Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 8/31/15

Sunday was a day of big innings but St. Louis’ minor league teams came out on the wrong end in three of the four such games. Memphis and Springfield both won, State College split a pair while Palm Beach, Peoria and Johnson City all fell, the latter despite an impressive outing by Brennan Leitao. The GCL Cardinals lost in their league semifinals, ending their season.

Results from games played Sunday, August 30th.

Memphis 6 at Reno 4

A four-run fifth lifted the Redbirds to a 6-4 victory over the Aces, salvaging the last of the three-game series.

Memphis (67-69) strung together six of their 13 total hits that frame, the big blow coming off Jacob Wilson’s bat – a bases-clearing double scoring Dean Anna, Anthony Garcia and Jeremy Hazelbaker (all singles). Garcia and Rafael Ortega each went 2-for-4 with a run scored, Garcia doubling and walking once with an RBI. He was hit by a pitch.

Wilson and Aledmys Diaz both had two hits in three at bats, Wilson adding a base-on-balls to the aforementioned double and RBI. Diaz smashed his first Triple-A home run with Garcia aboard in the second and worked two free passes, one intentional. Rehabbing Jon Jay did not play.

Nick Greenwood (W, 12-6), the first of five Redbirds hurlers, pitched the first five, giving up three runs on eight hits – including a solo bomb. Heath Wyatt recorded two outs, allowing a hit while Justin Wright finished the sixth, but not before permitting a hit as well.

Miguel Socolovich fanned two over two, giving up two hits. Mitch Harris picked up his fourth save but not before surrendering a run on three hits and a free pass.

Monday’s game: vs. New Orleans (55-81) (MIA), 7:05 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (0-2, 11.48)

Springfield 4 at Tulsa 2

Springfield (29-33) overcame Kurt Heyer’s rocky bullpen start, topping Tulsa 4-2 for a two-games-to-nine series’ lead with one to play.

Making a spot start replacing promoted Kyle Hald, Heyer tossed 57 pitches through three, yielding two tallies in his last inning of work. Silfredo Garcia picked up the slack, tossing three frames of scoreless ball. The Venezuelan native struck out three, scattering three hits and an intentional walk, picking up his first Double-A win in two decisions.

Robby Rowland tossed two one-two-three innings before giving way to Ronnie Shaban, who worked around a hit in the ninth for his eighth save.

Charlie Tilson was the only S-Card with more than one hit, as the centerfielder went 3-for-5 with a double and his 45th stolen base of the season. Nick Martini and Jonathan Rodriguez each doubled once in four at bats with a base-on-balls, Martini touching home twice and Rodriguez once. Michael Ohlman drove in two.

Monday’s game: at Tulsa (27-35) (LAD), 7:05 pm CT, Corey Baker (5-5, 4.44)

Palm Beach 3 at Bradenton 5

One shaky inning by Blake McKnight doomed Palm Beach (41-21) to a 5-3 loss in the series’ opener. The Beach Birds’ magic number to clinch against the Marauders remains at three.

Four of the five runs charged to McKnight (L, 3-2) through 6 1/3 scored in the fourth, one of them unearned. The righty allowed five hits and two bases-on-balls overall, hitting two batters. Kevin Herget retired two batters and walked one. Tyler Melling faced the minimum in the eighth.

The PB-Cards outhit their foes, six to five, but could not coordinate the offense. Carson Kelly singled twice in four at bats, crossing home once.

Monday’s game: at Bradenton (37-25) (PIT), 6:30 pm ET, TBA

Cedar Rapids 7 at Peoria 3

Cedar Rapids’ big second inning sent the Chiefs (38-24) to a 7-3 loss in the series’ opener.

The Kernels scored six times that frame against Landon Beck (L, 0-2), who surrendered seven runs, four earned, on 11 hits and a free pass over 6 1/3. Beck struck out six.

Tyler Bray limited further damage by leaving Beck’s last two runners aboard, as the righty fanned three in 1 2/3, walking one. Kyle Grana tossed a one-two-three frame.

