Matt Pearce (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

Matt Pearce’s complete-game masterpiece was the highlight in St. Louis’ minors on Thursday, helping Palm Beach to one of four victories in eight tries. Memphis and Peoria won as well while Johnson City split a pair. Springfield, the GCL and DSL clubs went down to defeat and State College was off.

Results from games played Thursday, July 7th.

Memphis 13 vs. Round Rock 7

Memphis (42-44) used two big innings to pound Round Rock, 13-7, the first of four versus the Express.

Down 1-0 midway through two, the Redbirds put up a five spot. The Express responded with four of their own in the top of the third but Memphis broke the game open with a six-run third before adding two seventh-inning scores.

The home team’s 11-hit attack was paced by David Washington, who finished a triple shy of the cycle in four at bats.  The first baseman scored three times and hit a two-run bomb that was one of three Memphis home runs.

The other two long balls were a three-run blast by Jacob Wilson and a two-run home run by Michael Ohlman.  Wilson went 2-for-4 while touching home twice, the only other Redbird with a multi-hit game.

Reliever Kurt Heyer (W, 1-0) retired all 11 batters faced, leaving two inherited runners aboard for the win.  He pitched in relief of Corey Baker, who could not finish the third, surrendering five runs, four earned, on four hits and three walks in 2 2/3. 

Corey Littrell yielded two runs, one earned, on two hits in 1 2/3, striking out four.  John Brebbia worked around two hits for a scoreless ninth.

Friday’s game:  vs. Round Rock (46-42), 7:05 pm CT, Jerome Williams (4-2, 4.54)


Corpus Christi 4 at Springfield 3

A two-run ninth resulted in a 4-3 home loss by Springfield (6-7) to Corpus Christi, the S-Cards’ second straight loss to the Hooks with one game remaining in the series.

The tallies, which broke a 2-2 tie, were off Justin Wright (L, 0-1), who gave them up on two hits, two walks and a miscue in 1 1/3.  What proved to be the winning run scored on Kevin Herget’s watch, as the right-hander struck out two but allowed an RBI single.

The bullpen spoiled a fine outing by Luke Weaver, who permitted two unearned scores over six innings.  Weaver struck out seven and gave up two hits.  Over aggressive base running by the Hooks helped Heath Wyatt toss a scoreless seventh despite giving up a double and three singles.

Springfield pushed across single scores in the first, third and ninth, putting the potential tying run in scoring position in the latter frame.  Left fielder Jonathan Rodriguez led his team’s nine-hit effort, going 3-for-4 with a walk and RBI out of the leadoff slot.  He swiped his first base of 2016 as well.

Unfortunately, the next two batters were a combined 0-for-9, leaving the hitting to Luke Voit, the clean-up man.  Voit singled and tripled in four at bats, knocking in one. 

Friday’s game:  vs. Corpus Christi (8-6), 7:10 am CT, Daniel Poncedeleon (4-4, 2.84)


Palm Beach 2 at Charlotte 1

Matt Pearce’s complete game gem highlighted the Beach Birds’ 2-1 victory at Charlotte (7-7).

Our Player of the Day Pearce (W, 8-5), held the Stone Crabs to just three hits and did not issue a free pass.  One of the hits was an eighth-inning home run that slashed his team’s lead in half.  The Florida native struck out five with five ground- and seven fly-ball outs.  Pearce completed the nine frames in just 86 pitches, 63 of them strikes.

Palm Beach (6-9) played a tad of long ball themselves, getting on the board in the third via Orlando Olivera’s third home run, just the team’s 16th long ball in 83 games in 2016.  Thomas Spitz’ RBI single with two gone in the sixth drove in Oscar Mercado (single-wild pitch), extending the lead to 2-0.  Olivera compiled a third of his team’s hits, going 2-for-3 with the aforementioned bomb.

Friday’s game:  at Lakeland (2-10), 6:00 pm ET, Ian McKinney (6-4, 3.28)


Peoria 3 vs. Kane County 2 (12)

Peoria (8-7) walked off with a 3-2 win over Kane County (4-11) in 12 for a four-game series’ sweep. 

The Chiefs were down to their last three outs in regulation but used a free pass and three wild pitches to send the game into extras.  Another walk proved key in the 12th when Magneuris Sierra worked a base-on-balls with two gone.  The center fielder swiped his 18th bag of 2016, putting him in position to take advantage of Edmundo Sosa’s RBI single to left.

Sosa’s single was his third in six at bats, as the shortstop compiled a third of his team’s hits.  Sierra garnered two hits in five at bats while Brian O’Keefe added a solo shot, his sixth home run of the season.

