Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/09/14

Andrew Morales’ outstanding relief stint led Palm Beach to a come-from-behind victory on Friday, one of five wins for the system. Springfield, Peoria, Johnson City and the GCL club all won but Memphis and State College did not.

Results from games played Friday, August 8th.

New Orleans 5 at Memphis 4

Two runs off Eric Fornataro in the ninth gave the Redbirds a 5-4 loss to the Zephyrs (MIA), evening their five-game series at one game each. Second-place Memphis (62-58) trails Nashville (MIL) by two games.

Fornataro (BS, 4) (L, 3-4) yielded three hits, resulting in two runs, one earned. Marco Gonzales improved upon his results the last time he faced New Orleans, his three-inning Triple-A debut where the lefty permitted four tallies. This time around, Gonzales was touched for three runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk through seven. He struck out five and served up a solo bomb.

Dean Kiekhefer allowed a hit while recording two outs, giving way to Jorge Rondon who notched the eighth’s final out after permitting a hit. Rondon stranded Kiekhefer’s runner.

Scott Moore went 2-for-5 with a run scored, two RBI and his first stolen base. On the flip side, his throwing error allowed the winning run to score in the ninth. Randal Grichuk singled and doubled in four at bats with a base-on-balls, touching home once. Greg Garcia also had two of eight team hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk and RBI.

Saturday’s game: vs. fourth-place New Orleans (60-60), 6:05 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (6-1, 3.55)

Spotlight on - Tyler Lyons. Lyons has twirled four straight excellent starts dating back to July 18th. During that 28-inning span, the southpaw has given up five runs, four earned, on 21 hits. Lyons has fanned 22, issuing just one walk, for a 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP and is the reigning Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Week.

Springfield 10 at Midland 6

The S-Cards’ bats were en fuego on Friday, resulting in a 10-6 win over Midland (OAK) in the first of three. Springfield (20-27) sits in fourth, eight in back of Arkansas (LAA).

The offense generated 20 hits, producing a double-digit score for the second time in their last three games. All nine starters got into the act, seven with multi-hit efforts. Cody Stanley led the charge, going 4-for-5 with a double, scoring twice and driving in three. Breyvic Valera and Rafael Ortega both went 3-for-5, Valera doubling once with two runs scored and two RBI while Ortega knocked in one. Charlie Tilson also crossed home twice with two driven in, with one of his two hits in four at bats a solo shot. Tilson, Valera and Stanley were the top of the order for the Cards and did the majority of the damage.

Slumping starter Kyle Hald lasted just 3 1/3, giving up three runs on six hits and a free pass. Chris Thomas left the sacks jammed full of Hald’s runners in the fourth before giving up a solo blast in the sixth. Thomas struck out four in 2 2/3 and was credited with his first Double-A win.

Sam Tuivailala fanned three in the next two innings, yielding a hit. Fresh off the disabled list, Justin Wright’s return was a bit shaky. The lefty gave up three hits and a base-on-balls, generating two ninth-inning runs while recording one out. Joe Donofrio doused the fire, retiring both batters faced, leaving two inherited runners aboard and earning his ninth save.

Saturday’s game: at first-place (South) Midland (28-20), 7:00 CT, Sam Gaviglio (5-10, 4.53)

Spotlight on – Sam Gaviglio. Saturday will be Gaviglio’s first game back since missing two starts after being placed on the Temporarily Inactive list on July 27th. The Oregon State product has been much better since the All-Star break, posting a 2.60 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in six games covering 34 2/3 innings. In that time, Gaviglio has fanned 34 and issued 12 free passes and picked up The Cardinal Nation’s Starting Pitcher of the Month award for July.

Palm Beach 4 vs. Charlotte 3

The Beach Birds overcame Luke Weaver’s weak start, edging the fifth-place Stone Crabs 4-3 for a two-games-to-one series’ win. The victory moves Palm Beach (29-18) into a first-place tie with Bradenton (PIT), which has lost two straight.

Weaver was unable to finish the second for the second consecutive Florida State League start, permitting three runs on six hits and a walk in just 1 2/3. Thomas Lee limited the damage to Weaver by leaving two of his runners aboard, allowing a hit in two innings.

