Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/25/15

The system won one and lost five on Monday, the GCL club acquiring the sole victory. Jake Gronsky served double duty in Peoria’s blowout loss, generating a perfect night at the plate and taking the mound. Memphis, Palm Beach, State College and Johnson City all fell while Springfield was idle.

Results from games played Monday, August 24th.

Memphis 6 at Tacoma 10

Redbirds’ pitching served up crooked numbers in each of the first four frames, resulting in a 10-6 loss at Tacoma, evening the series at one game apiece with two on tap.

Nick Greenwood (L, 11-6) was ineffective, yielding nine runs on 12 hits in three plus. Six of the nine scores were generated by four home runs.

Heath Wyatt hurled three scoreless frames, striking out two and allowing a hit and free pass. Tyler Waldron and Dean Kiekhefer each went an inning, with Waldron touched for a run on two hits.

Memphis (65-65) banged out 14 hits, paced by Xavier Scruggs’ 3-for-5 performance. Scruggs doubled once, driving in two. Cody Stanley, Jacob Wilson and Aledmys Diaz all went 2-for-4 with a run scored, with Diaz doubling once with an RBI in his Triple-A debut. Alex Mejia was hitless in three at bats while manning second.

Tuesday’s game: at Tacoma (61-69), 9:05 pm CT, Tyler Lyons (8-5, 3.21)

Springfield - off

Springfield (27-29) takes to the road for a seven-game road trip, beginning with Northwest Arkansas (KC) for four before heading onto Tulsa (LAD),

Tuesday’s game: at Northwest Arkansas (21-34), 7:05 pm CT, TBA

Bradenton 8 at Palm Beach 6

First-place Palm Beach (38-19) came out on the short end of an 8-6 decision at home against second-place Bradenton (PIT), evening the series at one game each and tightening their lead to three games. Four of the Beach Birds’ last 11 regular season games come against the Marauders.

Blake McKnight (L, 3-1) spearheaded a trio of ineffective pitchers, permitting four runs in the initial two of his five-inning stint. The righty gave up seven hits and a base-on-balls, fanning five.

Jhonny Polanco and Tyler Melling were the other two members of the troika, each allowing two runs, Polanco in two and Melling in one frame. Lee Stoppelman worked around a hit and walk for a scoreless inning.

A trio benefiting Palm Beach’s cause were Robelys Reyes, C.J. McElroy and Andrew Sohn, who each went 2-for-4. Reyes accounted for four runs, scoring three and knocking in one with a stolen base, with his double the team’s only extra base hit among the 11 total. McElroy crossed home once and Sohn drove in two, the latter swiping two bags.

Tuesday’s game: vs. Bradenton (35-22), 6:35 pm ET, TBA

Peoria 3 at Cedar Rapids 23

It was a very l-o-n-g night for Peoria (35-21) pitchers as the Chiefs were shellacked by the Kernels, 23-3, in the series’ opener. It was the worst loss in Peoria franchise history.

It was a very short night for top prospect Jack Flaherty, who recorded just one out, surrendering six hits and a free pass resulting in five tallies. That triggered a parade of mostly ineffective Chiefs relievers, beginning with Nick Lomascolo. Considering what was to follow, Lomascolo yielded a relatively small three tallies on a hit and three walks over three, the longest stint of the night. He also stranded Flaherty’s last two runners.

Then it was Dixon Llorens’ turn. Llorens did not know what hit him, coughing up eight runs on eight hits without retiring a single batter. Not one. Two of the three scores attributed to Lomascolo crossed home plate with Llorens on the mound.

Jery Then provided a blissful 1 2/3-inning scoreless respite but did allow three hits and a walk. Then has not been scored upon in eight innings over four appearances since his promotion from State College. He did let an inherited runner score but came into the game needing three outs to get out of the inning.

With all hope lost, three position players took turns on the mound to try to get the final nine outs. First baseman Alex De Leon’s effort, which pales in comparison to the fiasco Llorens pitched, consisted of four runs on five hits in 1 1/3. His final two runners scored under catcher Luis Cruz’ watch. Cruz permitted three runs on three hits while retiring three batters. First baseman Jake Gronsky recorded the last two outs, allowing Cruz’ final two runners to score on a hit and free pass.