Luke Harrison held the Cougars scoreless over on a hit over the final 2 1/3 for his third win in four decisions.  Harrison was the fifth Chiefs’ hurler to take the mound, beginning with Jake Woodford.  Fresh off the disabled list, Woodford allowed just one hit with four strikeouts but did not take the mound to start the fourth. 

Steven Gallardo surrendered a home run to his first batter faced, one of two hits given up that inning.  Nick Frey also yielded a long ball, his only hit permitted during his three frames on the bump.  Jorge Rodriguez used five strikeouts to hold Kane County scoreless over 2 2/3 despite giving up four hits and two walks.

Friday’s game:  at Wisconsin (7-8), 7:05 pm CT, Sandy Alcantara (5-6, 4.40)


State College – off

Fresh off their fifth consecutive series’ win, the first-place State College Spikes (14-6) take on second-place Auburn for three at home.

Friday’s game:  vs. Auburn (12-8), 7:05 pm ET, John Kilichowski (0-0, 0.00)


Johnson City 5 at Kingsport 0 (7) - Game 1  

Johnson City 1 at Kingsport 6 (7) – Game 2   

Johnson City (9-6) split two at Kingsport, claiming the opener, 5-0, but dropping the finale, 6-1.

In Game 1, the Appy Birds broke up a scoreless game with tallies in the fifth through seventh.  Only two of the five runs were earned due to two Mets’ miscues.  Five players had one hit each with second baseman Caleb Lopes garnering three RBI on a 1-for-2 with a double and sac fly performance.

Jordan Hicks went six scoreless to up his record to 2-0.  Hicks permitted four hits and two walks.  Keaton Siomkin allowed a hit in the seventh.

Frederis Parra took the loss in the nightcap, his second against no wins.  Parra allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits and a base-on-balls through four.  Estarlin Arias and Anthony Shew both permitted a run during their one-inning stints.

The visitors managed six singles, two by J.R. Davis, who added two stolen bases and scored his team’s only run.  The second baseman was also caught stealing once.

Friday’s game:  at Kingsport (5-10), 7:00 pm ET, Austin Sexton (0-0, 4.05)


GCL Nationals 2 at GCL Cardinals 1

The Gulf Cardinals (5-7) were edged by their Nationals counterparts, 2-1.

Juan Alvarez took his second loss in as many decisions despite pitching well enough to win.  The 19-year-old Dominican scattered six hits and two walks over six frames, yielding two runs, one of them a home run. 

Memphis’ Thomas Lee began his rehab assignment by facing the minimum in the seventh.  Lee utilized the GCL Cardinals’ only double play to erase a one out single.  Champ Rowland fanned the side the next inning, walking one and Robert Calvano went one-two-three in the ninth.

The home team outhit their guests eight to seven but went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left seven on the base paths.  Shortstop Delvin Perez and third baseman Brady Whalen both went 2-for-4, Perez stealing his fifth base of 2016 and Whalen scoring once.  Second baseman Edwin Figuera singled twice in two at bats with a sac bunt.

Friday’s game:  at GCL Astros (6-7), 12:00 pm ET, Jacob Schlesener (0-2, 12.27)


DSL Rockies 9 at DSL Cardinals 4

The Dominican Birds (20-8) could not hold a brief early lead, falling to the DSL Rockies, 9-4.

The Rockies struck first with three off Edwar Ramirez (L, 1-1) in the first of his three innings of mound work.  But the Cardinals tied it up in the bottom of the frame on a three-run bomb by right fielder Brian Sanchez, his eighth home run of 2016.

The home team went ahead 4-3 after two but Ramirez gave up the lead with a two-run third.  The 18-year-old allowed 10 hits over three and hit one batter.  The visitors expanded their lead with three more off Wilman Madera, who recorded just two outs while giving up a hit and issuing three free passes. 

In his professional debut, July 2nd signee Enmanuel Solano stranded Madera’s last runner but gave up a solo shot, his only hit yielded in 2 1/3.  Cristhian Lugo tossed two scoreless frames and Enrique Perez faced the minimum in the ninth.

Sanchez was joined by third baseman Elehuris Montero with a 2-for-4 effort, the latter doubling once.  Six other Dominican Birds had one hit each, including shortstop Raffy Ozuna who singled once in two at bats with a base-on-balls and two runs scored.

Friday’s game:  at DSL Rockies (11-16), 10:30 am ET, Noel De Jesus (3-0, 1.50)

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