Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 4/8/16

The 2016 season got underway in St. Louis’ minors on Thursday with mixed results. Mike Mayers and Bruce Caldwell propelled Springfield to a road win while Palm Beach was victorious in its home opener. Memphis was not as fortunate in its home debut and Peoria fell on the road.

Results from games played Thursday, April 7th. (Note that full box scores can always be viewed by clicking on the highlighted game scores.)

Colorado Springs 4 at Memphis 3

The Redbirds could not hold a late lead, dropping their home opener to the Sky Sox (COL).

Up 3-1 through seven, reliever Juan Gonzalez (BS, 1) allowed the visitors to tie the game up on three hits. Sam Tuivailala (L, 0-1) finished the damage by permitting a one-out triple and run-scoring fielder’s choice the next frame. The right-hander issued a free pass.

Deck McGuire, an off-season pick-up, yielded just one tally on four hits and three free passes in 5 1/3. He struck out four. Justin Wright finished the sixth, fanning two but got the hook after walking former Cardinal farmhand Shane Peterson to open the seventh. Miguel Socolovich struck out two in a clean seventh, issuing a base-on-balls. Wright joined Socolovich in stranding an inherited runner.

All three Memphis scores crossed in the sixth, the product of Jonathan Rodriguez’ first bomb of 2016. The home run scored Jacob Wilson (double) and Anthony Garcia (hit-by-pitch). Wilson was the only Redbird with more than one of the squad’s six hits, going 2-for-3 with a walk.

Friday’s game: vs. Colorado Springs (1-0), 7:05 pm CT, J.C. Sulbaran (0-0, ---)

Springfield 3 at San Antonio 1

Mike Mayers blanked the Missions (SD) through seven as Springfield spoiled San Antonio’s home opener.

Co-Player of the Day Mayers (W, 1-0) limited his opponents to just three hits and did not issue a free pass, striking out five. The 24-year-old tossed an efficient 69 pitches, 50 for strikes.

Rule 5 acquisition John Brebbia faced the minimum in the eighth, striking out one. Kurt Heyer notched his first save but yielded a run on a single, triple and walk.

On the offensive side of the diamond, the offense was led by Bruce Caldwell’s perfect day at the plate. The second baseman went 3-for-3 with a walk, triple, solo shot and three RBI, earning him the co-Player of the Day honors. Harrison Bader and David Washington each singled twice in four at bats, the former in his first Double-A action and the latter scoring once.

Friday’s game: at San Antonio (0-1), 7:05 pm CT, Trey Nielsen (league debut)

Palm Beach 5 vs. Charlotte 3

A four-run eighth propelled Palm Beach to a come-from-behind victory over Charlotte (TB) in the Cardinals’ home opener.

Down 3-0 at the midpoint of the sixth, the Beach Birds got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the frame when shortstop Oscar Mercado’s second single of the game drove in right fielder Nick Thompson. Thompson opened the inning with a double to center and raced home two outs later after Mercado came through.

The score remained 3-1 in favor of the Stone Crabs until eight PB-Cards came to the plate in the home half of the eighth. A walk, two singles, a fielding error, passed ball and fielder’s choice generated four tallies, two earned. Mercado garnered two of the team’s six hits, going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored but was caught stealing once and picked off first another time. Defensively, he committed one error. Thompson’s aforementioned double was his only hit in three at bats although he did touch home twice.

Rowan Wick tossed a clean eighth for his first win in his full-season pitching debut. The right hander, who switched from bat to mound last season, worked around a two-out single, fanning one. He was preceded by Cody Schumacher, who yielded a run on three hits over two frames. Kevin Herget picked up his first save, giving up a single to his first batter before retiring the next three, one swinging.

Wick, Schumacher and Herget pitched in relief of Jack Flaherty, who fanned six through five innings in his first Florida State League start. The 20-year-old permitted single tallies in the first and second, the latter on a long ball that was one of six hits and a base-on-balls he allowed. 54 of Flaherty’s 80 pitches went for strikes.

Friday’s game: vs. Charlotte (0-1), 6:30 pm ET, Austin Gomber (league debut)

Peoria 2 at Burlington 3

The Chiefs were stung by the Bees (LAA) on a late-inning run, falling in the season opener. Reliever Steven Gallardo absorbed the loss, surrendering a run on three hits and a free pass in 1 1/3. It was the righty’s first official action due to multiple injuries since he pitched for Johnson City in 2012. Steven De La Cruz recorded the eighth’s final two outs but allowed one of two runners inherited from Gallardo to score on a single. 19-year-old Jake Woodford’s full-season debut was a solid one, as the righty went six innings while allowing just two hits and two walks. Unfortunately, both hits and one of his free passes came in the third, resulting in a 2-0 deficit. Woodford threw 85 pitches, 54 for strikes, and fanned two. Peoria capitalized on three Burlington errors in the fifth to plate two runs and tie the game at two all. R.J. Dennard got the inning started with a double to right, advancing to third on one error and scoring on another. The first baseman doubled twice in three at bats, worked a free pass and touched home once. The other run was generated when left fielder Craig Aikin reached on an error, subsequently crossing on Thomas Spitz’ sac fly. Two other Chiefs had one hit each.

Friday’s game: at Burlington (1-0), 6:30 pm CT, Sandy Alcantara (league debut)

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