Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/8/15

St. Louis’ minors split their eight-game schedule right down the middle with four up and four down. Memphis, Springfield, Peoria and the DSL squad all notched wins – the Chiefs led by Matt Pearce’s noteworthy effort. Palm Beach, State College, Johnson City and the GCL Cardinals did not fare as well.

Results from games played Friday, August 7th.

Memphis 7 at Nashville 4

The Redbirds generated 15 hits in their 7-4 victory over the Sounds in the third of five games in Nashville. Memphis (60-54) trails in the series, two games to one, and in the standings by four games to Round Rock (TEX).

Rafael Ortega and Tommy Pham each had three hits in five at bats with a run scored, Ortega doubling twice. Dan Johnson, Jeremy Hazelbaker and Alex Mejia had two hits with Johnson and Cody Stanley going yard.

Zach Petrick (W, 7-5) was solid for Memphis, tossing 6 1/3 frames and allowing three runs on nine hits, a walk and a hit batsman. He fanned five.

Miguel Socolovich and Sam Tuivailala were the relief help, with Socolovich giving up a run on a triple and sac fly in 1 2/3. Tuivailala retired the side in order in the ninth for his 15th save.

Saturday’s game: at third-place Nashville (51-63), 6:35 pm CT, John Gast (5-8, 5.08)

Springfield 2 vs. Arkansas 1

The S-Cards walked off with a 2-1 win over the Travelers on Friday, taking a two-games-to-none lead in their four-game set. Another win by second-place Springfield (22-20) over first-place Arkansas would tie them atop the North Division.

For most of the evening, it looked like reliever Thomas Lee would take a tough loss after he yielded a fifth-inning run, the first of his 2 2/3-inning stint. But Springfield finally broke through in the home half of the ninth, giving them the walk-off victory.

Bruce Caldwell was plunked to begin the frame, racing to third on Aledmys Diaz’ second double of the night. Nick Martini’s 4-3 ground out scored Caldwell, tying the game at one all. Mike O’Neill’s two-out single to right brought Diaz in.

The bats were held to just three hits to that point, Diaz the only player with more than one. Charlie Tilson swiped his 39th bag and Martini was caught trying to steal.

Chris Perry picked up his first win, against one loss, striking out four over 2 1/3, permitting one hit. Both Lee and Perry pitched in relief of Kyle Hald, who scattered five hits and a walk over four scoreless innings.

Saturday’s game: vs. Arkansas (23-19), 6:10 pm CT, Andrew Morales (4-6, 5.23)

Fort Myers 13 at Palm Beach 5

Corey Littrell went just five plus in the Beach Birds’ 13-5 defeat by Fort Myers in the first of three contests. Despite the loss, the PB-Cards remain atop the South Division, two ahead of Bradenton (PIT).

Littrell (L, 6-8) surrendered 11 hits that produced seven runs. Silfredo Garcia could not finish the sixth, giving up two hits and a free pass that plated Littrell’s final runner plus one of his own while recording two outs.

Tyler Melling provided a respite from the Miracle scoring, striking out six over 2 1/3 and giving up just one hit. Lee Stoppelman was shelled for five runs on two hits and four walks in 2/3 of an inning. In his second bullpen appearance after 15 starts, Trey Nielsen got the last out but not before two of three inherited runners scored via the two hits he yielded.

Palm Beach (27-13) banged out 12 hits and drew three bases-on-balls but left 10 on base. Robelys Reyes and Collin Radack had three hits in five at bats, Reyes scoring once and Radack doubling twice with two runs scored and two RBI.

Brett Wiley and Mason Katz had two hits in five and four at bats, respectively. Wiley doubled once, scored once and drove in one while Katz worked a free pass and knocked in one.

Saturday’s game: vs. Fort Myers (23-19), 5:35 pm ET, Daniel Poncedeleon (4-0, 1.39)

Peoria 2 vs. Fort Wayne 0

Single scores in the sixth and seventh lifted Peoria over Fort Wayne, 2-0, in the series’ opener. With their fourth straight victory, the second-place Chiefs (28-13) have closed to within two of Kane County (ARI). Unfortunately, Quad Cities (HOU) is right there with them, tied for second, having won 11 in a row.

Six Chiefs had one hit each but the difference maker was Nick Thompson’s 14th double of 2015 that scored Paul DeJong (hit by pitch) in the sixth. The team added another tally the next frame after Kenny Peoples-Walls walked and scored on a fielding error that allowed DeJong to reach. Both runs were unearned.

