Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 9/5/15

Stellar performances by C.J. McElroy and Luke Weaver spotlighted Palm Beach’s win, one of four victories by St. Louis’ minors on Friday. Memphis, Springfield and State College all triumphed but Peoria did not.

Results from games played Friday, September 4th.

Memphis 11 at Oklahoma City 6

Memphis (71-70) combined 13 hits and eight free passes for an 11-6 triumph over Oklahoma City (LAD) in the first of four.

Ed Easley took the offensive lead, going 3-for-4 with a double, walk and three RBI. Jeremy Hazelbaker and Nick Greenwood (yes, the pitcher) both went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Hazelbaker tripled once with a free pass while driving in three and Greenwood doubled once.

Rafael Ortega singled twice in five at bats, crossing home twice. Dean Anna singled once in three at bats but worked three base-on-balls and scored three times.

In fact, Greenwood’s hitting was better than his pitching as the southpaw surrendered five runs on six hits and four walks in 5 1/3. Despite those results, Greenwood received his 13th win in 19 decisions.

Ryan Sherriff allowed a run on two hits over 1 2/3, giving way to Justin Wright who permitted a hit and base-on-balls while recording three outs. Sam Tuivailala issued two free passes in the ninth.

Saturday’s game: at Oklahoma City (85-56), 7:05 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (0-3, 10.24)

Springfield 5 vs Arkansas 1

A quartet of Springfield hurlers held Arkansas to an unearned run as the S-Cards stopped the Travelers, 5-1. The win gives Springfield (33-34) a three-games-to-one series’ victory and a share of first place with Arkansas (LAA).

Making his first start since July 26th when he was with Memphis, Thomas Lee (W, 8-4) blanked the opposition on three hits through five. Joey Donofrio was charged with the unearned tally, giving up a hit and walk in two. Silfredo Garcia and Ronnie Shaban both allowed one hit in their inning on the bump.

The home team pushed across two in the third before the Travelers halved that lead in the sixth. Jonathan Rodriguez’ only hit in four at bats was a three-run bomb that cushioned the S-Cards’ lead after eight.

Nick Martini accumulated three of his team’s nine hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored. Mike O’Neill singled twice in three at bats with a free pass, touching home once and knocking one in.

Saturday’s game: vs Tulsa (30-37) (LAD), 6:10 pm CT, Corey Baker (6-5, 4.00)

Palm Beach 4 at Jupiter 1

The PB-Cards pushed across three in the ninth, flying past the Hammerheads, 4-1. The win evened the series at one game apiece and snapped a five-game losing skid. Palm Beach (42-24) reduced its magic number to one since second-place Bradenton finally lost.

Although he did not figure in the scoring, Mason Katz got the ninth started with his 19th double of 2015. Carson Kelly reached via a hit-by-pitch prior to Allen Staton claiming first on a play that forced Katz at third. Craig Aikin’s first double since joining Palm Beach drove in Kelly, snapping a 1-1 tie. C.J. McElroy singled in Staton while Aikin crossed on a single to left by Robelys Reyes.

McElroy was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a base-on-balls, run scored and RBI, batting ninth. The centerfielder stole his 38th and 39th bags of 2015. Aikin, the only other Beach Bird with more than one hit, singled and doubled in four at bats, touching home once and driving in one. Four Beach Birds had one hit each.

Luke Weaver was outstanding on the mound, holding his opponents to an unearned tally on four hits over seven. The righty struck out six with six ground- and five fly-ball outs. Only two batters reached against Weaver from the third inning on and both were nailed trying to steal second. Kevin Herget retired six straight, three on strikeouts, upping his record to 5-1.

Saturday’s game: at Jupiter (31-37), 5:35 pm ET, Corey Littrell (9-9, 2.69)

Burlington 3 at Peoria 1

Landon Beck made it through five but not six as the Chiefs were stung by the Bees, 3-1, giving Burlington (25-42) (LAA) the series’ win.

Beck (L, 0-3) allowed only four hits in five plus but one of them was a two-run home run in the sixth. The right-hander struck out five and issued three free passes.

Making his second appearance for Peoria (41-26) since being promoted from Johnson City, Sasha Kuebel fanned five in two frames. Steve Sabatino worked around two hits in the eighth while Jery Then walked one in his inning of work.

The Chiefs translated six hits and four free passes into 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. Blergh! Paul DeJong went 2-for-4 with his 13th stolen base while Luis Cruz singled and tripled in three at bats with a base-on-balls. Nick Thompson scored the only run on a sac fly by Derek Gibson.

Saturday’s game: at Kane County (46-21) (ARI), 6:30 pm CT, Matt Pearce (11-10, 2.56)

State College 7 vs Batavia 2

The Spikes’ 14-hit eruption led to a 7-2 win over the Muckdogs (MIA) in the decisive third game of the series. The victory by State College (39-34), coupled with a loss by West Virginia (PIT), moves the Spikes into a tie atop the Wild Card standings with the Black Bears with three games remaining. While State College holds the tie breaker with West Virginia, the Spikes have their work cut out for them since they face the Goliath that is Williamsport (PHI), holders of the best record in the league, in the final series of the season.

The first six Spikes in the batting order garnered two hits each: Thomas Spitz, Michael Pritchard, Leobaldo Pina, Casey Grayson, Ronnierd Garcia and R.J. Dennard. The first three singled twice in five at bats, Pritchard scoring twice and Pina once.

Grayson and Garcia went 2-for-4 with a double, the former knocking in two and the latter touching home twice. Dennard singled and doubled in three at bats with a walk and two runs scored.

Jacob Evans tossed six strong frames, striking out nine and yielding two runs on four hits and two wild pitches. Gerwuins Velazco fanned four in two, giving up a hit in his Short-A debut. Kender Villegas tossed a one-two-three ninth.

Saturday’s game: vs Williamsport (45-28), 7:05 pm ET, Jorge Rodriguez (5-4, 3.28)

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