Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/22/14

In an excellent night in the system on Thursday, the top six squads all put one in the win column. Ed Easley’s hot bat led Memphis to victory but the DSL Cardinals dropped a pair.

Results from games played Thursday, August 21st.

Memphis 7 vs. Sacramento 1

Player of the Day Ed Easley’s hot night at the plate led Memphis (72-60) to a 7-1 victory over Sacramento, evening the series at one game each.

‘Three’ was Easley’s magic number, as the catcher went 3-for-3 with a walk and touching home three times. Luis Mateo went yard for the second time this season, a two-run bomb with Easley on. Mateo added a single in three at bats, driving in four. Randal Grichuk went 2-for-4 with a solo shot, the final Redbird with more than one of 10 team hits.

Boone Whiting held the River Cats to a tally on five hits and four walks in 4 2/3 but it took him 97 pitches to do it. Whiting was almost constantly pitching in trouble with only one one-two-three inning.

Justin Wright took over after Whiting’s sole run crossed, and was the antithesis of Whiting. Wright retired all seven batters faced, stranding one and picking up his fourth win in as many decisions. Jorge Rondon went the last two innings, yielding two hits and a base-on-balls.

Friday’s game: vs. Sacramento (74-59), 7:05 pm CT, Tim Cooney (12-6, 3.66)

Spotlight on – Tim Cooney. Cooney has given up two earned runs in each of his last three starts, twice in six frames and once in five. Overall, the southpaw holds batters to a .268 average, .223 versus lefties and .284 against right-handed bats.

Springfield 8 at Northwest Arkansas 5 (12)

Springfield (28-30) rallied for a tie in the ninth, eventually downing Northwest Arkansas 8-5 in 12. The S-Cards’ fifth win in a row includes the first three of four versus the Naturals.

Down 3-1 after six, the visitors went up 4-3 in the seventh only to watch Northwest Arkansas (KC) go ahead 5-4 the next inning. Greg Miclat’s RBI single in the ninth sent the game into extras, where Jonathan Rodriguez’ three-run home run put the S-Cards up for good in the 12th.

Springfield banged out 13 hits, five players accumulating multi-hit performances. Rafael Ortega took the lead, going 3-for-6 with a run scored but was also caught stealing once. Cody Stanley, Alex Mejia, Miclat and Rodriguez had two hits each with a run scored, Miclat and Stanley doubling once. Rodriguez knocked in three on his long ball, Miclat two and Stanley one.

Sam Gaviglio allowed nine of the home team’s 13 hits, tossing six innings with two free passes, resulting in three runs. Dixon Llorens’ appearance was brief with two walks and one out recorded. Mitch Harris left both of Llorens’ runners on, giving up a hit and retiring three.

Lee Stoppelman (BS, 1) was unable to get out of a runner at second with one out situation, permitting a home run to the first batter faced that was one of two hits given up in an inning. Jeremy Berg went the final 3 2/3, allowing a hit and two base-on-balls, upping his record to 2-0.

Friday’s game: at Northwest Arkansas (26-32) 7:35 pm CT, Mike Mayers (4-5, 2.94)

Spotlight on – Mike Mayers. Mayers got the win both times out against Midland on August 10th and 16th, shutting them out on four hits in seven innings the first time and giving up three runs, two earned, on 10 hits and two free passes over six in his most recent start.

Palm Beach 5 at Jupiter 3

Silfredo Garcia’s strong outing helped Palm Beach (36-23) fly over Jupiter 5-3, giving the Beach Birds a three-game series’ sweep.

Garcia (W, 7-3) held the Hammerheads to an unearned run through seven, allowing eight hits and a walk, fanning six. Logan Billbrough was charged with two runs on two hits, a base-on-balls and two wild pitches in 1/3 of an inning. Corey Baker retired both batters faced, leaving Billbrought’s last runner aboard. Ronnie Shaban retired the side in order in the ninth for his third save.

Nick Martini went 3-for-5 with three doubles and an RBI from the top of the order. Fifth-place batter David Washington was the most productive, going 2-for-4 with a double and solo bomb, two runs scored and two driven in. Mason Katz singled twice in four at bats, knocking in two from the six hole. Four other PB-Cards had one hit each.