Gronsky was Peoria’s hitting star, going a perfect 4-for-4 with two doubles, touching home once. Paul DeJong, the only other Chief with more than one hit, singled twice in four at bats. Harrison Bader’s sixth long ball, his only hit in three at bats, was a two-run bomb, scoring Brian O’Keefe (single). That made the score 5-2 midway through four, but Cedar Rapids put the game out of reach with 11 in the bottom of the frame.

Tuesday’s game: at Cedar Rapids (31-25), 6:35 pm CT, Matt Pearce (9-10, 2.68)

State College 1 at Williamsport 4

Second-place State College (33-28) fell to first-place Williamsport for the fifth time in six contests this season, this time by a 4-1 score, in the first of three. The Spikes trail the Crosscutters by 6 ½.

All three runs charged to Josh Wirsu (L, 0-1) through five occurred in the first, two of them via a home run with only two of the three earned. In his first outing with the Spikes, Wirsu allowed three hits and two bases-on-balls. Greg Tomchick permitted a run in the sixth, striking out two as did Kevin Alexander, who retired six straight.

State College generated seven singles, two by Craig Aikin. Orlando Olivera singled and scored his team’s sole run, driven in on a single by Ronnierd Garcia.

Tuesday’s game: at Williamsport (40-22), 7:05 pm ET, Jacob Evans (3-1, 0.75)

Johnson City 3 at Danville 4

Johnson City (26-31) let a lead slip away in the late innings, losing 4-3 to go down two games to one in the three-game series.

Trailing 2-1 after six, the Appy Birds pushed across two the next inning for the second lead of the night. But two runs off Julio Mateo (L, 0-4) proved decisive. Mateo, working his third inning of relief, permitted three hits and a walk in 2 1/3, but two runners touched home with Harley Holt (BS, 1) on the bump. Holt permitted an RBI single and sac fly.

Starter Ramon Santos battled control issues during his five innings on the mound, issuing five free passes in five. Those walks accompanied three hits, resulting in two scores.

Johnson City matched Danville’s seven hits, outfielder Anthony Ray garnering two of them. Ray singled twice in four at bats, scored one and knocked in another. Hunter Newman’s double was the only hit going for extras.

Unlikely to recover from an eight-game losing skid earlier this month, the Cardinals are just four games away from playoff elimination.

Tuesday’s game: at Danville (29-31), 11:00 pm ET, Brennan Leitao (0-1, 3.00)

GCL Cardinals 15 at GCL Mets 5

The Gulf Coast Cardinals (31-24) translated 18 hits and nine walks into an 18-5 drubbing of the Mets in the series opener. The GCL Marlins also won, so the two remain tied atop the East Division with five regular-season games remaining.

All nine starters touched home with eight of nine getting at least one hit and seven generating a multi-hit performance. Three Gulf Birds took part in six tallies: Joshua Lopez, Bladimil Franco and Nick Plummer. One of Lopez’ two hits in five at bats was his first home run of 2015, a three-run shot scoring Franco (force) and Dylan Becker (double). Lopez added a walk and scored two more times. Franco singled and doubled in four at bats, crossing home twice and knocking in four. Although Plummer mustered just one hit in five at bats, that double was one of only four team hits to go for extra bases. The centerfielder worked two free passes, scored three runs and drove in three. He swiped his eighth bag of the season as well.

Becker, Bryce Denton and Jonathan Rivera led the team with three hits each. Becker went 3-for-4 with a double, touched home twice and knocked in one. Denton and Rivera both went 3-for-6 with a run scored, driving in one and two, respectively.

Starter Ian Oxnevad pitched four innings, a typical length for the rookie, striking out five while giving up three runs, two earned, on three hits and a walk. One of the three hits was a solo home run.

Jacob Schlesener was credited with his first professional win, tossing two frames while giving up a hit and base-on-balls. The lefty struck out one and hit one. Yeison Medina was untouched in two innings but Estarlin Arias permitted two runs, one earned, on two hits in the ninth.

Tuesday’s game: vs. GCL Mets (26-29), 12:00 pm ET, TBA

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