Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 06/21/14

Xavier Scruggs led Memphis to another big win as the GCL Cardinals were the final club to open their 2014 season. The system went 5-4 on Friday.

Results from games played Friday, June 20th.

Memphis 13 at Salt Lake 4

For the second straight night, Memphis pounded Salt Lake with double-digit runs as the offense carried them to the series win. Angel Castro pitched very well despite the final score as he went six innings, yielding an earned run on five hits. Castro walked two with three strikeouts while inducing ten groundouts, which had a lot to do with his success.

Heath Wyatt imploded, allowing three earned runs on five hits in 1 ? innings but Jorge Rondon pitched out of the tight squeeze with a strikeout and groundout. Just looking for work, Jose Almarante had a clean ninth inning.

It was still very much a game going into the ninth, but Memphis jumped on the Bees for six runs to take the game out of reach. The Memphis offense repeated Thursday night's runner in scoring position success, with a .500 average in 16 scoring opportunities.

With Oscar Taveras out of the lineup, Player of the Day Xavier Scruggs stepped up big with a single and double, for five RBI. Shane Robinson had three hits and an RBI, while Randal Grichuk added four hits and an RBI. Even the bottom of the order contributed as Scott Moore, Pete Kozma, and Audry Perez combined for four RBI.

Saturday's game: Memphis (37-38) at Salt Lake (30-46), 9:05 CT, Tim Cooney (7-4, 3.26 ERA)

Springfield 2 at Arkansas 3

Fresh up from Palm Beach, Mike Mayers made his Double-A debut on Friday night. The Mississippi-born hurler yielded three earned runs to the Arkansas Travelers (LAA) on eight hits, with one walk while fanning five in six innings.

Seth Blair followed Mayers with the final two innings of the night scoreless. The enigmatic Blair also struck out two in his first really good outing out of the bullpen since being moved there a few weeks ago. Unfortunately the Springfield offense was quiet in the late innings and Mayers took the loss.

The Cardinals did not have trouble getting guys aboard, but they batted just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. This aspect was an issue with the club the past two games as they dealt with the exact same woes on Thursday against Arkansas pitching. The two runs came off a James Ramsey sacrifice fly and Mike O'Neill RBI groundout.

Saturday's game: Springfield (36-38) at Arkansas (36-38), 7:10 CT, Jonathan Cornelius (6-5, 3.68 ERA)

Palm Beach 3 at Charlotte 1

This type of game is what is expected from the Palm Beach Cardinals, not much offense but consistently good pitching. Silfredo Garcia lived up to the expectation by throwing six quality innings of one-run ball on four hits. The control expert did not issue any walks and retired four via the strikeout.

Corey Baker and Dixon Llorens continued their excellence with three combined scoreless to help Palm Beach get its second win of the second half. Baker picked up his first hold of the season, while Llorens recorded his fourth save on the season.

Palm Beach plated two runs in the fifth and one in the seventh and that was enough offense to secure the victory. Illdemaro Vargas and hitting-machine Breyvic Valera both had RBI singles that scored Charlie Tilson. Alex Mejia, who was recently moved up in the order since turning it on off late, had three more hits on Friday, one for a RBI.

Saturday's game: Palm Beach (38-33) at Charlotte (31-38), 6:00 ET, Kyle Helisek (4-2, 2.59 ERA)

Peoria 1 at Quad Cities 2 (Game 1, seven innings)

2013 draftee Jimmy Reed pitched well for five innings but not good enough for the Peoria win as he yielded two earned runs on two hits, with four walks and nine punchouts. This was Peoria's first loss of the second half and Quad Cities' first win.

The Peoria offense had seven hits in a seven innings, but when runners were in scoring position, they did not execute. Luis Perez' RBI double scoring Richy Pedroza was the only successful RISP play in six chances.

Peoria 1 at Quad Cities 0 (Game 2, seven innings)

The makeup of Thursday night's rained out game was played following the conclusion of the scheduled contest. Once again Peoria struggled offensively, but not much was needed with a combined pitching shutout.