Player of the Day Matt Pearce (W, 8-9) shut down the first-place (Eastern) Tin Caps over 6 1/3, giving up six hits and two walks on 78 pitches, 53 of them strikes. The free passes ended Pearce’s Midwest League walk-free record streak at 54 1/3 innings.

Cody Schumacher held down the fort over 1 2/3, stranding Pearce’s last runner. Kyle Grana faced the minimum in the ninth, earning his 18th save.

Saturday’s game: vs. Fort Wayne (24-17), 6:30 pm CT, Ian McKinney (league debut)

State College 1 at West Virginia 4

State College (22-24) managed just four hits in their 4-1 loss to West Virginia that evened the series at one game each. The Spikes are tied with Auburn (WSH) for third, 7 ½ in back of Williamsport (PHI).

The Spikes’ seven, eight and nine batters supplied the offense: Jesse Jenner, Ronnierd Garcia and Craig Aikin. Jenner went 2-for-2 with a run scored, driven in by Aikin. Garcia and Aikin each singled once in three at bats.

Carson Cross (L, 1-2) hurled 5 1/3 innings, yielding all four tallies on nine hits. Tyler Bray allowed two hits in 2 2/3, leaving Cross’ last runner on.

Saturday’s game: at West Virginia (24-23), 7:05 pm ET, Jacob Evans (1-1, 1.29)

Johnson City 0 at Kingsport 4

Brennan Leitao’s first start for Johnson City (21-21) did not go well, resulting in a 4-0 loss to Kingsport in the series’ opener. The loss combined with two wins by first-place Greeneville (HOU) leaves the second-place JC-Cards two games behind the Astros.

Leitao (L, 0-1) took the mound for the first time since being reassigned from short-season-A State College, making his first start after eight relief appearances for the Spikes. The righty was charged with three runs on six hits in four frames with six strikeouts.

Steven Farinaro permitted an unearned run on three hits in two, fanning three. Ismael Brito struck out two in two innings, giving up a hit.

The JC-Cards were held to just two hits and two bases-on-balls. Chris Chinea got one of each in four plate appearances and Edmundo Sosa went 1-for-4.

Saturday’s game: at Kingsport (21-22), 7:00 pm ET, Ryan Helsey (0-0, 0.87)

GCL Mets 6 at GCL Cardinals 5

Gulf Birds’ pitchers could not hold two leads, as the Cards fell to the first-place Mets, 6-5. The second-place GCL Cardinals (21-19) trail in the four-game series two games to one and 1 1/2 games in the standings.

The home squad pushed across two in the third but the visitors plated three off starter David Oca in his sixth and final inning of work. Oca yielded seven hits and a walk, fanning seven.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Gulf Cardinals scored twice to go back up 4-3 but that lead evaporated the very next frame when Estarlin Arias (L, 3-3) permitted two tallies. Arias gave up what proved the difference maker in the ninth. Like Oca, only two of the three runs charged to Arias were earned. He gave up five hits and a base-on-balls over three.

The GCL Cardinals’ seven hits were spread among six players, with Allen Cordoba the only one with a multi-hit game. The shortstop singled twice in four at bats, touching home once and stealing his fourth base. Catcher Ryan McCarvel swung the most productive bat, going 1-for-3 with a run scored and two knocked in. He was plunked once as well.

Saturday’s game: at GCL Mets (23-18), 10:00 am ET, TBA

DSL Cardinals 12 at DSL Nationals 2

All nine Dominican Birds had at least one hit and a run scored as the DSL Cardinals (26-33) thumped the DSL Nationals, 12-2. The fourth-place Cards have been eliminated from play-off contention.

Starlin Balbuena led the way, going 4-for-6, touching home once and driving in two. The shortstop was unsuccessful in his one stolen base attempt. Left fielder Brian Sanchez singled twice in four at bats with a free pass, crossed home three times and knocked in one.

Luis Flores went 2-for-5 with a walk, run scored and RBI. Sanel Rosendo and Leandro Cedeno both doubled, the only Dominican Cards with an extra-base hit.

Starter Juan Alvarez went six strong frames, giving up a run on six hits. Brian Pirela allowed two hits in the seventh, resulting in one run. Enrique Perez tossed two one-two-three innings, striking out three.

Saturday’s game: vs. DSL Nationals (27-32), 10:30 am ET, Junior Gonzalez (2-4, 4.29)

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