Both of Andrew Morales’ Florida State League appearances have gone much better than Weaver’s two starts. Player of the Day Morales (W, 1-0) began his 4 1/3-inning stanza by retiring seven straight before hitting a batter. The righty then retired seven more Stone Crabs (TB) in a row, fanning three with two ground- and five fly- ball outs. Chris Perry tossed a one-two-three ninth, striking out two, for his fourth save.

The PB-Cards’ nine hits were spread among seven players, Nick Martini and Gerwuins Velazco garnering two apiece. Hitting at the top of the order, Martini took part in three of his team’s four scores, doubling twice in four at bats, touching home once while driving in two. Velazco, the ninth-place batter, went 2-for-3 with a run scored and RBI.

Saturday’s game: vs. second-place Fort Myers (27-19) (MIN), 6:35 pm ET, Nick Petree (5-3, 2.05)

Spotlight on – Nick Petree. Petree is putting together a very nice first full season of pro ball with a 2.05 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 13 starts covering 74 2/3 frames for Palm Beach. Recently turning 24 years old, the 2013 draftee has tossed at least six innings in five of his 10 most recent starts.

Peoria 5 vs. Wisconsin 2

Three eighth-inning tallies broke 2-2 tie, powering the Chiefs to a 5-2 win over the Timber Rattlers. Fourth-place Peoria (24-23) trails the series 1-2 with two yet on tap and are four games back of division leader Kane County (CHC).

Ronald Castillo’s 20th double of 2014 was the eighth’s big blow, plating C.J. McElroy (single) and Justin Ringo (IBB). Castillo scored the inning’s final run on a sac fly by Steve Bean.

Castillo and McElroy both had two of nine team hits, Castillo singling and doubling in four at bats with two runs scored and two knocked in. McElroy went 2-for-3 with a sac bunt, touching home once.

Rob Kaminsky once against impressed, holding second-place Wisconsin scoreless through five before yielding a run in the sixth and another in the seventh. Kaminsky gave up five hits and a base-on-balls through 6 1/3, fanning five.

His final run scored on the only hit given up by Zach Loraine (BS, 4) (W, 2-1) in 1 2/3. Kyle Barraclough (S, 3) issued a free pass in the ninth, striking out two.

Saturday’s game: vs. Wisconsin (27-20), 6:30 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (6-7, 3.48)

Spotlight on – Arturo Reyes. Reyes is slated to face the Timber Rattlers on Saturday, the same team he pitched against in his most recent start. On August 3rd, the Gonzaga product tossed a superb 7 1/3 innings, striking out 10 while scattering seven hits and yielding one unearned run. He did not walk a batter. In fact, Reyes has averaged just over two walks for every nine innings pitched.

State College 3 at Lowell 4

The Spikes lost in walk-off fashion 4-3 on Friday, dropping the series two games to one. Despite their third straight series’ loss, first-place State College (33-21) maintains a healthy 7 ½ game advantage over Auburn (WSH).

Nick Lomascolo took his first loss in two decisions, permitting a run on two hits, a walk and passed ball while retiring two batters. Austin Gomber went the first five, allowing six hits and a free pass, resulting in three runs that included a solo home run. Tyler Bray struck out four in 2 2/3, giving up two hits.

The Spikes maximized their offense, scoring three runs on four hits and Brett Wiley’s sac fly. Robelys Reyes singled and tripled in four at bats, scoring once while Nick Thompson’s two-run bomb came with Jake Stone (single) on.

Saturday’s game: at second-place (Stedler) Connecticut (28-26) (DET), 7:05 pm ET, Daniel Poncedeleon (1-2, 3.09)

Spotlight on – Daniel Poncedeleon. The pitcher with the historic last name has tossed only 23 2/3 innings in eight games, including six starts, clearly designed to manage his innings in his first year of pro ball. The 22-year-old has given up one or fewer runs in seven of eight games but averages almost 3.9 walks every nine innings.

Johnson City 6 vs. Burlington 5

Three late runs flipped a 5-3 deficit into a 6-5 Appy Bird victory, putting the JC-Cards up 2-0 in their three-game series. Third-place Johnson City (24-22) has won five straight and trails Elizabethton (MIN) by three.

