Four Gulf Coast League Cardinals pitchers combined to no-hit the GCL Nationals on Wednesday, only four days after the Cardinals were themselves no-hit by three Marlins pitchers.
While the Marlins’ no-hitter in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader was only seven innings, the Cardinals pitchers - Frederis Parra, Silas Bohannan, Andrew Reidt and Kevin Alexander - held the Nationals hitless for nine innings Wednesday.
Though the Cardinals won 6-1, the game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. The Cardinals led by only 2-1 until two long doubles by Frankie Rodriguez, both bouncing off the left-field fence, keyed two-run rallies in both the seventh and eighth innings.
Parra started the game, but wilted in the Florida heat after throwing 66 pitches through two outs in the third inning. Parra walked two batters in the first inning, but escaped that threat unscathed.
The Cardinals scored single runs in both the first and second. GCL batting leader and The Cardinal Nation July Player of the Month Magneuris Sierra, went 4-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, scored the first and drove in the second.
In the third, though, Parra walked the Nationals’ number nine hitter to start the inning, balked him to second and uncorked a wild pitch that sent the runner to third. The runner came home as Nationals’ leadoff man Edwin Lora concluded a long at-bat with a ground out to shortstop Michael Massi.
One out later, Parra had thrown more than a dozen pitches to Nationals designated hitter Oliver Ortiz to reach a 3-2 count when he briefly went to the ground because of the heat and humidity. Game time temperature was 88 degrees, with 70 percent humidity.
Bohannan relieved and induced Ortiz into a pop out on his second pitch. Bohannan, who was awarded the win, pitched two more innings, with only one runner reaching base, on a hit by pitch.
The closest the Nationals came to a hit was with two outs and a runner on second in the sixth and Reidt on the mound. Third baseman Julian Barzilli was unable to come up with a grounder to his backhand side.
On another day, it might have been ruled a hit, but an old official scorer’s guideline is the first hit of a game should be clean, so it was ruled an error. Reidt got the third out on a grounder to short, then retired the side in the seventh in order – sort of. He hit the second batter with a pitch, but that runner was immediately doubled off on a line out to shortstop.
Reidt finished his two-inning stint with a near miss, one walk and two strikeouts.
Alexander, who earned his third save, completed the no-hitter. After he tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out two, the ninth inning ended in a somewhat bizarre fashion.
The first batter reached on a throwing error by Barzilli. After a force out, Alexander walked a batter, the fifth free pass allowed by the Cardinals. It was a rare high walk day for the club, as the GCL staff entered the week with a walks-per-nine inning rate of 2.0, the lowest in all of affiliated professional baseball.
The next batter hit a grounder to Massi at short, who flipped it to second baseman Malik Collymore for the force. As Collymore was trying to get the ball out of his glove for the relay to first, the runner took him down to the ground. The base umpire called the batter out at first because of the runner’s interference.
Rarely does a game end on an obstruction (fielder) or interference (runner) call, but Cardinals fans will likely remember for a long time the Will Middlebrooks-Allen Craig obstruction play at third base that concluded 2013 World Series Game 3 in St. Louis’ favor.
Link to box score: Gulf Coast League Cardinals (26-14) 6, GCL Nationals (21-20) 1
There is more!Seven days a week, The Cardinal Nation features a new team notebook directly from one of our network of reporters located in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliate cities. For example, Paul Ivice’s Gulf Coast League Cardinals Notebook is posted every Monday morning.
In his most recent edition, Paul provided scouting reports on three GCL Cardinals players – infielder Jake Gronsky, catcher Frankie Rodriguez and pitcher Tyler Dunnington - and shared first-hand news from the backfields at Jupiter you simply cannot find anywhere else.
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