Blake McKnight (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

Highlights of Sunday’s games across the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system and a look ahead to Monday’s action.

Blake McKnight hurled a gem for Palm Beach, one of two wins in St Louis’ minors on Sunday. Memphis won as well but Springfield and Peoria did not.

Results from games played Sunday, May 22nd.

Memphis 8 vs. Fresno 1

Alex Reyes fanned eight over four innings in Memphis’ 8-1 triumph over Fresno (17-25).  The win gives the Redbirds (17-23) a split of the four-game series.

Making his much anticipated 2016 debut, Reyes blanked the Grizzlies (HOU) on two hits and three bases-on-balls. The 21-year-old threw 48 of his 85 pitches for strikes with one ground- and one fly-ball out. (More details on Reyes’ outing here.)

Ryan Sherriff, who was credited with his second win in as many decisions, struck out four in two innings, giving up a hit. John Church was touched for a run on a walk, single and sac fly in the seventh, which temporarily cut Memphis’ lead to 3-1.  Juan Gonzalez earned his second save with two clean frames.

The offense generated 10 hits, paced by Patrick Wisdom and Jonathan Rodriguez with three hits each. Wisdom was perfect at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double, walk and two runs scored while Rodriguez accounted for half of his team’s tallies with a 3-for-4 performance including a double, solo home run and four RBI. 

Charlie Tilson and Greg Garcia both went 2-for-4 while touching home twice. Tilson banged his fourth triple of 2016 and Garcia drove in one.

Monday’s game:  at Salt Lake (23-18) (LAA), 7:35 pm CT, J.C. Sulbaran (2-4, 5.59)


Springfield 4 at Arkansas 6

Four late runs by the S-Cards were not enough to prevent a 6-4 loss at Arkansas (LAA). Springfield (23-20) trails in the series, two games to one, with one remaining.

Down 6-0 after six, the visitors scored two in the seventh via Nick Thompson’s first long ball of the season. It came with Carson Kelly (single) aboard. Thompson singled to open the ninth eventually scoring along with C.J. McElroy (single). Collin Radack joined Thompson, Kelly and McElroy by going 2-for-4, accounting for eight of the team’s 12 hits.

Of note is Harrison Bader’s departure from the game prior to the bottom of the fifth.  The centerfielder singled in his third-inning at bat but was out trying to take second.  He took the field in the third and fourth before exiting.

Unfortunately Daniel Poncedeleon (L, 2-4) allowed four runs on five hits and three free passes in 3 2/3, including two solo bombs. Kevin Herget fanned five in 2 1/3 but interspersed strikeouts with four hits and a walk, resulting in two scores. Pedro Echemendia permitted a hit and base-on-balls in two.

Monday’s game:  at Arkansas (18-25), 7:10 pm CT, Trey Nielsen (4-3, 3.09)


Palm Beach 5 at Clearwater 1

Blake McKnight’s impressive mound effort was the highlight of the Beach Birds’ 5-1 win over Clearwater (PHI).  Palm Beach (20-24) has strung together five consecutive wins, including the first three of their four-game set with the Threshers.

Player of the Day McKnight (W, 1-4) held Clearwater to an unearned run on three hits, two walks and a hit batsman through eight.  The righty induced 11 ground- to five fly-ball outs, striking out three.  66 of McKnight’s 104 pitches went for strikes.  Kyle Grana struck out two of three faced in the ninth.

Casey Turgeon’s three-hit performance led the PB-Cards’ 10-hit day, Turgeon tripling once in four at bats with a free pass and run scored.  Casey Grayson and Chris Rivera posted identical marks, singling twice in four at bats with two RBI.   

Monday’s game:  at Clearwater (26-17), 7:00 pm ET, Jacob Evans (2-3, 2.11)


Beloit 3 at Peoria 1 (11)

Peoria (21-21) tied it late but never led in their 3-1 loss to Beloit (OAK) in 11.  The Chiefs need to win on Monday for a split of the four-game home series.

The Chiefs were kept off the board through seven. Jose Godoy singled to begin the eighth, but was replaced on the base paths by Thomas Spitz after the later hit into a 6-4 force.  Spitz eventually scored on Craig Aikin’s two-out triple.  Eliezer Alvarez singled twice in four at bats, the only Chief with more than one of the squad’s six hits.

Spitz’ tally got Derian Gonzalez off the hook for what would have been a tough-luck loss after he permitted a lone run on four hits and three walks in 6 2/3.  The right-hander struck out eight.  Tyler Bray fanned three in 2 1/3, issuing one free pass, but Steven De La Cruz was not as effective.  De La Cruz (L, 2-1) tossed a clean 10th but was tagged for two runs in the 11th.  Jorge Rodriguez recorded the final out, stranding De La Cruz’ last runner. 

Monday’s game:  vs. Beloit (21-21), 11:00 am CT, Sandy Alcantara (4-2, 3.67)

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Swauger on Cards Red Extended Spring – Part 3. Exclusive report includes details on the youngest catchers competing in extended spring training camp.

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