Eight Cardinals came to the plate in the eighth, producing three tallies on four walks, two wild pitches and a single. Blake Drake and Oscar Mercado each blasted a long ball with no one on, their only hits of the night, although Drake did knock in two.

The ‘Caseys’ both did damage for Johnson City, Grayson a perfect 2-for-2 with a double, two base-on-balls and Turgeon singling three times in five at bats with two stolen bases. Both crossed once and Turgeon added an RBI.

Starter Landon Beck did a credible, if short, job, keeping the Royals off the board on four hits and two walks through three. Beck struck out four. Jonathan Escudero went the next two, yielding a hit and two free passes, fanning three.

Isaac Silva loaded the bases in the sixth on two walks and a catcher’s interference call, exiting without retiring a batter. Kevin Carlow (BS, 1) served up an immediate grand slam ball before allowing two runs of his own on three hits in all in the sixth, the first of his two innings of work. Anderson Gerdel (W, 3-0) tossed the last two frames, permitting a hit.

Saturday’s game: vs. fifth-place (East) Burlington (20-26), 7:00 pm ET, Julio Mateo (1-0, 0.00)

Spotlight on – Julio Mateo. In just his second season of pro ball, the 18-year-old Dominican has made two starts for Johnson City since his promotion from the GCL Cardinals. He faced Bluefield (TOR) on July 28th then defeated Elizabethton (MIN) the next time out. The righty has yet to give up an earned run in 11 innings.

GCL Cardinals 3 vs. GCL Mets 2

Magneuris Sierra’s RBI single gave his team a 3-2 walk-off win over the GCL Mets, giving each team one win each with one game yet to play in the series. The GCL Cardinals (27-15) lead the East division by 4 ½ over the Mets.

That was the centerfielder’s sole hit in five at bats and one of only four team hits. Michael Pritchard drew a pinch-hit free pass, eventually scoring on Sierra’s single. The Gulf Birds scored their first run when rehabbing David Washington’s solo shot tied the game in the sixth, getting starter Ramon Santos off the hook for what would have been a tough loss.

The only runner to score on Santos in six innings crossed in the first on two of three hits given up. Santos struck out seven, walked one and hit one batter.

Steven De La Cruz was the pitcher of record when Joshua Lopez doubled to begin the seventh. Malik Collymore pinch ran for the catcher, advancing to third on a sac bunt by DeAndre Asbury-Heath. Edmundo Sosa’s 6-2 force allowed Collymore to score the go-ahead run.

De La Cruz kept the Mets off the board over two innings, retiring six of seven faced and plunking one. Yeison Medina was charged with his first blown save when a throwing error by third baseman Julian Barzilli allowed a runner to score from first. Medina received his second win against one loss, thanks to Sierra’s timely hit.

Saturday’s game: at second-place GCL Mets (23-20), 10:00 am ET, TBA

Spotlight on – Ramon Santos. The right-hander is in his third year of pro ball but first in the United States. His last start on August 2nd was his longest stint before Friday’s outing and generated the weakest results – four runs on eight hits and a walk in five.

DSL Cardinals 2 at DSL Red Sox 4

Junior Fernandez’ solid outing went for naught as the Dominican Birds fell to their Red Sox counterparts 4-2. The DSL Cardinals (18-41) are still in 10th and last place, a game behind the Rojos and 23 ½ in back of the Red Sox.

Fernandez bounced back from a dreadful start against the Mariners in which he recorded just two outs, by tossing six frames and yielding two runs, one earned, on six hits. Fernandez hit one batter and threw two wild pitches. Andy De La Cruz (L, 1-1) permitted two runs on two hits and a walk over two.

Five DSL Cardinals mustered one hit each. Hector Linares tripled with a run scored. Carlos Talavera worked two free passes, touching home once.

Saturday’s game: vs. first-place DSL Red Sox (41-17), 10:30 am ET, Derian Gonzalez (2-2, 2.81)

Spotlight on – Derian Gonzalez. Saturday’s contest will be the second time the 19-year-old has faced the Red Sox in his last four starts. Gonzalez shut them down on three hits and a walk through four on July 17th.

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