Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/13/14

Alex Reyes’ noteworthy effort helped Peoria to one of four system wins on Tuesday. Memphis, Palm Beach and the DSL squad all won – Palm Beach and Peoria in extras – while Springfield, State College, Johnson City and the GCL Cardinals fell.

Results from games played Tuesday, August 12th.

Memphis 5 at Albuquerque 3

Xavier Scruggs’ ninth-inning blast led the Redbirds to a 5-3 victory over the Isotopes (LAD) in the first of three games. Memphis (66-58) has won four straight and six of their last seven, climbing to within a half game of first-place Nashville (MIL) in the American Southern Division.

Scruggs’ long ball, his only hit in four at-bats, came with Scott Moore (hit by pitch) aboard and broke a 3-3 tie. Stephen Piscotty’s two-run home run earlier in the sixth gave the visitors a temporary 3-2 lead. Randal Grichuk singled and scored ahead of Piscotty.

Tommy Pham doubled in four at bats, driven in by Scott Moore’s fourth-inning single. Greg Garcia went 2-for-4 with a double, the only Redbird with more than one of the team’s nine hits.

Both of the tallies charged to Tim Cooney through six innings crossed home in the first on three of his five hits yielded. One was the 19th home run permitted by the southpaw this season while the other scored via a sac fly. Cooney walked one, fanned four and threw 85 pitches, 59 for strikes.

Heath Wyatt and Dean Kiekhefer both recorded two outs while giving up a hit. Kiekhefer (BS, 4) stranded Wyatt’s runner in the seventh but served up a game-tying solo shot in the eighth. Eric Fornataro (W, 4-4) worked around a hit and walk, retiring two before Jorge Rondon tossed a one-two-three ninth for his seventh save.

Wednesday’s game: at third-place (Pacific Southern) Albuquerque (56-68), 7:35 pm CT, Marco Gonzales (2-1, 3.45)

Spotlight on – Marco Gonzales. Gonzales is coming off back-to-back quality starts versus division rivals Round Rock (SEA) and New Orleans (MIA) in which he yielded a combined three earned runs in 13 1/3. So far the Colorado native has struck out 28 Triple-A batters in 28 1/3 innings and issued six free passes, a nearly 4.7:1 K/BB ratio. Gonzales will be making his sixth start for Memphis and first against Albuquerque.

Frisco 6 at Springfield 1

Five runs yielded in the last three frames sent the S-Cards to a 6-1 defeat by the RoughRiders in the series’ opener. The loss dropped Springfield (21-29) into sole possession of fourth and last place in the North division, 9 ½ in back of Arkansas (LAA).

Jonathan Cornelius held Frisco to a run through six but permitted two solo bombs in the seventh. Cornelius (L, 10-9) gave up seven hits in 6 1/3, walking one and striking out three.

Chris Thomas retired all five batters faced but Seth Blair wasn’t nearly as good in his outing. Three walks, three wild pitches and a hit batter resulted in a run across and the sacks jammed with two out in the ninth for Dixon Llorens. Llorens issued consecutive free passes, forcing across two more, before recording the final out.

Springfield managed just four hits, all singles, two of them by number nine batter David Popkins. The only tally came in the fourth when Rafael Ortega singled, advanced to third on Matt Williams’ hit and scored on a passed ball.

Wednesday’s game: vs. first-place (South) Frisco (30-21), 7:10 pm CT, Kurt Heyer (4-10, 4.69)

Spotlight on – Kurt Heyer. Heyer faced the RoughRiders last time out, holding them to a run on four hits and two walks in five. That ended consecutive quality starts by the right-hander who has a 2.25 ERA in August over 12 innings and two starts.

Palm Beach 7 at Charlotte 6 (10)

Mason Katz and Ildemaro Vargas smacked back-to-back doubles in the 10th as the Beach Birds edged the Stone Crabs 7-6 in the series’ opener. Second-place Palm Beach (31-20) kept pace with Bradenton (PIT), which they trail by a game.

Corey Littrell failed to impress in his second Palm Beach start, yielding five runs on seven hits and five, one intentional, bases-on-balls in seven innings. Three of the five runs were produced by two long balls. Littrell has faced Charlotte (TB) both times out.

Littrell escaped a loss when his teammates pushed across three in the eighth to go up 6-5. The PB-Cards banged out 11 hits with Vargas, Luke Voit, Dante Rosenberg and Greg Miclat each having two hits. Vargas singled and doubled in five at bats, knocking in two while Voit doubled twice in five at bats with an RBI.