Next up for first-place Palm Beach is third-place Bradenton (PIT), with the gap between the two squads only one game. Friday’s double-header begins with the completion of the July 6th game suspended with the Marauders up 3-1, two out and a Beach Bird aboard in the bottom of the fifth. The regularly-scheduled game follows with an estimated start time of 6:35 pm ET.

Friday’s games: vs. Bradenton (35-24). Game one – 6:35 PM ET, TBA/Jimmy Reed (5-1, 3.77)

Spotlight on – Jimmy Reed. Reed held second-place Fort Myers to two runs on four hits and three walks through five his last time out. It was an improvement over his prior start, also against the Miracle, in which the lefty was touched for six runs on seven hits and two free passes in three. This will be Reed’s initial meeting with Bradenton after seven Palm Beach starts.

Peoria 3 vs. Wisconsin 1

Rob Kaminsky struck out eight in six as Peoria (29-30) downed Wisconsin 3-1 in the first of three.

Kaminsky (W, 7-2) permitted five hits and a walk, yielding a solo bomb in his sixth and final inning of work. The 19-year-old threw 95 pitches, 65 for strikes.

A trio of Chiefs’ relievers shut down the Timber Rattlers (MIL) the rest of the way, beginning with Blake McKnight who worked around a hit and walk in the seventh. Tyler Bray struck out three in 1 2/3, giving up a hit. Kyle Barraclough fanned his only batter, stranding an inherited runner and picking up his eighth save.

Four Peoria batters each garnered two of nine team hits: C.J. McElroy, Justin Ringo, Rowan Wick and Cesar Valera. McElroy and Ringo both went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored while Wick doubled and tripled in four at bats, touching home once with an RBI. Valera singled twice in four at bats.

Friday’s game: vs. Wisconsin (31-28), 7:00 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (6-8, 3.86)

Spotlight on – Arturo Reyes. Reyes was impressive versus second-place Cedar Rapids (MIN) on August 16th, limiting them to a run on five hits and two walks in 6 1/3. On the other hand, Wisconsin torched him for seven runs in just 2 1/3 on August 9th.

State College 14 vs. Auburn 3

Two big innings launched the Spikes to a 14-3 shellacking of the Doubledays, giving State College (39-26) a 3-1 series’ win.

Spikes’ bats transformed 16 hits and four walks into 14 runs, 13 of which crossed in the sixth and seventh. All nine starters acquired at least one hit, paced by Brian O’Keefe, Jake Stone and Collin Radack, who each had three hits. O’Keefe went 3-for-3 with a double, scored twice and drove in two. Both O’Keefe and Kenny Peoples-Walls were twice was hit by pitches.

Stone and Radack posted nearly identical numbers, both going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, the only difference being that Stone knocked in three and Radack two.

Reliever Brandon Lee (W, 3-2) tossed three scoreless frames, yielding three hits and fanning three. Austin Gomber went the first four, giving up eight hits and two bases-on-balls, resulting in three tallies. The only batter to reach against Kyle Grana during his two innings on the mound was via a hit batsman.

Friday’s game: at Jamestown (30-33) (PIT), 7:05 pm ET, Daniel Poncedeleon (1-3, 3.15)

Spotlight on – Daniel Poncedeleon. Poncedeleon had a sparkling start opposite Auburn on August 15th, limited them to a run on two hits and two free passes in six. The 22-year-old faced Jamestown in his first pro start on June 20th.

Johnson City 3 at Danville 2

Johnson City (32-28) began a challenging six-game road stretch with a 3-2 victory over Danville that simultaneously knocked the Braves out of first in the East Division and gave the JC-Cards sole possession of the West’s wild card slot by a half game over Kingsport (NYM).

Four Appy Bird pitchers held Danville to three hits, starter Julio Mateo giving up a run on a hit and two walks in two. Jonathan Escudero (W, 4-1) struck out six in four innings, yielding a hit and walk that produced one tally. Anderson Gerdel followed Escudero, fanning four in two innings, permitting the final hit. Juan Caballero faced the minimum in the ninth, earning his fifth save.

