Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 04/10/15

Memphis garnered the system’s only win on Opening Day behind a strong offensive effort. Springfield, Palm Beach and Peoria all fell, though the Beach Birds had an excellent effort from Bruce Caldwell.

Results from games played Thursday, April 9th – Opening Day. (As always, click on the score to view each game's detailed box.)

Memphis 7 vs. Iowa 4

The Redbirds’ bats and bullpen overcame a shaky start from Marco Gonzales, resulting in a 7-4 season-opening triumph over the Cubs (CHC). It was the inaugural game for Memphis in remodeled AutoZone Park.

The come-from-behind win was a product of a 13-hit attack that saw all eight starters managing at least one hit. The Redbirds’ one through four bats had two hits apiece, led by third baseman Scott Moore and right fielder Stephen Piscotty. Clean-up batter Moore doubled twice in three at bats with a walk, run scored and two RBI while Piscotty went 2-for-4 with a double, touched home twice and drove in one.

One of shortstop Dean Anna’s two singles drove in Rafael Ortega in the fifth, the first of two tallies that frame which knotted the game at four all. Lead off man Anna scored twice and Ortega went 2-for-4 in the eight hole. Xavier Scruggs launched his first bomb of the season in the seventh, a two-run blast that capped the home team’s scoring. It was Scruggs’ only hit in four at bats. Ty Kelly had his squad’s final multi-hit game, going 2-for-5 from the two hole.

Five of the eight hits yielded by Gonzales, all singles, came in the third with Memphis clinging to a 1-0 lead, resulting in four Cubs crossing the plate. Gonzales recovered to retire the final eight faced, fanning six in six innings and tossing 85 pitches, 60 strikes.

The Redbirds’ bullpen was superb, allowing only one baserunner in the final three frames. Nick Greenwood (W, 1-0) retired all four batters faced and Marcus Hatley, facing his former team for the first time, recorded a ground out and swinging K. Mitch Harris picked up his first save of 2015, working around a two-out free pass.

Friday’s game: vs. Iowa (0-1), 7:05 pm CDT, Tim Cooney (0-0, ---)

Corpus Christi 9 at Springfield 4

Springfield (0-1) could not hold an early lead, falling at home to the Hooks (HOU) 9-4.

Breyvic Valera’s first-inning single pushed across Aledmys Diaz (double) and David Washington (walk) for a 2-0 advantage but Corpus Christi responded with tallies in the fourth through seventh to bury Springfield.

Valera and Washington each had two hits, just behind Charlie Tilson who mustered three of his team’s 11 hits. Tilson had a mixed night, going 3-for-5 with a double and RBI batting lead-off but was caught stealing once and picked off another time. Springfield went 3-for-9 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven overall.

The S-Cards’ pitching was not impressive, as all four hurlers gave up at least one run. Starter Nick Petree did not finish the fourth, allowing a three-run long ball with two out, one of the eight hits and one walk the right-hander permitted. Joe Donofrio was charged with the loss although he actually had the best results of the four pitchers. Donofrio stranded Petree’s final runner but was touched for a tally on a base-on-balls and single the next inning.

Ryan Sherriff and Jonathan Cornelius finished the game, Sherriff giving up three runs on two hits and two free passes in his only inning of work. Cornelius was charged with two tallies in the seventh, the first of his three-inning stint and permitted five hits and a walk.

Friday’s game: vs. Corpus Christi (1-0), 7:10 pm CDT, Mike Mayers (0-0, ---),

Palm Beach 3 ‘at’ Jupiter 5

Alex Reyes’ Florida State League debut was a mixed bag in his team’s 5-3 defeat at the hands of Roger Dean Stadium stablemate Jupiter (MIA).

Reyes (L, 0-1) went 4 2/3, yielding two scores each in the second and fifth, on three hits and three bases-on-balls. He struck one batter. A positive note was the 20-year-old’s 10 strikeouts.

Reyes’ final two runners crossed under Kevin Herget’s watch after the latter permitted a two-run single to the first batter faced. The righty was touched for an unearned tally later that frame. Steve Sabatino and Kyle Barraclough each tossed a scoreless frame, Sabatino giving up a hit and Barraclough a walk.

Player of the Day Bruce Caldwell generated half of the Beach Birds’ hits and two of their three runs, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and another driven in. The third baseman singled home Rowan Wick (single) to put Palm Beach up 1-0 after two, doubled in the seventh and finished the game by singling and scoring in the ninth. Centerfielder C.J. McElroy accounted for Palm Beach’s other run when he tripled in the sixth and came home on a ground out.

Friday’s game: vs. Jupiter (1-0), 6:35 pm EST, TBA

Quad Cities 7 at Peoria 3

River Bandits tallies in five separate innings transformed a Peoria lead into a defeat, as the Chiefs (0-1) dropped their season opener 7-3 to the visitors from Quad Cities (HOU).

Jack Flaherty held the opposition to a run in his full-season debut, a three-inning outing, although it was a bit rocky at times. The 19-year-old was aided in the first when catcher Steve Bean nailed two baserunners in attempted steals of second after a double, walk and fielding error produced three baserunners. Flaherty worked around a two-out free pass and wild pitch in the second but was charged with a run on a lead-off double, sac bunt and wild pitch in the third. Overall, the right-hander permitted two hits, three base-on-balls and two wild pitches. 29 of his 54 pitches went for strikes. He left the game after warming up in the fourth due to lower back discomfort.

Reliever Will Anderson gave up a run on two hits while fanning two in the fourth, his Peoria debut. Fernando Baez’ full-season premiere ended with him being charged with the loss when he could not escape his own errant pitching (two walks and a hit batsman) and shortstop Oscar Mercado’s second error of the game that generated two unearned runs. Blake McKnight had a strong outing, retiring all seven faced and stranding three inherited runners. Zach Loraine allowed three runs on four hits and a free pass in his two-inning stint.

All of Peoria’s runs came in the third on three singles, a third-strike wild pitch that put a runner on and a ground out. Five Chiefs had one hit apiece with centerfielder Magneuris Sierra responsible for two of his squad’s three tallies. Sierra singled home Blake Drake (wild pitch) and came around to score on a single by Nick Thompson. A double by Alex De Leon was the only extra-base hit.

Friday’s game: vs. Quad Cities (1-0), 7:00 pm CDT, Austin Gomber (0-0, ---) (league debut)

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