Rosenberg went 2-for-4 with one of six team doubles, driving in one from the bottom of the order. Miclat singled and doubled in five at bats, scoring one and knocking in another. Katz did damage in a limited time, going 1-for-2 with two runs scored after pinch hitting for David Washington in the eighth.

Ronnie Shaban held down the fort in the eighth, permitting a hit, but Chris Perry (BS, 2) (W, 1-1) was not as fortunate. Perry served up a solo bomb that sent the game into extras but stayed in long enough for the win, 1 2/3 innings. Corey Baker entered in the 10th after Perry issued a two-out walk and induced a ground out to first for his second save.

Wednesday’s game: at fifth-place Charlotte (25-24), 6:30 pm ET, Tyrell Jenkins (5-3, 3.45)

Spotlight on – Tyrell Jenkins. Jenkins did an excellent job against the Stone Crabs last time out, yielding a single tally on three hits and a free pass in six. The 22-year-old has a 1.26 WHIP in 47 innings, nine starts, and batters are hitting .260 against him.

Peoria 4 at Burlington 2 (14)

Rowan Wick’s fourth bomb as a Chief proved decisive in Peoria’s 4-2 win over Burlington in 14, the first of three. The Chiefs (26-24) sit in fourth, four behind Kane County (CHC).

Wick’s only hit in six at bats came with Justin Ringo (double) aboard in the 14th and was his second home run in his last three games. Ringo compiled three of 11 team hits, going 3-for-6 with a double, run scored and RBI. Vaughn Bryan put up identical numbers to Ringo except for the RBI. Steve Bean singled twice in six at bats, the only other Chief with a multi-hit game.

Jhonny Polanco, the fifth Peoria hurler of the game, fanned the side in the 13th, earning his fourth victory in five decisions. Kyle Barraclough maneuvered around a single, walk and two fielding errors in the 14th for a well-earned fifth save.

Player of the Day Alex Reyes impressed in his six-inning scoreless stint, striking out 11 Bees (LAA) while giving up just three hits and two free passes. Skipped in the rotation for rest since his last start on July 29, the 19-year-old right-hander was strong in his return.

Reyes outdueled Sean Newcomb, the Angels’ first-round pick this past June, who gave up a run on two hits and a base-on-balls in 3 1/3 in his full-season debut. Reyes departed with his team holding a slim 1-0 lead. That was held by Blake McKnight, who made his second relief appearance after spending time in Peoria’s rotation.

The same cannot be said for Zach Loraine (BS, 5) who gave the lead away with two runs yielded on two hits and two walk in the eighth. Robert Stock’s four innings matched his longest outing of 2014, the righty striking out four while allowing two hits and a base-on-balls.

Wednesday’s game: at sixth-place Burlington (23-27), 6:30 pm CT, Chase Brookshire (3-6, 3.90)

Spotlight on – Chase Brookshire. Brookshire took the loss in his August 5th start versus Kane County, giving up four runs, two earned, on six hits in 6 1/3. The Belmont product last faced Burlington in a relief role on May 28th.

Mahoning Valley 5 at State College 0

The Spikes’ losing streak stands at six with a 5-0 shutout by the Scrappers in the series’ opener. State College (33-25) remains in first, six ahead of Auburn (WSH).

Will Anderson took his second loss in seven decisions, yielding four runs, two earned, on seven hits and a walk in 5 2/3. He struck out seven. Jacob Booden fanned three in 2 1/3, allowing a hit and walk but permitted both inherited runners to cross. Jeff Rauh yielded two hits in the eighth, resulting in one run.

The Spikes have lost 10 of their last 11, the offense generating three or fewer tallies in eight of those losses. Eight hits translated to squat on the scoreboard since lead-off batter Darren Seferina and number six man Nick Thompson had three hits with one double apiece.

Wednesday’s game: vs. sixth-place (last) Mahoning Valley (25-32), 7:05 pm ET, Dewin Perez (4-1, 3.36)

Spotlight on – Dewin Perez. Perez is facing the Scrappers for the first time in the Columbian native’s 11th start. He has gone at least six innings in only three of 10 outings to date.

