Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 6/18/15

Memphis and Peoria hit their way to victory on Wednesday, the only two wins in the system. Alex Reyes was the Whiff King for Palm Beach but it was not enough to prevent the loss. Springfield and the DSL Birds lost as well.

Results from games played Wednesday, June 17th.

Memphis 7 at Nashville 5

Stephen Piscotty powered the Redbirds to a 7-5 series-clinching win over Nashville.

Piscotty accounted for four of the runs scored by Memphis (36-31), going 2-for-4 with a walk and stolen base. His two-run home run, his eighth of the season, was part of a three-run third which gave the visitors a lead they never relinquished. Xavier Scruggs capped the frame with a solo shot, his only hit in four at bats. Piscotty scored three times. Dan Johnson singled twice in five at bats, scoring one and driving in another, for two more of the team’s nine hits in all.

Both long balls came off MLB veteran Barry Zito, who was charged with his sixth loss in 10 decisions. Zito and Memphis starter Tim Cooney each tossed 6 2/3 innings, yielding six hits apiece. But Cooney limited the Sounds to only one walk and one home run in that span, the latter coming with none aboard. Memphis’ southpaw struck out eight, gave up three runs and picked up his sixth win against three losses.

Marcus Hatley, Dean Kiekhefer and Sam Tuivailala finished the game. Hatley retired three batters, permitting an unearned run on three hits and a base-on-balls. Kiekhefer fanned his only batter faced, leaving the sacks jammed in the eighth. Tuivailala gave up a hit and walk, resulting in a run, for his 11th save.

Thursday’s game: at first-place (American Northern) Oklahoma City (43-22) (LAD), 7:05 pm CT, Zach Petrick (4-4, 3.91)

Northwest Arkansas 9 at Springfield 3

A rough start by Kyle Hald resulted in Springfield’s 9-3 loss to Northwest Arkansas (KC) in the first of four.

Three of the four innings in which Hald was on the mound produced multiple tallies, the sum being seven runs on a base-on-balls and seven hits, including three home runs. The 26-year-old is winless in four decisions.

Iden Nazario shut down the Naturals through three, striking out four while yielding two hits. The news is not good on the Jordan Swagerty front, however. Swagerty permitted two tallies on three hits – one of them a solo shot – and a walk in the eighth. It was the righty’s fourth consecutive appearance in which he gave up more than one run. Ronnie Shaban fanned two of three in the ninth.

Newly-added Texas League All-Star outfielder Nick Martini went 3-for-4 for the S-Cards (27-38), garnering a third of his squad’s hits. Martini added his second blast of 2015, but unfortunately there was no one on base. Six other Springfield players had one hit each.

Thursday’s game: vs. Northwest Arkansas (39-26), 7:10 pm CT, Kurt Heyer (1-0, 5.19)

Dunedin 5 at Palm Beach 1

Alex Reyes’ solid start was not supported offensively, as Palm Beach (31-35) dropped a 5-1 decision to Dunedin. The Beach Birds have a two-games-to-one lead in the series with one to go.

Player of the Day Reyes (L, 2-6) struck out a career-best 13 Blue Jays through six but did not receive enough assistance from his team’s bats to overcome the three runs, two earned, he yielded. Two of the three scores occurred in the first and the final tally crossed in the sixth. Reyes gave up five hits and a free pass.

Cody Schumacher served up a two-run long ball in his second inning of work, one of two hits he permitted. Schumacher fanned three. Tyler Melling retired the side in order in the ninth.

The home team mustered a sorry four hits, their sole run coming in the first. C.J. McElroy was hit by a pitch, advanced to third on Brett Wiley’s single and scored on a 6-4-3 double play. Not one Palm Beach player worked a free pass.

Thursday’s game: vs. Dunedin (30-36), 12:05 pm ET, Trey Nielsen (6-4, 1.95)

Peoria 8 at Beloit 3

The Chiefs (32-33) bombed their way to an 8-3 victory over the Snappers, clinching the three-game series with one yet to play.

Peoria banged out 15 hits, including four home runs that generated six of the team’s eight runs. Three of those blasts came in the sixth, turning a 3-2 deficit into an 8-3 lead.

Oscar Mercado got the launch party started in the first when he sent his second home run of 2015 over the left field wall with Vaughn Bryan (error) aboard. Alex De Leon, Nick Thompson and Andrew Sohn went yard back-to-back-to-back five innings later, De Leon doing it with a runner on.

Mercado added a double to his long ball in five at bats, scored two and knocked in two. Thompson went 2-for-4 with a solo bomb while Sohn homered once in two at bats after pinch running for Ronald Castillo in the fifth and taking over as the designated hitter.

Lead-off batter Darren Seferina and number nine hitter Blake Drake had three hits in five and four at bats, respectively. Seferina doubled twice and Drake scored once.

Starter Austin Gomber was serviceable over five, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk, one of the hits a home run with the bases clean. Gomber (W, 6-3) struck out six.

Nick Lomascolo, Josh Wirsu and Robby Rowland shared relief pitching duties over the last four innings. Lomascolo issued a free pass and hit a batter in the sixth before handing the ball off to Wirsu. Wirsu worked around two hits and two bases-on-balls in two, the full-season debut for the 2014 draftee who pitched for Johnson City last season. Rowland struck out the side in the ninth.

Thursday’s game: at Beloit (25-41) (OAK), 7:00 pm CT, Jack Flaherty (1-1, 1.96)

DSL Cardinals 5 at DSL Angels 6

Five runs against the Angels’ bullpen was not enough to prevent a 6-5 loss to the DSL Angels (9-7) on Wednesday.

Oneiver Diaz (L, 1-3) was charged with five runs, four earned, on six hits and a walk in 5 2/3. Diaz fanned five and plunked two. Right-hander Edwar Ramirez gave up two hits and a base-on-balls in 1 1/3, resulting in an unearned tally. Lefty Diego Cordero permitted a hit in his inning on the mound. The 17-year-old has yet to be scored upon in four appearances covering four innings. (I know it’s a small sample size but this is noteworthy for Dominican ball.)

Down 5-0 after six, the DSL Cardinals (7-9) pushed across two in the seventh plus three more in the ninth. Their rally fell just short as they left the potential tying run just 90 feet away.

It was not for lack of effort, however, as they generated 12 hits that were disbursed among seven starters. Centerfielder Wadye Infante and shortstop Edwin Figuera singled three times in five and four at bats, respectively. Infante knocked in two while Figuera came home twice with an RBI. First baseman Daniel Gomez scored twice after singling and doubling in three at bats, one of two Cards hits to go for extra bases.

Thursday’s game: vs. DSL Astros Orange (4-12), 10:30 am ET, tandem of Ronald Medrano (1-0, 0.77)/Estarlin Arias (0-1, 2.79)

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