Brian O’Keefe took part in all three of his team’s scores, going 3-for-4 with an RBI double and two-run bomb. Paul DeJong doubled once in four at bats, scoring on O’Keefe’s seventh-inning double while Alex De Leon was on base when O’Keefe launched his fifth long ball in the second. Harrison Bader and Darren Seferina were the only other Chiefs with a multi-hit game, both singling twice in four at bats.

Monday’s game: vs. Cedar Rapids (32-30) (MIN), 7:00 pm CT, Matt Pearce (10-10, 2.67)

State College 5 at Mahoning Valley 12 (7) - game one

State College (34-33) split a twin bill at Mahoning Valley (CLE), falling 12-5 in the opener but claiming the finale 4-3. Two games remain in the series.

The Spikes were walloped by a 10-run first in game one, all off Jacob Evans (L, 3-3), who recorded just two outs. Evans surrendered eight hits and two free passes, his final two runners scoring with Kender Villegas pitching.

Villegas allowed two runs on six hits over four, giving way to Max Almonte. Almonte retired four, permitting two hits and stranding an inherited runner.

State College took a brief 3-0 lead midway through one, with two of the three tallies courtesy of Orlando Olivera’s fifth bomb of the season. Casey Grayson, who was aboard when Olivera went yard, added his second home run of 2015, a two-run shot in the sixth scoring Leobaldo Pina (hit by pitch). Grayson and Michael Pritchard each had two of seven team hits.

State College 4 at Mahoning Valley 3 (7) - game two

Pritchard’s bases-loaded hit turned what appeared to be a loss into a 4-3 win in the nightcap.

Trailing 3-2 with two outs to go, Michael Massi and R.J. Dennard generated back-to-back singles that were followed by a free pass to Jhohan Acevedo. Pritchard lined one up the middle, scoring Massi and Dennard. It was the left fielder’s only hit in three at bats and one of seven hits by the Spikes. Acevedo and Massi each went 2-for-3, with a triple by Massi the only hit to go for extra bases.

Those runs changed Pedro Echemendia (BS, 5) (W, 6-1) from the losing to winning pitcher after the right-hander let two inherited runners score on two hits in the home half of the seventh. That scoring flipped a 2-1 lead into a 3-2 deficit.

Carson Cross went the first four, allowing a run on four hits and a free pass. Kevin Alexander gave up a hit and plunked one in 1 2/3, both runners crossing with Echemendia on the mound.

Monday’s game: at Mahoning Valley (30-37), 7:05 pm ET, Jorge Rodriguez (4-4, 3.63)

Pulaski 2 at Johnson City 1

Lack of offense wasted an impressive outing by Brennan Leitao, resulting in a home series’ opening loss for Johnson City.

Leitao (L, 0-3) struck out eight over six, yielding just three hits. Unfortunately for Leitao, two of those hits were a double and RBI single in the fifth that saddled him with the loss. In his first outing since July 7th, Bryan Dobzanski fanned two in the seventh, giving up a hit, but Anderson Gerdel was charged with a run on two hits through two, striking out three.

Chris Chinea was the only Appy Bird with a multi-hit performance, his home run accounting for his team’s sole tally. The first baseman added a single in four at bats, striking out once.

Monday’s game: Johnson City (27-36) vs. Pulaski (43-23) (NYY), 7:00 pm ET, Ronnie Williams (3-2, 3.88)

GCL Cardinals 1 at GCL Red Sox 4

There are no second chances in the Gulf Coast League semifinals, so the Gulf Birds’ 4-1 loss to the Red Sox abruptly ended their title hopes.

David Oca (L, 0-1) finished an outstanding season on a down note, yielding four runs, two earned, on five hits and a base-on-balls through 3 1/3. The lefty plunked a batter.

Ronald Medrano did not allow a baserunner over 1 2/3, leaving Oca’s final runner aboard. Gerwuins Velazco retired six straight, four on strikeouts. Estarlin Arias gave up a hit in the ninth.

Five Gulf Birds had one hit each, all singles. Joshua Lopez scored the only run, putting his team up 1-0 midway through three.

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