Juan Perez (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

The Cardinals minor league system was 2-4 on Wednesday. Our Player of the Day is Peoria pitcher Juan Perez, who in his first start of the year, went five scoreless innings, striking out six.

Results for games played Wednesday, June 15th.

Memphis Redbirds 3 at Nashville Sounds 16

The Redbirds’ (28-34) four-game winning streak was snapped with a shellacking by the Nashville Sounds in the Music City Wednesday afternoon.

Starter Arturo Reyes pitched just two innings, allowing eight runs, running his ERA up to 5.37. Kurt Heyer followed with 2/3 of an inning, yielding four runs of his own, while Corey Littrell pitched 1 1/3 innings, permitting two runs. Juan Gonzalez let two more come in in the ninth. On the plus side, Seth Maness pitched a scoreless eighth inning in his first AAA rehab appearance.

Brayan Pena also made his first rehab start in AAA and went 1-for-4. Michael McKenry went 2-for-4 and Nick Martini had single, a walk and two RBI. Jose Martinez doubled home a run and scored one.

Thursday’s game: at Nashville, Jerome Williams (1-1, 1.93 ERA) 7:05 PM CT

Springfield Cardinals 6 at Northwest Arkansas Naturals 12

Springfield (36-29) was rocked in the first game of a four-game series at the Naturals of Springdale, Arkansas. The Cardinals slipped to a half game out of first place with the loss.

Starter Corey Baker only managed to go 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and striking out just two. Chris Perry (2.67 ERA) let two of Baker’s runners score and gave up three of his own. Chris Thomas allowed three more runs in the seventh and catcher Luis Cruz, pitching in the blowout loss, permitted another run in the eighth.

Harrison Bader had a solid game, going 3-for-4 and upping his batting average to .309. Other standout players include Jonathan Rodriguez, 2-for-5, Bruce Caldwell, 3-for-5, Luke Voit, 2-for-5 with a double, and Paul DeJong, 1-for-4 with a sacrifice fly and his 11th home run of the year. Breyvic Valera plated two with a pinch hit single.

Thursday’s game: at NW Arkansas, Luke Weaver (2-0, 0.73 ERA) 7:05 PM CT

Palm Beach Cardinals 7 at Brevard County Manatees 4

Palm Beach (31-34) heads into the All-Star break with a win over the Manatees at Space Coast Stadium, avoiding the sweep and staying out of the cellar in the Florida State League South Division.

Ian McKinney (3.60 ERA) struck out seven, but allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings, with three of the runs coming via back-to-back home runs in the sixth. Kyle Grana pitched a scoreless inning, picking up the win. Rowan Wick earned his sixth save with a one-two-three ninth inning, lowering his ERA to a team-low 1.09.

http://www.scout.com/player/177876-oscar-mercado?s=321

Oscar Mercado led the attack offensively, posting a 2-for-4 line with a double, a walk, and two RBI. Allen Stanton likewise went 2-for-4. Cole Lankford singled, walked and had two sacrifice flies, while Jhohan Acevedo went 1-for-3 with two runs scored.

Thursday’s game: Off, Florida State League All-Star Break

Game 1: Peoria Chiefs 4 at Clinton LumberKings 7

Game 2: Peoria Chiefs 1 at Clinton LumberKings 2

The Chiefs (36-30) lost possession of first place in the Midwest League Western Division after dropping a double-header to the Clinton LumberKings Wednesday.

Game 1 starter Derian Gonzalez (2.91 ERA) went 1 2/3 innings before being removed with an apparent injury. Reliever Nick Frey pitched three innings, allowing six runs, five earned, and striking out three to take the loss. Luke Harrison got out of a fifth inning jam and pitched a one-two-three sixth.

Catcher Brian O’Keefe went 2-for-2 with his fourth home run and a walk. Edmundo Sosa (.253 BA) collected his 13th double. Eliezer Alvarez (.320 BA) secured his 18th double, but committed his 14th miscue on an errant throw.

http://www.scout.com/player/165907-juan-perez?s=321

In game 2, Juan Perez came through, saving the bullpen by going five innings without allowing a run and striking out six. Harley Holt relieved in the sixth inning and didn’t give up a run. However, Holt allowed a walk and a single in the seventh before getting replaced by Steven De La Cruz, who let both runners score to end the game.

Offensively, Peoria managed just five hits. Magneuris Sierra (.297 BA) had the lone RBI, knocking in Chris Chinea (.327 BA) in the fifth.

Thursday’s game: vs. Burlington, Sandy Alcantara (5-4, 4.55 ERA) 7:00 PM CT

DSL Cardinals 6 at DSL Yankees #2 2

The Cardinals (7-2) secured their hold on first place in the DSL San Pedro Division with a win over the Yankees squad #2 Wednesday.

Starter Junior Gonzalez won his first game of the season, pitching six innings of two-run ball, striking out one. Wilfredo Pereira added a scoreless inning of relief before Enrique Perez picked up his first save with two scoreless frames.

http://www.scout.com/player/195138-brian-sanchez?s=321

20-year old right fielder Brian Sanchez (.568 BA, 1.612 OPS!!) continued his scorching hot hitting, compiling a 3-for-5 mark with a home run and four RBI. Raffy Ozuna (.162 BA), who secured a $600k bonus last summer, finished 0-for-3 with two walks. Julio Rodriguez (.286 BA) doubled and walked.

Thursday’s game: vs. DSL Nationals, TBA 10:30 AM ET

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