Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 5/7/15

Memphis snatched victory from the jaws of defeat on Dan Johnson’s bat, one of three wins in St. Louis’ minors on Wednesday. Palm Beach and Peoria both won but Springfield did not.

Results from games played Wednesday, May 6th.

Memphis 6 vs Colorado Springs 5

A big blow off the bat of the newest Redbird gave Memphis a 6-5 walk-off win over Colorado Springs (MIL). The Redbirds lead the four-game set, two games to one.

Veteran minor leaguer Dan Johnson, playing in just his third game since signing with Memphis (10-16), came to the plate in the home half of the ninth seeking his third hit in five at bats. The first baseman had two aboard with his team trailing by two and launched his first Redbird bomb, scoring Rafael Ortega (single) and Cody Stanley who pinch ran for Ed Easley (single). Johnson ended the night a triple short of the cycle with a run scored and four RBIs and earned our Player of the Day nod.

That home run turned Sam Tuivailala (W, 1-0) from the losing to winning pitcher after the righty surrendered two runs on two hits and a walk in the top of the frame that unraveled a 3-3 tie.

Memphis pounced for a run in the first plus two more the next inning, chasing the Sky Sox starter after just 1 1/3. Ortega, like Johnson, garnered a three-hit night, going 3-for-4 with a free pass, two runs scored and one knocked in. Singles by left fielder Xavier Scruggs and Easley accounted for the home team’s other two hits.

Colorado Springs answered with two in the fifth off John Gast who compiled his second consecutive quality start. The southpaw yielded seven hits and two base-on-balls while fanning four and exited after six in line for his second win.

That slim 3-2 lead evaporated the next inning after Dean Kiekhefer (BS, 1) was touched for a run on two hits. Keith Butler walked one in the eighth, giving way to Tuivailala.

Thursday’s game: vs Colorado Springs (9-17), 7:05 pm CT, Zach Petrick (0-3, 6.85)

Northwest Arkansas 8 at Springfield 4

Springfield (6-20) dropped an 8-4 decision to Northwest Arkansas, their fourth consecutive loss. The S-Cards trail in the series 0-2 with two remaining.

Nick Petree (L, 0-3) permitted single scores in the first and second plus two more in the sixth, his last inning of work. The four runs, three earned, came on eight hits and a walk. Petree fanned four.

Facing the Naturals for the second day in a row, and third time in a week, Chris Thomas was touched for a two-run long ball in the seventh plus two more tallies the next inning, yielding six hits in all. It was the first runs allowed to the visitors by the right-hander after 2 2/3 scoreless frames. Justin Wright issued a free pass in the ninth.

The home team’s production centered on two of their 10 hits: home runs by Anthony Garcia and David Washington that each came with a runner on. The latter singled to begin the seventh, coming home via Garcia’s first bomb of the season. Washington came back up the next frame with Mike Ohlman (single) on and sent his third long ball of 2015 over the wall in right center.

Ohlman’s single was his third hit in four at bats, joining Breyvic Valera, Alex Mejia and Washington in the multi-hit club. Valera singled and doubled in five at bats while Mejia went 2-for-3 with a double and walk. Both Valera and Mejia were charged with a defensive miscue.

Thursday’s game: vs Northwest Arkansas (17-9), 7:10 pm CT, Mike Mayers (1-3, 4.91)

Palm Beach 3 at St Lucie 0

Mason Katz’ good day at the plate led the Beach Birds (15-12) to a 3-0 win over St Lucie in the decisive third game of the series.

Katz took part in two of his team’s three runs, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a base-on-balls, touched home once and drove in another. Bruce Caldwell and catcher Jose Gonzalez both had two hits in five at bats, Caldwell knocking in one while Gonzalez doubled once with a run scored. Four other PB-Cards had one hit apiece.

Trey Nielsen (W, 3-2) blanked the Mets on three hits through five, plunked a batter and fanned four. Steve Sabatino yielded a hit with two batters retired, handing the ball off to Josh Lucas. Lucas struck out four over the next 2 1/3, giving up two hits. Kyle Barraclough erased a lead-off single in the ninth with a 6-4-3 double-play ball that finished the contest and earned Barraclough his third save.

Thursday’s game: vs Bradenton (13-14) (PIT), 6:35 pm ET, Corey Littrell (0-4, 6.35)

Peoria 2 at Clinton 0

A quartet of Chiefs’ hurlers combined on a 3-0 shutout at Clinton, giving Peoria (14-13) a two-games-to-one series’ win. The win, combined with a loss by Burlington (LAA) moves the Chiefs into a third-place tie with the Bees.

Daniel Poncedeleon fanned eight through six, scattering six hits and a free pass. It was the righty’s best performance in five 2015 starts.

The bullpen was even better, three relievers each retiring the side in order in their inning on the bump. Jhonny Polanco took the seventh while Tyler Bray and Robby Rowland each struck out two, the latter picking up his fourth save.

Peoria took an early lead when they scored one in the first and, once again, a stolen base was key. Darren Seferina singled to lead off the game then swiped second, his seventh steal. A 5-3 groundout advanced the second baseman to third before Collin Radack’s infield single to short brought Seferina in.

That is how the scoreboard remained until the seventh when Radack was plunked to open the frame. The right fielder raced to third after Nick Thompson lined a single to left, putting runners at the corners with none out. After both Justin Ringo and Luis Cruz did not bring Radack across, designated hitter Alex De Leon singled to right for the Chiefs’ final run. De Leon and Seferina each singled and doubled, accounting for four of the team’s six hits.

Thursday’s game: at Burlington (14-13), 6:30 pm CT, Dewin Perez (0-0, 3.60)

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