Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/27/14

The GCL Cards clinched while Springfield was eliminated. Richy Pedroza helped give Peoria a DH split on a 6-3 Tuesday across the system. Memphis and Johnson City helped their playoff chances with wins.

Results from games played Tuesday, August 26th.

Memphis 9 vs. Fresno 6

Memphis trailed by four runs going into the bottom of the sixth and turned the game in their favor with seven runs over the next three frames to take the four-game series over the Fresno Grizzlies (SF). The Redbirds are up 3-0 with one game remaining.

The biggest key to this win was from the offense’s ability to hit with runners in scoring position, as they went 6-for-12. Xavier Scruggs, Luis Mateo, and Audry Perez combined for six of Memphis’ nine runs with Tommy Pham, Mike O’Neill, and newcomer Rafael Ortega adding the three remaining RBI.

Starter Boone Whiting pitched 4 1/3 innings, yielding six earned runs on eight hits and five strikeouts. The bullpen was in shutdown mode until the end, combining for 4 ? scoreless from Heath Wyatt, Dean Kiekhefer, David Aardsma, and Jorge Rondon.

Wednesday’s game: Memphis (76-61) vs. Fresno (65-73), 8:05 ET, Tim Cooney (13-6, 3.55)

Playoff watch – With Nashville on a two-game losing streak, Memphis has extended its division lead to two games with eight remaining.

Arkansas 5 at Springfield 4

Springfield battled late with four runs in the last three innings but came up just short in the series-opener against the 2nd half division winner Arkansas Travelers (LAA). With the loss, Springfield is the first Cardinals US affiliate to be officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The offense didn’t get much of a shot with runners in scoring position as most of the production came via the long ball. Jonathan Rodriguez and David Popkins went deep with Rodriguez’s a solo shot and Popkins’ a two-run blast.

It was a tough task for Sam Gaviglio to make a start that would decide whether or not his team has a shot at postseason for another day. Gaviglio did his part, tossing 6 ? innings of one-run ball with a walk and seven strikeouts but the Springfield bullpen absolutely imploded in the eighth.

Sam Tuivailala was hammered, allowing four runs (two earned due to a Rodriguez throwing error) on three hits and two walks in just ? of an inning.

Wednesday’s game: Springfield (63-70) vs. Arkansas (72-62), 8:10 ET, Mike Mayers (5-5, 2.94)

Playoff watch – Officially eliminated, the Cards will play for pride the rest of the way. The arrival of Michael Wacha, Yadier Molina and Greg Garcia from St. Louis provide additional interest.

Palm Beach 2 at Jupiter 1 Game one, seven innings

Palm Beach rallied for two runs in the top of the seventh inning to move ahead and secured the win after Logan Billbrough’s scoreless bottom of the inning that gave him his first save at High-A Palm Beach.

Announced as one of the Cardinals’ Arizona Fall League representatives on Tuesday, Tyrell Jenkins continued his excellent streak of pitching with six innings as the righty allowed just one unearned run. Jenkins walked three and struck out six with eight groundouts induced off his emerging sinker from an arsenal filled with potential.

Big first baseman David Washington started the fire in the two-run seventh by going solo yard before Gerwuins Velazco put the Cards ahead with an RBI single.

Palm Beach 2 at Jupiter 3 Game two, seven innings (August 25 make up)

Palm Beach jumped off to a fast start with two runs in the first inning but could not get any further offense and fell in the makeup game to the Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA).

Thomas Lee pitched well, but not well enough to earn the win, earning a no-decision. Lee went five innings and yielded two earned runs on six hits, did not walk a batter and struck out one. Iden Nazario was the losing pitcher (L, 5-1), giving up two hits which lead to the game-winning run in the sixth.

All the offense was produced in the first inning off of Bruce Caldwell RBI force-out and Luke Voit RBI triple scoring Caldwell.

Wednesday's game: Palm Beach (75-59) at Jupiter (48-84), 6:35 ET, Silfredo Garcia (7-3, 3.72)

Playoff watch – Second-place Bradenton (PIT) lost, with them lurking one game behind the Cards (39-26) in the FSL South second-half race.

Peoria 5 at Clinton 7 Game one, seven innings

Peoria scored in all but three innings but they let defensive miscues get the best of them with four errors in their game one loss.

Luis Perdomo had a bleeder of an outing, leaving after only 3 2/3 innings. Perdomo allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits and two strikeouts. Blake McKnight followed to allow two more earned runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings while Chase Brookshire pitched the only clean outing of any Chiefs’ pitcher in the game.