A walk, two singles and Casey Grayson’s sac fly generated two Johnson City tallies in the first, the visitors adding another run in the fourth. The JC-Cards managed just six hits but matched that by working six bases-on-balls. All six hits were produced by the squad’s two, three and four batters. Number two man Oscar Mercado singled and doubled in four at bats with a free pass, scoring two of his team’s three tallies. Blake Drake doubled twice in five at bats right behind Mercado, knocking in one. Cole Lankford, the clean-up hitter, went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Friday’s game: at Danville (33-26), 7:00 pm ET, TBA

Spotlight on – Oscar Mercado. A talented shortstop with lots of upside, Mercado has a line of .225/.298/.307/.605 in 218 at bats over 53 games. The 19-year-old’s bat appears to be coming around of late with three multi-hit performances in his last five games.

GCL Cardinals 5 vs. GCL Marlins 3

The Gulf Birds defeated the Gulf Marlins 5-3 in their series’ opener on Thursday, winning for only the second time in their last 10 games. The victory keeps the GCL Cardinals (30-23) 1 ½ up on the GCL Mets with seven games to go.

The pitching quartet of Bryan Dobzanski, Nick Frey, Dylan Hawkins and Jery Then combined for a three-hitter, all three hits given up by Dobzanski. The righty struck out five over five, giving up two runs on three hits, including a solo long ball, and a free pass with a wild pitch and plunked batter.

Frey (BS, 1) permitted an unearned run in the sixth on a lead-off walk, a two-base error when his pickoff attempt went awry and sac fly. Hawkins (W, 3-1) retired all five faced, two on strikeouts. Then (S, 4) topped that by fanning all four faced.

The Gulf Cards pushed across single tallies in three of the initial four innings, then added two more in the seventh for the winning margin. Magneuris Sierra and Jake Gronsky each singled twice in four at bats, Sierra scoring once with an RBI. Shortstop Edmundo Sosa went 1-for-3 with a base-on-balls and two runs scored.

Friday’s game: at GCL Marlins (23-31), 12:00 pm ET, Ramon Santos (0-2, 5.54)

Spotlight on – Ramon Santos. Santos completed just four innings in his last start versus the Nationals, giving up six runs on five hits and four walks. He didn’t fare much better in his most recent outing against the Marlins on August 2nd, yielding four tallies on eight hits and a free pass in five. The end result was Santos’ two losses this season.

DSL Nationals 1 at DSL Cardinals 0 – game one
DSL Cardinals 1 at DSL Nationals 4 (7) – game two

The DSL Cardinals (22-48) did complete their August 20th game, resulting a double-header loss to the DSL Nationals, 1-0 and 4-1, the first game a no-hitter. Thankfully, Cincinnati’s Dominican squad lost their 10th straight, so the DSL Cardinals remain out of the cellar in ninth place.

The first game completed Wednesday’s contest that was suspended with two out in the top of the sixth. The visitors scored a seventh-inning run off Rigobert Urena (L, 1-3) who took the ball when play resumed. Urena yielded a hit and free pass in 3 1/3, throwing two wild pitches.

The other details for game one can be found in yesterday’s report.

The Dominican Birds mustered just three hits in the finale, scoring their only run on a double by Wadye Infante, sac bunt and wild pitch in the first. Infante singled and doubled in three at bats.

Sandy Alcantara took the complete game loss, giving up five hits and a free pass in six, striking out seven. Alcantara threw three wild pitches and hit two batters.

Friday’s game: at DSL Mariners (27-43), 10:30 am ET, Junior Fernandez (0-5, 5.79)

Spotlight on – Junior Fernandez. The 17-year-old is likely to make the final start of his maiden pro campaign on Friday. Fernandez has walked almost as many as he has fanned, 12 free passes to 13 strikeouts in 28 innings. He has given up 29 hits for a 1.50 WHIP and .276 batting average against and is still looking for his first professional win.

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