Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/12/14

Casey Grayson hit Johnson City to one of three victories in St. Louis’ minors on Monday. Memphis and Palm Beach both won but all of the rest went down to defeat.

Results from games played Monday, August 11th.

Memphis 6 vs. New Orleans 3

Greg Garcia accounted for three tallies as Memphis (65-58) downed New Orleans 6-3, taking the series four games to one. The win over the Zephyrs (MIA) permitted the second-place Redbirds to remain 1 1/2 games behind Nashville (MIL), a club that has won four in a row.

Garcia singled twice in three at bats with a walk, scored two and knocked in a third. He swiped a bag as well Ed Easley, the other Redbird with more than one of nine team hits, singled twice in four at bats with two RBI. Memphis’ only extra-base hit was Randal Grichuk’s 22nd home run, as the left fielder went 1-for-3 with a free pass.

John Gast tossed the initial five, yielding two runs on five hits and two bases-on-balls while striking out four. It was the third straight start of five innings or less for the lefty who threw 89 pitches, 57 for strikes.

Dean Kiekhefer was the pitcher of record in the bottom of the sixth when the Redbirds pushed across two, unraveling a 2-2 knot. Kiekhefer (W, 2-3) tossed a clean sixth before giving up a one-out single the next frame. The 25-year-old departed after his own throwing miscue on an attempted force at second allowed a second runner to reach.

Eric Fornataro allowed a two-out single that plated the unearned run, his only hit given up in 1 2/3. Jorge Rondon tossed a one-two-three ninth, picking up his sixth save.

Tuesday’s game: at third-place (Pacific Southern) Albuquerque (56-67) (LAD), 7:35 pm CT, Tim Cooney (6-6, 3.97)

Spotlight on – Tim Cooney. Last time out, Cooney held New Orleans to three runs, two earned, on four hits in six innings, his first quality start in his last three outings. Since this is the only meeting between Albuquerque and Memphis, the 23-year-old, in his second full season of pro ball, has not faced them.

Springfield - off

Fresh off a six-game road trip with Frisco (TEX) and Midland (OAK) in which they went 4-2, Springfield (21-28) hosts both squads for six more. The RoughRiders and RockHounds are the co-leaders of the South Division, with Springfield nine games back in the North.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Frisco (29-21), 7:10 pm CT, Jonathan Cornelius (10-8, 4.10)

Spotlight on – Jonathan Cornelius. Cornelius has faced the RoughRiders twice this season, most recently his last time out on August 6th. The Florida native was pounded for six runs, five earned, on six hits and two walks through six. Cornelius has a 1.28 WHIP, which is identical to his career mark, and is averaging 2.5 walks every nine innings pitched.

Palm Beach 4 vs. Fort Myers 3 (7)

Greg Miclat’s fifth-inning bomb proved decisive for Palm Beach as they edged Fort Myers 4-3 in a game called after seven due to rain. The win prevented a three-game sweep by the Miracle (MIN).

It was Miclat’s only hit in three at bats and flipped a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 advantage. Nick Martini was aboard when Miclat launched it in the fifth, having hit one of his three singles in four at bats. Martini scored twice out of the lead-off slot.

Aledmys Diaz smashed his own long ball earlier in the contest, bringing the Beach Birds to within one. Diaz garnered two of his team’s seven hits, going 2-for-3 with a double and home run, one scored and two driven in.

Silfredo Garcia was touched for his own long ball, a two-run home run in the first to MLB’s number one prospect, Byron Buxton. He later walked Buxton with the sacks jammed for all three runs the righty yielded on four hits and a base-on-balls. He fanned five. Garcia was one out shy of completing five innings when the home plate umpire tossed him in the fifth. (Perhaps Garcia did not approve of the strike zone?)

Thomas Lee picked up his eighth win against three losses, keeping the opposition off the board on a hit and free pass in 2 1/3.

Tuesday’s game: at Charlotte (25-23) (TB), 6:30 pm ET, Corey Littrell (0-1, 3.86)

Spotlight on – Corey Littrell. Recently acquired from the Red Sox, Littrell will be making his second start for Palm Beach, both coming against the Stone Crabs. The Kentucky native went seven innings on August 6th, permitting five runs, three earned, on eight hits and a walk.

Peoria - off

The Chiefs (25-24) head out on the road for a six-game swing through division rivals Burlington (LAA) and Cedar Rapids (MIN). Peoria just completed a 3-5 home stand that has them in fourth place, four games out of first.

Tuesday’s game: at Burlington (23-26), 6:30 pm CT, Alex Reyes (6-6, 4.16)

Spotlight on - Alex Reyes. The 19-year-old is in his first full professional season, having pitched for Rookie level Johnson City in 2013. Reyes is pitching much better since the All-Star break, posting a 3.07 ERA in 29 1/3 frames over six games versus a 4.75 ERA in 55 innings (11 games) before that point. He will be facing Sean Newcomb, the Angels’ first-round pick this past June, who is making his full-season debut.

State College 1 at Connecticut 2 (12)

Two walks and a single in the home half of the 12th sent the Spikes (33-24) to a 2-1 loss to the Tigers. State College’s fifth consecutive defeat includes a three-game sweep at the hands of Connecticut.

Tyler Bray (L, 1-2) issued both free passes while recording two outs, the first of them scoring when Kyle Grana gave up a single to his first batter faced. The ball was hit to shallow center and any chance of throwing out the runner ended when Collin Radack did not handle the ball cleanly. Starter Fernando Baez yielded a run in his fourth and final inning of work on a ball lost in the lights by third baseman Danny Diekroeger. Baez gave up two hits and three walks in 3 2/3.