Justin Ringo led the offensive charge, going a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and a run scored. Ringo was the only Chiefs’ hitter to record more than two hits and accounted for half of the team’s hits. C.J McElroy knocked in two runners with a single while Michael Schulze added an RBI single.

Peoria 7 at Clinton 0 Game two, seven innings (August 25 make up)

Peoria poured on seven runs and received stellar pitching by Rob Kaminsky and Kyle Barraclough to salvage one game of the doubleheader.

Kaminsky allowed only four hits in six shutout frames, the hard-thrower with a knee-buckling breaking ball walked two and struck out two. Kyle Barraclough finished the game with two strikeouts and a lineout induced for a scoreless seventh inning.

Peoria’s bottom part of the lineup stepped up in a big way with Rowan Wick, Ronnierd Garcia, and Richy Pedroza producing seven of the Chiefs’ 11 hits and five of the seven runs driven in. Garcia had two RBI and Pedroza having three on the night. Pedroza is our Player of the Day with his three hits and three RBI performance.

Wednesday’s game: Peoria (68-65) vs. Beloit (52-81), 6:30 CT, Arturo Reyes (6-8, 3.74)

Playoff watch – With seven games to go, Peoria is competing with Wisconsin and Quad Cities (HOU) for the wild card spot. The Chiefs and River Bandits are three games behind the Timber Rattlers (MIL), who won again Tuesday night.

State College 6 at Mahoning Valley 2

State College was all over the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (CLE), scoring two runs in the third inning, sixth inning, and eighth inning to beat out the Scrappers’ for the two-game series sweep.

The Spikes’ only had six hits but those hits couldn’t have come at any better time with three successful attempts out of eight with runners in scoring position. Danny Diekroeger started with a two-run double in the third, then Nick Thompson added on two with a single in the sixth, and Brian O’Keefe and Brett Willey finished off the scoring with O’Keefe hitting a run-scoring single and Wiley grounding out for an RBI.

Dewin Perez yielded two earned runs on three hits in five solid innings of work. Perez walked only two and struck out three, earning his sixth win as a Spike. Joe Scanio and Josh Lucas combined for four scoreless innings to close out the successful series.

Wednesday’s game: State College (43-27) vs. Williamsport (31-38), 7:05 ET, Austin Gomber (0-2, 3.27)

Playoff watch – The Spikes do not yet know the identity of their first-round opponent. There is incentive to keep winning as home field advantage follows the best record. In the four-team first round, the winningest division winner plays the wild card, while the other two division leaders face off.

Johnson City 3 at Kingsport 2

Johnson City capitalized on Kingsport’s mistakes, scoring two unearned runs in the fifth that were the difference in the 3-2 win over the Mets’ rookie-ball affiliate.

In the fifth, Casey Turgeon scored on a wild pitch to tie the game and Blake Drake broke the deadlock with a solo blast. Oscar Mercado got on board with a walk in the first inning, swiped his 25th bag, advanced on a fly out, and came home on a wild pitch to get the scoring started.

Matt Pearce gave up two runs (one earned) on seven hits in four innings in a no-decision. Kevin Carlow earned his second win by throwing two scoreless and Kender Villegas picked up the save with three scoreless innings pitched.

Wednesday’s game: Johnson City (35-30) vs. Greeneville (31-31), 7:00 ET, TBA

Playoff watch – With three games remaining, Johnson City’s win over their division rival was huge. They are just one game back of first-place Elizabethton and opened up a two-game lead over Kingsport for the West Division wild card slot.

GCL Cardinals 2, Mets 1

The Gulf Cardinals clinched their second division title in three years as Ronnie Williams pitched one of the better outings of his young pro career. In five shutout innings, Williams walked two and struck out five but did not get the win due to Kevin Alexander allowing the game-tying run to score during of his two innings of work.

The Cards tied the game with a single run in the seventh off an errant pickoff attempt with the bases loaded. They walked off to culminate a ninth inning rally as Eliezer Alvarez tripled and came home on Magneuris Sierra’s single. Sierra and Alvarez combined for four of the Cardinals’ five hits.

Tyler Dunnington (W, 2-2), picked up the win with the final two scoreless innings. He walked one and fanned two while lowering his ERA to 3.41 on the season.

Wednesday’s games: Doubleheader, GCL Cardinals (34-23) at GCL Nationals (25-32), 10:00 AM, TBA

Playoff watch – With three games remaining, the Cardinals await their first-round playoff opponent, one of the other three GCL division winners to be determined.

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