Results from games played Saturday, August 16th.
As did their parents, the first-place Redbirds (69-58) met their Padres counterparts. Unlike St. Louis, however, the Triple-A club came out on top despite playing at the home at the Chihuahuas.
The game was tied at the conclusion of the first eight innings, 0-0 through seven and 1-1 after eight. Memphis scored again in the top of the ninth, but El Paso could not answer.
Boone Whiting made the start in place of announced starter John Gast. Because the righty had not started in two weeks, he left after four innings, during which he allowed three hits, two walks and struck out four.
Heath Wyatt (two innings) and Eric Fornataro (one inning) maintained the shutout until Jorge Rondon yielded El Paso’s first run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly. As good fortune would have it, Rondon was the pitcher of record in the ninth when the winning run scored and stayed on to secure the final three outs.
The Redbirds scored in the eighth without a hit or walk. Xavier Scruggs reached on a two-base error and came home on a pair of sacrifices. Scott Moore’s sacrifice fly was the game-winner after Tommy Pham doubled and moved to third on a ground out.
Sunday’s game: at second-place (Pacific Southern) El Paso (61-67) (SD), 7:05 pm CT, Tim Cooney (11-6, 3.66)
Spotlight on - Greg Garcia. The infielder has hit safely in 15 of his last 17 games at a .387 clip (24-for-62) with three doubles, nine RBI, and 11 runs scored since July 29.
The S-Cards (24-30) held a 1-0 edge until the visitors plated three in the fifth, but came right back in the fifth and sixth to recapture the lead then added two insurance runs in the eighth.
Mike Mayers escaped trouble often, allowing 10 hits and walking two, but yielding just three runs, two earned. Because he hung in there through the sixth, Mayers picked up his fourth win against five losses.
Six different Cardinals drove in a run, including the left side of the infield, Matt Williams and Alex Mejia. Williams went 3-for-4 with a run scored while Mejia had a 2-for-3 night that included a double, walk and run scored. Rafael Ortega and Cody Stanley launched solo home runs.
Sunday’s game: vs. first-place (South) Midland (31-24), 2:10 pm CT, Jonathan Cornelius (10-9, 4.11)
Spotlight on - Chris Thomas. The right-handed reliever tossed perfect innings in the eighth and ninth on Friday, striking out four of six, to continue an excellent Double-A introduction. Since coming up from Palm Beach on June 19, the Kansas City, Missouri native has gone 1-0 with a 1.46 ERA through 17 outings, striking out 21 batters in 24 2/3 innings.
Fort Myers 5, Palm Beach 0 (Game 2, 7 innings)
In the battle for second place in the Florida State League South, Palm Beach (33-22) split a pair at Fort Myers. The Cards are one game back with the Miracle 2 ½ out of first.
In game one, the Cards erased a 1-0 deficit for good in the fourth with three runs. All came home on Player of the Day’s David Washington’s bases-loaded double. Luke Voit provided an insurance tally with a solo home run in the sixth.
Starter Jimmy Reed lasted five innings, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks. Iden Nazario and Ronnie Shaban (first save) threw a hitless inning each.
In game two, the home club again scored in the first inning and that was all they needed. The Cards managed just four hits, three by Mason Katz, and were kept off the scoreboard.
All five Fort Myers runs were charged to Silfredo Garcia. The right-hander went five innings on five hits and three walks. He fanned two.
Sunday’s game: at third-place Fort Myers (32-24) (MIN), 4:05 pm ET, Corey Littrell (0-1, 5.14).
Spotlight on - Corey Littrell. Since joining the Cardinals from the Red Sox in the John Lackey trade, the 23-year-old right-hander has gone seven innings in both starts. In the first outing, he gave up three runs, but was touched for five last time out. As a Cardinal, Littrell has struck out eight but walked six.
Peoria (27-27) held a narrow 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth, but dropped to .500 in the second half as the Kernels came back against new arrival Tyler Bray. It ruined a strong start by Arturo Reyes, who yielded just one run in 6 1/3 innings. Reyes allowed just five hits and two walks, fanning six.
Sunday’s game: at second-place Cedar Rapids (33-21) (MIN), 2:05 pm CT, Kyle Helisek (1-0, 6.43)
Spotlight on - Vaughn Bryan – After hitting just .249 through July, the outfielder and leadoff man has come on as of late. Even after Bryan’s eight-game hitting streak was snapped Saturday night, he is 13-for-36 (.361) with six doubles and six runs scored over his last nine.
Saturday’s game between the State College Spikes (36-25) and the Auburn Doubledays (26-33) at Falcon Park was postponed due to rain in the Auburn area. The two teams will make up the game as part of a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games starting Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
Spotlight on - Trey Nielsen. The right-hander will be making his sixth start as a professional and 13th overall appearance for the Spikes. Last time out, Nielsen allowed a career-high five runs on seven hits and a walk over three innings in a no-decision at Connecticut. Overall, Nielsen has racked up a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 36-to-9 in 37 innings.
Johnson City (29-26) plated nine runs for the second consecutive game, but it took 11 innings to get the job done Saturday night. The score had been tied 5-5 from the sixth inning until the 11th.
The winning tally came home after a throwing error on a Blake Drake bunt. The Cards piled on three more to increase the gap.
Earlier, the Cardinals came back from three- and two-run deficits. Oscar Mercado, batting .219, launched a two-run home run, his third of the season, and later singled and stole a base. He and Casey Turgeon scored twice. Three Cardinals had three hits and an RBI – Turgeon, Anthony Ray and Carlos Torres. The latter two came home once.
Starter Juan Perez was charged with five runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks in five innings. Kevin Carlow threw three perfect frames before winner Ismael Brito added two more scoreless. Jeff Barkley collected the final three outs.
Spotlight on - Steven Farinaro. Still just 18 when he takes the mound Sunday, the right-hander will celebrate his 19th birthday on Monday. In August, Farinaro has tossed two scoreless outings of exactly five innings each, but only struck out four against three walks in the 10 innings of work.
The first-place Gulf Birds’ (29-20) Saturday contest at 2013 champion Nationals (25-24) was postponed due to wet grounds. The Cards lead the second-place Nats by four games.
Sunday’s game: The Gulf Coast League takes Sundays off.
The last-place DSL Cardinals (20-46) finally reached the 20-win level in game 66 as they scored 11 runs or more for the very first time this season.
The Cards erased a 2-0 Yankees1 lead with eight runs in the second inning. Highlights were a double-steal that included Wadye Infante swiping home and a two-run home run by Jonathan Rivera.
First baseman Carlos Rodriguez had a perfect day with two hits and three walks in five plate appearances.
Sunday’s game: The Dominican Summer League takes Sundays off.
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