Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 5/8/15

St. Louis’ top three teams all put one in the win column on Thursday. Memphis and Palm Beach prevailed in tight pitching duels, the latter behind Corey Littrell’s stellar outing, while Springfield bombed its way to victory. Peoria was blanked.

Results from games played Thursday, May 7th.

Memphis 2 vs. Colorado Springs 1

The Redbirds parlayed timely hitting and stingy pitching into a 2-1 win over the Sky Sox. As a result Memphis (11-16) claimed its first series of 2015.

Limited to just three hits and two free passes, the home squad managed single scores in the first and eighth. A bases-loaded sac fly by Xavier Scruggs brought in Dean Anna (single), giving Memphis a 1-0 advantage they held until the fifth. Ed Easley later singled home Ty Kelly (walk) after the latter took advantage of a throwing error by the opposing pitcher on a sac bunt to take third.

Zach Petrick copied the his May 2nd six-frame, one-run outing at New Orleans, yielding four hits and two walks while fanning five. Tyler Waldron tossed a scoreless seventh before Marcus Hatley struck out four over the final two innings, improving his record to 1-1.

Friday’s game: vs. New Orleans (12-13) (MIA), 7:05 pm CT, Kyle Hald (0-1, 5.40)

Springfield 13 vs. Northwest Arkansas 8

Springfield (7-20) played prevailed in what turned out to be ‘Long Ball Night’ at Hammonds Field, smashing their way past Northwest Arkansas 13-8, a team they trail 2-1 in the series with one to go.

Eight of the S-Cards’ 13 runs were generated by four home runs off the bats of three players. Both of David Washington’s hits went over the wall, a three-run bomb in the first plus a solo shot in the sixth. Jacob Wilson mustered his own solo bomb, going 1-for-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. The biggest blow came from Anthony Garcia whose three-run blast capped a seven-run seventh that flipped an 8-6 deficit into the final score.

Garcia joined Nick Martini and Washington with two hits apiece. Martini singled twice in four at bats with a walk, crossed twice and drove in one. Charlie Tilson led both the batting order and the 13-hit parade, going 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and his 11th stolen base of the season.

Springfield’s bats bailed out Mike Mayers whose six-inning outing got off to a rocky start after he put his team in a 5-0 hole midway through one. Five of the seven tallies surrendered by the 23-year-old resulted from three home runs. Mayers gave up six hits and a walk in all, fanning a season-high eight Naturals.

Jordan Swagerty picked up his first win in as many decisions despite allowing a solo shot in the seventh. Just activated, Swagerty's appearance was his first since 2013 and his first win since 2011 due to a series of elbow injuries. Joe Donofrio and Heath Wyatt each tossed a scoreless frame, Donofrio walking one and Wyatt permitting a hit.

Friday’s game: vs. Northwest Arkansas (17-10) (KC), 7:10 pm CT, Thomas Lee (1-2, 9.00)

Palm Beach 1 vs. Bradenton 0

Corey Littrell’s mound gem allowed the Beach Birds (16-12) to slip past the Marauders 1-0 in the series’ opener.

Littrell, our Player of the Day, posted season bests in every pitching category, spinning eight frames of shutout ball to earn his first win in five decisions. The southpaw struck out seven, giving up five hits and not issuing a free pass for a game score of 79. Kyle Barraclough finished the game, sandwiching strikeouts around a two-out single for his fourth save.

The game’s entire offense came in the third when Juan Herrera reached on a one-out single, advanced to third on a throwing error that allowed C.J. McElroy to get on and raced home via Mason Katz’ sac fly. The tally was unearned. McElroy and Luke Voit both singled twice, the former in five at bats and the latter in four. Herrera’s single accounted for the team’s other hit.

Editor’s note: I was at this game. Littrell pitched his best since becoming a Cardinal in the John Lackey trade last July. Though his fastball barely touched 90, he threw a lot of very effective sliders in the 78-80 mph range and mixed in a 68 mph curve. Barraclough was impressive closing out the win, sporting a 95-97 mph heater.

Palm Beach’s victory was even more impressive when noting the opposing pitcher was MLB rehabber Clayton Richard. On this day at least, Littrell matched the big-leaguer pitch for pitch.

Friday’s game: vs. Bradenton (13-15) (PIT), 6:35 pm ET, Will Anderson (1-0, 1.13)

Peoria 0 at Burlington 9

A bad night for two Chiefs’ hurlers resulted in a 9-0 loss in the first of three. The defeat by Peoria (14-14) snapped a third-place tie with Burlington (LAA).

Things got ugly pretty quickly for Dewin Perez (L, 0-1) who recorded just four outs. The 20-year-old was touched for six runs on four hits and three base-on-balls, all of the runs crossing in the seven-run second.

Blake McKnight was unable to escape a bases-loaded one-out jam that inning, serving up a grand slam to his first batter that cleared the bases. McKnight was touched for three runs, two earned, on four hits and a walk over 3 1/3.

Kevin Alexander struck out three in 2 1/3, the only batter to reach against the righty coming as a result of a hit batsman. Nick Lomascolo fanned two in the eighth, giving up a hit.

Five different Chiefs had one hit each, all singles.

Friday’s game: at Burlington (15-13), 6:30 pm CT, Matt Pearce (1-2, 3.43)

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