Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 5/17/15

In an interesting night in the Cardinals system, a shutout, a blowout, a comeback, and extra innings were on the menu. Memphis kept Omaha scoreless behind a strong performance by starter Tim Cooney. Springfield’s bad pitching led to a blowout by NW Arkansas. Peoria came back after falling behind 6-1. The Palm Beach game went into extra innings, in which the Cardinals prevailed.

Our Player of the Day is Memphis starting pitcher Tim Cooney, who pitched a one-hitter into the eighth inning of the shutout.

Results for games played Saturday, May 16th

Memphis 5, Omaha 0

Tim Cooney made the start for Memphis and had a strong showing, pitching 7 2/3 innings, yielding no runs on one hit, six strikeouts and two walks.

Memphis got on the board in the bottom of the first on a solo home run by Ed Easley. In the bottom of the fourth, Memphis scored two additional runs. It got started with a single to right off the bat of Stephen Piscotty. Dan Johnson drew a walk, before Piscotty and Johnson were advanced another base on a ground out from Scott Moore. Matt Williams walked, loading the bases. Mike O’Neill followed up with a single to center, scoring Piscotty and Johnson, but Williams was thrown out trying to advance to third base, for the final out of the inning.

The bottom of the fifth got interesting. Ty Kelly singled to right, then Easley walked. With Piscotty batting, the Omaha pitcher balked, advancing Kelly and Easley. Piscotty walked to load the bases. There was a coaching visit to the mound and both the pitching coach and the manager for the Storm Chasers were ejected by the home plate umpire (maybe some magic words were uttered?). A sacrifice double play followed in which Kelly scored before Easley was thrown out at third. The score then stood at 4-0 in favor of the Redbirds.

In the bottom of the eighth, a solo home run by Johnson brought the score to 5-0.

Reliever Marcus Hatley came in with two outs in the eighth and finished the game for Memphis.

Sunday’s games: Doubleheader vs. Omaha, Game 1, Nick Greenwood (2-1 10.53) 1:35 CDT; Game 2, John Gast (1-2 4.97) following the end of Game 1.

Springfield 2 at NW Arkansas 10

Thomas Lee started for Springfield, going four innings and giving up four runs on seven hits, including a home run, with four strikeouts and one walk.

NW Arkansas scored one run in each of the first four innings. The first inning run was scored when the Naturals leadoff hitter doubled to right field. The next batter reached on a fielder’s choice out, Lee to first baseman David Washington, who threw the first runner out at third. In the next at bat, the runner at first stole second, then advanced to third on a wild pitch. A single off the bat of the next Naturals batter brought the runner at third home.

In the bottom of the second, two singles, a sac bunt and a sac fly brought the second run home for NW Arkansas. In the bottom of the third, Lee surrendered a solo home run. In the bottom of the fourth, a walk, a stolen base, and a single to right plated his fourth and final run.

Reliever Chris Thomas came into the game in the fifth inning, and left it scoreless, with a walk and a stolen base as the only blemish.

The Cardinals got on the board in the top of the sixth. Nick Martini singled to right, Anthony Garcia walked, and Aledmys Diaz single to right, scoring Martini.

Thomas struck out the side in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Alex Mejia drew a walk, then Charlie Tilson singled to center, Mejia to second. Nick Martini grounded into a force out, Mejia scoring from second on a double play attempt, a throwing error by the shortstop to first base.

At this point, Springfield had reduced the Naturals lead to two runs. Then, in the eighth, Jordan Swagerty entered to relieve Thomas. That is when it got ugly. After retiring the first batter on a fly ball to right, Swagerty yielded a home run, followed by a double to left field. Next came a wild pitch, a triple, a single and a walk. When the smoke cleared, three runs had scored and two more batters were on base.

Enter Corey Baker to relieve. Two successive force attempts followed, each with a throwing error, by first baseman David Washington, and second baseman Jacob Wilson. In the ensuing melee, two more runs scored. A single by the next batter scored the sixth, and mercifully the last, run of the inning.

The Cardinals’ offense ended the game in the ninth in striking fashion, by striking out three times. Game over.

