of the 10 free passes issued by four Beach Birds hurlers who gave up more walks than hits (nine). Kyle Helisek issued three that accompanied seven hits in five innings, resulting in three runs. Robert Stock tiptoed around two walks in the sixth but was given the hook after permitting consecutive singles with one out in the seventh.

Aidan Lucas (L, 1-1) went from hero to goat in the span of an inning but had to share his horns with Dixon Llorens (BS, 1). Lucas' double-play ball got Stock off the hook in the seventh but he sandwiched two base-on-balls around two fly-ball outs the next frame. Both runners came around to score when Llorens walked all three batters faced to force in the tying and eventual winning scores. Mitch Harris entered, coaxing a pop out to third in his first appearance for Palm Beach.

Nick Martini accounted for three of his team's four runs, doubling twice in four at bats with a run scored and two driven in. Alex Mejia tripled and scored in the third, going 2-for-3 as the only other PB-Card with more than one of the team total of eight hits.

Tuesday's game: at St. Lucie (10-7), 6:30 pm ET, Marco Gonzales (1-1, 2.31)

Peoria 5 vs. Cedar Rapids 3

Jake Stone's tie-breaking double provided the difference as Peoria (9-7) downed Cedar Rapids 5-3 in the series opener.

Stone's third double of 2014 drove in Kenny Peoples-Walls (single) and Mason Katz (walk) in the eighth, his only hit in five at bats. Walls joined C.J. McElroy and Carson Kelly in the two-hit club. Walls accounted for three of the Chiefs' five runs, crossing home twice with an RBI after going 2-for-4. McElroy and Kelly both touched home once with Kelly adding his second triple. Katz went 1-for-3 with a double, run scored and RBI.

Alex Reyes fanned five over the first 4 1/3, yielding two tallies on four hits and a free pass. One of those runs scored with Chris Perry on the bump. Perry (W, 1-0) was credited with the win but allowed a solo shot, one of three hits permitted in 3 2/3. Joe Scanio fanned two of three faced in the ninth for his first save since his professional debut in 2012.

Tuesday's game: vs. Cedar Rapids (9-8), 6:30 pm CT, Nick Petree (1-0, 0.00)

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