Brandon Lee struck out five and permitted two hits over the next 2 1/3, stranding one of Baez’ runners. Nick Lomascolo was touched for a hit and base-on-balls in his 1 2/3-inning stint while Josh Lucas fanned four over 3 1/3, giving up a hit.

The visitors’ sole tally crossed in the eighth after Robelys Reyes drew a two-out walk and raced home on Diekroeger’s seventh double of 2014. Darren Seferina, Adam Ehrlich and Reyes each had two of eight team hits.

Seferina tripled deep into the right-field corner in the sixth and worked his way to third base after a single in the 10th. Leading off the 11th, Ehrlich added his fifth double, but the Spikes could not bring either home.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Mahoning Valley (24-32) (CLE), 7:05 pm ET, Will Anderson (5-1, 2.22)

Spotlight on – Will Anderson. Anderson, who turns 22 on August 26th, will face the Scrappers for the first time on Tuesday. In his most recent start, the NY-Penn League all-star shut out Lowell (BOS) on seven hits through seven, his team’s most recent win. That followed a fine outing against Aberdeen (BAL), in which he gave up one earned run, two overall, through six.

Johnson City 3 vs. Kingsport 2

The Appy Birds (26-23) scored three early then held on to clip the Mets 3-2, evening the series at one game each.

Johnson City pushed across two in the first and one in the third, smacking 10 hits in all. Clean-up hitter Casey Grayson, our Player of the Day, took part in all three of his team’s scores, doubling twice in three at bats while touching home once with two RBI and a base-on-balls. Blake Drake and Anthony Ray had two hits apiece, Drake scoring once in five at bats.

Steven Farinaro and Kevin Carlow combined to hold Kingsport scoreless through seven. Farinaro (W, 2-3) permitted four hits and two free passes, Carlow striking out four in two innings, giving up a hit.

Anderson Gerdel made things interesting in the final two frames, allowing single scores in both innings and the potential tying run to reach third. Gerdel gave up four hits translating to two runs, one earned, but was credited with his fifth save.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Kingsport (25-26), 7:00 pm ET, Matt Pearce (2-3, 3.48)

Spotlight on – Matt Pearce. The 20-year-old will be making his eighth start for Johnson City, his first opposite the Mets. With 34 hits in 31 innings, opposing batters are hitting .286 off Pearce, who has a 1.26 WHIP thanks to just five free passes issued.

GCL Cardinals 0 at GCL Marlins 1 (7) – game one
GCL Cardinals 1 at GCL Marlins 2 (7) – game two

The Gulf Birds (28-17) dropped a pair of low-scoring affairs to the lowly Marlins, 1-0 and 2-1.

Each team managed just four hits in game one, the difference being that three of the Marlins’ hits came in the same inning. Tyler Dunnington gave up all three hits in the fifth, his first of two innings of work. Jack Flaherty matched Dunnington’s four strikeouts but did it over four innings with one hit given up. No GCL Cardinal had more than one hit.

Two tallies in the bottom of the sixth off Kevin Alexander (BS, 1) (L, 1-2) in the second contest were unearned, thanks to back-to-back fielding errors that were part of three defensive bobbles by the GCL Cardinals for the game. Alexander permitted a two-out double which came across on the second of the inning’s errors. An RBI single allowed the winning tally to cross.

Alexander pitched in relief of Jery Then, who got his first start in six games. Then struck out six in three, permitting three hits and coming within an out of his longest stint to date. Nick Frey held down the opposition on a walk in two.

The Gulf Cards outhit their foes six to five but were a puny 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Michael Pritchard singled twice in four at bats, the only player with more than one hit. Eliezer Alvarez tripled with one out in the fifth, coming in on Michael Massi’s sac fly.

Tuesday’s game: vs. GCL Marlins (15-30), 10:00 am ET, Frederis Parra (3-1, 2.45)

Spotlight on – Jack Flaherty. The newly-drafted 18-year-old’s four frames versus the Marlins on the 11th is his longest outing so far. Flaherty has thrown 13 1/3 innings over six games, four starts, and has yielded 12 hits and three earned runs for a 1.98 ERA. Opponents are hitting a measly .231 against him.

DSL Giants 3 at DSL Cardinals 2

Three runs off Will Changarotty was enough to send the Dominican Birds (18-43) to a 3-2 loss to the DSL Giants. The team’s new losing streak stands at four.

Changarotty allowed one first-inning tally plus two in the third on six total hits and two bases-on-balls through four. Tandem mate Oneiver Diaz retired his first batter faced but exited after issuing a walk and wild pitch.

Enrique Perez was pressed into action, yielding a hit and three walks in 2 2/3. Perez plunked one. Kerrion Bennett prevented the Giants from scoring on two hits and a free pass through two.

Left fielder Wadys Infante’s first professional long ball was responsible for both tallies. The 16-year-old smacked one with Luis Flores (single) on, as they had two of only three team hits.

Tuesday’s game: at DSL Giants (40-20), 10:30 am ET, David Oca (2-3, 2.38)

Spotlight on – David Oca. The lefty will face the Giants for the second time in four starts. They banged him around for six runs, four earned, on five hits in only one frame on July 22nd. Oca has permitted only two runs, one earned, in his last two starts covering 12 1/3 innings.

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