Sunday’s game: at NW Arkansas, Arturo Reyes (0-1 5.68) 2:05 CDT

Palm Beach 8 at Bradenton 6

Palm Beach starter Jimmy Reed had a short outing, pitching only 3 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits, two strikeouts and no walks.

Palm Beach’s offense went to town in the top of the first inning. Mason Katz singled to left. Bruce Caldwell followed with a single to center. Luke Voit walked, loading the bases. Jimmy Bosco hit an infield single, scoring Katz. Carson Kelly plated Caldwell on a sac fly, then Brett Wiley walked. That knocked the Bradenton starter out of the game. Rowan Wick greeted the reliever with a grand slam to right field. The inning ended on a Juan Herrera pop out, the Cardinals having scored 6 runs.

The rain came some time during the bottom of the first, causing a delay. After the game resumed, Bradenton scored two runs in the bottom of the second on three doubles.

In the bottom of the fourth, two singles, a throwing error by Katz, and a sac fly resulted in a third run for the Marauders. Reed came out of the game and was relieved by Tyler Melling, who induced a double play for the final two outs of the inning.

Bradenton scored two more runs off Melling in the bottom of the fifth; two singles, a sac bunt, a walk and a wild pitch scored the first run. Another single plated the second.

Palm Beach was unable to score in the final eight innings following the six-run first inning. In the bottom of the ninth, Bradenton tied the game. A single off reliever Josh Lucas, followed by a throwing error on a pickoff attempt, sent the runner to third. A sacrifice fly scored the tying run.

The game went to extra innings. The 10th inning was scoreless. In the top of the 11th, Herrera singled, C.J. McElroy singled, and Katz singled. Bruce Caldwell popped out, then Voit singled, scoring both Herrera and McElroy. Jimmy Bosco flew out to end the rally, but the Cardinals were ahead 8-6.

Steve Sabatino relieved Lucas in the bottom of the 111th. The first batter singled, but Sabatino retired the next two batters. Sabatino then walked the next hitter, but the Marauders rally ended on a strike out as Sabatino earned his first save.

Sunday’s game: at Bradenton, Alex Reyes (1-2 1.95) 12:00 CDT

Peoria 8, Beloit 6

Peoria starter Fernando Baez pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, four strikeouts and three walks.

Baez began the top of the first by yielding a triple to the first batter. The next Snappers batter singled him home.

Peoria tied it up in the bottom of the inning. Oscar Mercado doubled to left field and then stole third base. Danny Diekroeger doubled to left, scoring Mercado, but Diekroeger was left stranded.

In the top of the second, Baez surrendered two singles, a double and a sacrifice fly as Beloit put two more runs on the board. In the top of the fifth, after retiring the first two batters, Baez walked the next batter. He was removed from the game.

Reliever Nick Lomascolo entered. After a throwing error by Lomascolo, a hit by pitch, a walk and a single, the walk by Baez came home to score, as well as a runner allowed by Lomascolo. A single then plated the third run of the inning. At that point, the score was 6-1 in favor of Beloit.

But the Chiefs didn’t give up. In the bottom of the sixth, Steve Bean singled to right and advanced to second on a fielding error. Alex De Leon walked, Luis Cruz grounded into a force out as Bean scored.

In the bottom of the seventh, Casey Turgeon singled to center, and a wild pitch sent him to second base. Mercado reached on an error, and Turgeon scored. Mercado advanced to second on a balk. Diekroeger singled to center, scoring Mercado. Bean singled and De Leon walked, loading the bases. Cruz was hit by a pitch, scoring Diekroeger. The score then stood at 6-5 in favor of Beloit.

In the bottom of the eighth, Magneuris Sierra singled on a ground ball to third base. Diekroeger walked. Collin Radack then blasted a three-run homer to left. The Chiefs were now on top 8-6.

Kyle Grana relieved Lomascolo in the eighth and pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Robby Rowland came in with two outs in the ninth after Grana gave up a single to get the final out. It was Grana’s first win of the year and Rowland’s seventh save.

Sunday’s game: vs. Beloit, Luis Perdomo (1-2 2.20) 5:00 CDT

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