Chase Brookshire covered the first 5 ? innings on four hits and no walks. Kevin Herget departed with an out left in the game as he pitched 1 ? innings scoreless. Steve Sabatino completed the shutout with a strikeout of the final batter for his second save.

Peoria's lone run was scored in the third inning produced off a Michael Schulze RBI single plating Luis Perez. Juan Herrera singled and was caught stealing for the tenth time this season to go with 22 steals. In an odd lineup twist, manager Joe Kruzel batted Herrera third, then removed him from the game in the bottom of the first. That led to Brookshire batting the next time through the order.

Saturday's game: Peoria (38-33) at Quad Cities (36-35), 6:00 CT, Blake McKnight (2-6, 4.89 ERA)

State College 5 at Jamestown 3 (10 innings)

The Spikes were able to fight back to tie with solo home runs in the seventh and ninth before completing their victory with small ball in the 10th. Ninth round 2014 draft selection Daniel Poncedeleon was on a pitch count in his first pro start, going two innings. He gave up two earned on two hits with two walks.

Trey Nielsen is a late sign from last year's draft that fits the Cardinals criteria with a fresh arm with promising athletic ability and arm strength. Nielson backed up Poncedeleon with five strikeouts in four innings and allowed one earned run. Winner Kyle Grana kept the Spikes in the game with three strong innings, allowing three hits on an unearned run given up before Jeff Rauh picked up the save by tossing a scoreless 10th.

State College relied on the long ball as Danny Diekroeger got the act started with his first professional blast. Rowan Wick followed suit with a solo bomb in the seventh, already his sixth in just eight games. Alex De Leon tied the game up with a blast in the ninth. Jhohan Acevedo knocked in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the 10th to give State College the series opening win.

Saturday's game: State College (5-3) at Jamestown (2-6), 7:05 ET, Cody Schumacher (professional debut)

Johnson City 1 at Bluefield 4

After scoring thirteen runs on opening night, the young Johnson City hitters only plated one on just six hits on Friday night. The lone run came in the fifth from a throwing error that allowed Casey Turgeon to come home with Jose Godoy reaching base.

Steven Farinaro took the loss in his first start of the season. He finished with 4 ? innings on four runs (two earned) on seven hits, with a walk and four strikeouts. Relievers Kevin Carlow and Kender Villegas combined for the next 3 ? scoreless innings.

Saturday's game: Johnson City (1-1) at Bluefield (1-1), 11:05 AM ET, Ian McKinney (season debut)

Gulf Coast League Cardinals 7 at Marlins 2

The GCL Cardinals shot out of the regular-season gates on the back-fields with a five-run win over the GCL Marlins. Julio Mateo was excellent in his U.S debut as he pitched six innings, giving up two earned runs on six hits while fanning eight.

Nick Frey made his professional debut after rehabbing from Tommy John surgery with a scoreless inning. Frey gave up two hits and struck out two. Yeison Medina, a dominant reliever for the DSL Cardinals last year, picked up the save for pitching the final two innings with four strikeouts.

TCN's 2013 Dominican Player of the Year Edmundo Sosa led the way with a team-high three hits in his U.S debut. Sosa also walked and scored once on a throwing error. Malik Collymore plated two with a single and sacrifice fly. In his pro debut, Michael Pritchard singled and hit a sacrifice fly.

Saturday's game: GCL Cardinals (1-0) vs. Marlins (0-1), 10:00 AM ET, TBA

DSL Cardinals 1 vs. Mariners 6

The DSL Cardinals were contained by the DSL Mariners pitching staff to a lone run that came in the first inning on five total hits for the day. Luis Flores and Jonathan Rivera both had two-hit games. Luis Bandes produced the only tally of the game for the Cardinals from a sacrifice fly.

Oneiver Diaz was hammered through his four-inning outing as he yielded six runs (four earned) on nine hits. Diaz walked one with two strikeouts. Derian Gonzalez followed in what seemed to be a piggy-back role as he tossed four shutout frames while Kerrion Bennett pitched the last inning scoreless.

Saturday's game: DSL Cardinals (8-10) at DSL Orioles2 (8-10), 10:30 AM ET

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