Kingsport 8 at Johnson City 7

A four-run eighth gave the lead and game to the Mets as the Appy Birds fell 8-7 for a two-games-to-one series’ loss. Johnson City (26-24) is tied for second with Greenville (HOU), 2 ½ behind Elizabethton (MIN).

Up 5-4 through seven thanks to a five-run first, Isaac Silva and Ismail Brito combined to give up four runs, two apiece, on five hits, including a solo shot each, and two bases-on-balls overall. Silva (BS, 1) (L, 0-1) allowed three hits and a free pass in 1 1/3 while Brito yielded two hits and a walk in 1 2/3, permitting his only inherited runner to score.

Starter Matt Pearce was given a 5-1 lead after one which he held until allowing Kingsport to close the gap with a three-run long ball in his fifth and final inning on the mound. Pearce was touched for four hits and two base-on-balls. Jeff Barkley walked two in the sixth.

The JC-Cards capitalized on two hits, two hit batsmen, three wild pitches and a sac fly to push across five in the first. Their other two hits came in a two-run ninth that also featured a walk, another plunked batter and a fielding error. Three Appy Birds scored a combined four runs without getting a hit, including Chris Rivera, who went 0-for-2 with two bases-on-balls and two runs scored.

Wednesday’s game: doubleheader at third-place (East) Pulaski (27-22) (SEA). Game one – 6:00 pm ET, Dailyn Martinez (4-2, 4.25)/Sasha Kuebel (2-1, 3.54)

Spotlight on – Sasha Kuebel. Kuebel is slated to make his first start for Johnson City in the finale of Wednesday’s double-header with the Mariners. The St. Louis native was drafted in the 38th round in June out of the University of Iowa and has appeared in 13 games covering 20 1/3 innings. He is not missing a lot of bats as opponents hit .305 against him on 25 hits, but has walked only three for a 1.38 WHIP.

GCL Cardinals 0 at GCL Marlins 2

The Gulf Birds lost their third straight to a simply pathetic Marlins squad, this time 2-0. The GCL Cardinals (28-18) maintain a four-game lead over second-place GCL Mets in the East division.

The Gulf Cardinals, which have scored one run in the last 27 innings, were shut out on five hits. Ninth-place hitter Eliezer Alvarez garnered two of them, singling and doubling in three at bats but was wiped out once on the base paths when he was caught stealing.

Ronnie Williams’ record dropped to 0-4 as he allowed two runs on three hits and a free pass through five innings with four strikeouts. Andrew Reidt and Steven De La Cruz each tossed two scoreless frames with two and three strikeouts respectively.

Wednesday’s game: at fourth-place GCL Marlins (16-30), 12:00 pm ET, TBA

Spotlight on – Ronnie Williams. Williams has put up mixed numbers in his maiden campaign as a professional. Drafted out of high school in the second round this past June, the righty has given up 29 hits in 26 1/3 frames but issued only two free passes for a 1.37 WHIP. He has a 5.47 ERA and .276 batting average against. His five innings against the Marlins on Tuesday is his longest stint in eight appearances, six starts.

DSL Cardinals 3 at DSL Giants 1

With their staff ace on the mound, the Dominican Birds downed their Giants counterparts, 3-1. The DSL Cardinals (19-43) remain in 10th and last place, 24 ½ in back of the DSL Red Sox.

David Oca shut down the second-place Giants (40-21) on an unearned run through six. The lefty scattered five hits and a base-on-balls with two strikeouts, eight ground- and five fly-ball outs.

Rigoberto Urena tossed the seventh and eighth, yielding one hit. Jose Lara put the tying run on via a walk and single before notching his seventh save.

The Dominican Cards scored three or fewer runs for the fifth game in a row, managing eight hits. Five players either scored or drove in one, with third baseman Allen Cordoba doing one of each on a 1-for-3 performance. Designated hitter Dennis Ortega went 2-for-4 with an RBI, as the only Cardinal with more than one hit.

Wednesday’s game: at sixth-place DSL Rockies (30-32), 10:30 am ET, Franyel Casadilla (1-2, 2.76)

Spotlight on – Franyel Casadilla. The 17-year-old started his first game on August 6th after 16 relief appearances. That rotation slot was previously held by Junior Gonzalez, who has not started since July 30th and appears to have been moved into the bullpen with two subsequent relief appearances. Casadilla has issued 11 free passes over 32 2/3 with 29 hits given up, a 1.22 WHIP and .232 batting average against.

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