Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/31/14

Memphis punched its playoff ticket even though it rained in New Orleans. Newcomer Derek Gibson powered Palm Beach to a big win.

Results from games played Saturday, August 30th.

Memphis at New Orleans (suspended)

The game was suspended due to rain and will be completed on Sunday prior to the regular contest. The score was 2-2 in the fifth. Nevertheless, Nashville lost which gives Memphis the American Southern Division title via best winning percentage and a ticket to the Pacific Coast League playoffs.

Sunday’s games: Memphis (78-62) at New Orleans (68-73) 4:30 CT, Boone Whiting (4-6, 4.05 ERA)

Playoff watch – It has been quite a finishing kick by Memphis. The Redbirds are 40-15 since sitting in last place on July 3, 6 1/2 games back.

Memphis will take on either Omaha, Oklahoma City or Iowa in the best-of-five first round. The three clubs are locked in a battle for the American Northern Division crown that may go down to the last day.

The Redbirds will host semi-final games three through five (if required), with the first home game at AutoZone Park scheduled for Friday night.

Springfield 5 at Tulsa 2 (Game 1, 7 innings)

The Cardinals scored four in the top of the seventh, then Joe Donofrio slammed the door in the bottom of the inning for his 15th save of the season. Starter Kyle Hald picked up the win after going six innings, scattering 10 hits, but allowing only two runs.

Breyvic Valera singled and drove in two. Greg Garcia singled and stole a base.

Springfield 0 at Tulsa 1 (Game 2, 7 innings)

The Cardinals managed only three hits in the nightcap. Breyvic Valera and Alex Mejia both singled. Mejia added a walk and a stolen base.

Ryan Sherriff took the loss after allowing a run in 4 2/3 innings of work. Also, he contributed his team’s third hit of the night. Reliever Jeremy Berg finished the final 1 1/3 innings.

Sunday’s game: Springfield (67-71) at Tulsa (70-67), 7:05 CT, TBA

Palm Beach 11 at St. Lucie 5 (12 innings)

The Cardinals kept their playoff hopes alive with six runs in the 12th inning to break a 5-5 tie. Luke Voit doubled to bring in Derek Gibson and after the Cards batted around, Gibson then drove in the final tally.

Earlier, Gibson, in his first Florida State League game after his promotion from the Gulf Coast League, had a two-run home run in the seventh to give the Cards a one-run lead. For the game, Player of the Day Gibson walked twice and was hit by a pitch to go with a 3-for-4 performance with three RBI and three runs scored.

Palm Beach had the game won in regulation but a Bruce Caldwell throw from third pulled David Washington off the bag at first to enable the Mets to score the tying run with two out in the ninth. Kevin Herget took a blown save as a result, but stayed in the game long enough to get the win.

Starter Corey Littrell allowed four runs, three earned, in five innings of work. Dixon Llorens added three shutout innings of relief.

Sunday’s game: Palm Beach (76-62) at St. Lucie (75-62), 10:30 ET, Tyrell Jenkins (6-4, 3.09 ERA)

Playoff watch – Bradenton’s magic number to clinch is down to one with the Marauders having a doubleheader on Sunday. The Cardinals own the tiebreaker, best overall division record, but the Mets could slip in ahead of both of them if Bradenton and Palm Beach lose out on Sunday, the final day of the season.

Peoria 4 at Kane County 2

Justin Ringo had two hits including his ninth home run of the season and finished with three RBI. Rowan Wick doubled, walked, and threw a runner out at third. Richy Pedroza singled twice.

Alex Reyes had another outstanding outing. The right-hander struck out eight while allowing only one run in 6 2/3 innings. Kyle Barraclough recorded his 10th save.

Sunday’s game: Peoria (34-34) at Kane County (45-23), 6:30 CT, Luis Perdomo (3-5, 4.86 ERA)

Playoff watch – Peoria moved to within one game of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for the final second-half playoff spot in the Western Division, but Wisconsin’s magic number remains at one. A win by Wisconsin in either of the next two games over Beloit or a loss by the Chiefs in either of their last two games would eliminate Peoria, as the Timber Rattlers own the tie-breaker. Quad Cities also won Saturday to stay in a tie with the Chiefs, but need to win both remaining games and the other contenders to lose out to slip in ahead of them.

State College 12 vs. Batavia 11 (15 innings)

In the final home game of the season, Spikes fans got their money’s worth with five hours of high-scoring baseball and extra innings for the second consecutive night. This time, the home club walked off with the improbable win in the bottom of the 15th inning with three runs despite having given up two scores in the top of the frame using fill-in pitchers.

With no more arms available, manager Oliver Marmol let slugger Jake Stone pitch the 15th. After four hits, two runs and two outs, the first baseman-turned pitcher left the game with an injury. Outfielder Kenny Peoples-Walls took over on the mound and issued a walk to load the bases before collecting the final out.

In the home half of the inning, five singles did the trick, from Chase Raffield, pitcher Peoples-Walls, Luis Cruz, Brett Wiley and Colin Radack. That gave the win to Peoples-Walls.

Raffield had previously tied the game in the bottom of the ninth with a bases-loaded single after Batavia took the lead in the top half on a double against closer Kyle Grana.

For the game, Wiley went 3-for-8 with four RBI and a run scored. Radack and Alex De Leon had 3-for-7 nights with an RBI and two runs scored. Jhohan Acevedo doubled, plating two.

Starter Fernando Baez lasted only four innings, allowing two runs on four walks and four hits. Relievers Jeff Rauh and Nick Lomascolo struggled in the middle innings, yielding three runs each.

Sunday’s game: State College (45-28) at Williamsport (33-41), 5:05 ET, Trey Nielsen (3-2, 2.58 ERA)

Playoff watch – State College is now in a three-way tie with Tri-City and Hudson Valley for the best record in the New York-Penn League with two games remaining. The Spikes could be seeded anywhere from first to third in the four-team playoff format depending on the next two days’ results.

Johnson City was off

The Appalachian League playoffs start Sunday afternoon with two semi-final games.

Sunday’s game: Johnson City vs. Elizabethton, 4:00 ET, Dailyn Martinez (6-3, 4.55 ERA)

Playoff watch – In the best of three format, second-place Johnson City gets the first game at home, followed by road contest(s) at the Twins.

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