Luke Weaver (© Butch Dill / USA TODAY Sports Images)

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

Luke Weaver’s outstanding effort for Springfield led to one of six wins in St. Louis’ minors on Thursday. Memphis split a double-header and State College, Johnson City, the GCL and DSL clubs were all victorious. Peoria lost in extras while Palm Beach was off.

Results from games played Thursday, July 28th.

 

Oklahoma City 5 at Memphis 2 (7) – Game 1      

Memphis 6 vs. Oklahoma City 5 (7) – Game 2  

Memphis (50-54) split a twin bill with visiting Oklahoma City, dropping the opener, 5-2, but claiming the finale, 6-5.  The Redbirds trail in the four-game series, two games to one.

In his first outing since coming off the disabled list, Jeremy Hefner (L, 2-5) yielded all five Game 1 tallies, four earned, on four hits and three walks in 4 2/3.  Thomas Lee let Hefner’s last runner score, giving up two hits in 1 1/3.  Juan Gonzalez worked around a hit and base-on-balls in the seventh.

The home team was held to just four hits, two by right fielder Jose Martinez.  Martinez singled and doubled in three at bats, touching home once and stealing his eighth bag of 2016.  First baseman Efren Navarro added a solo shot, his seventh home run.

Game 2 featured Memphis scoring two against the Dodgers’ bullpen and rallying for a 6-5 victory.  Dean Anna and Michael Ohlman each went 2-for-3 with a run scored, Anna doubling twice and Ohlman driving in two.  Four Redbirds had one hit each, including Anthony Garcia and David Washington, who each launched a big fly with no one on.

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Pacific Coast League All-Star Ryan Sherriff (W, 5-0) tossed 1 2/3 scoreless frames for the win, pitching in relief of Kurt Heyer.  Heyer was charged with five runs, three earned, on six hits and two walks over 4 1/3.  San Tuivailala struck out the side in the seventh for his 14th save.

Friday’s game:  vs. Oklahoma City (60-44), 7:05 pm CT, Mike Mayers (3-3, 2.94)

 

Springfield 10 vs. Northwest Arkansas 2

A seven-run eighth broke open a tight contest in the S-Cards’ 10-2 triumph over the Naturals in the home series opener.

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The seven tally outburst was fueled by home runs by Jonathan Rodriguez and Paul DeJong.  Rodriguez launched his second solo home run of the game to begin the frame and DeJong’s three-run blast capped the inning, scoring Jacob Wilson (walk) and Blake Drake (single).

Rodriguez led the 12-hit attack for Springfield (14-20), adding a single to his two home runs and touching home three times.  Luis Cruz and Drake had two hits apiece, Cruz singling twice in four at bats with a run scored and RBI.  Drake went 2-for-2 with a run scored and two RBI after entering mid-game for Brandon Moss.  Moss began his rehab by going hitless in three at bats, manning first base for five frames.

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Player of the Day Luke Weaver (W, 5-3) tossed his third impressive effort in a row, fanning eight over eight frames while holding the North Division’s co-leaders to two runs, one earned on just three hits.  Weaver threw 61 of his 89 pitches for strikes.  Josh Lucas gave up a hit in the ninth.

Friday’s game:  vs. Northwest Arkansas (18-16), 7:10 pm CT, Daniel Poncedeleon (6-6, 3.45)

 

Palm Beach - off   

Palm Beach (10-24), looking to end a five-game losing streak, hosts Tampa (NYY) for four games.

Friday’s game:  vs. Tampa (18-16), 6:30 pm ET, Matt Pearce (8-7, 2.43)

 

Peoria 7 at Quad Cities 8 (11)

Peoria’s bullpen could not hold a late lead as Quad Cities walked off with an 8-7 win in 11.  Peoria (15-17) has won of two versus the River Bandits with one to play.

Up 7-5 with six outs to go, the home team pushed across single scores in the eighth and ninth, sending the game into extras.  Both tallies came against Steven De LaCruz (BS, 6) who permitted a walk and two-out RBI double in the eighth and game-tying solo shot the next frame. 

The bomb was the fourth of the game allowed by Chiefs’ hurlers, the first three served up by Juan Perez.  Perez lasted just 1 2/3, allowing five runs on six hits and three walks.  Luke Harrison (2 1/3) and Jorge Rodriguez (three innings) kept the home team off the board on two hits each, striking out three and four, respectively.  Steven Gallardo (L, 1-3) worked a one-two-three 10th before giving up a triple and RBI single to his first two batters the next inning.

Eight of nine Chiefs’ starters garnered at least one of the team’s 10 hits and seven of the eight touched home.  They were led by shortstop Jose Martinez and first baseman R.J. Dennard, with two hits each.  Martinez singled and doubled in five at bats with a walk and run scored while Dennard went 2-for-6, crossing home once.  

Friday’s game:  at Quad Cities (18-15), 7:00 pm CT, Derian Gonzalez (4-0, 2.64)

 

State College 2 at Williamsport 1

A trio of Spikes’ pitchers combined on a four-hitter as first-place State College (26-13) edged second-place Williamsport, 2-1, in the first of their three-game set.

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The only run charged to Carson Cross (W, 3-3) over six innings was unearned, as the righty allowed two hits and two bases-on-balls and fanned five.  Southpaw Bob Wheatley gave up a hit during his two innings on the mound and Brady Bowen maneuvered around a one-out triple for his fourth save.

State College mustered seven hits, two by catcher Jeremy Martinez, who doubled twice in three at bats.  Martinez worked a free pass and knocked in Vincent Jackson (reached on error).  Shortstop Tommy Edman added his third home run of 2016, his only hit in five at bats.

Friday’s game:  vs. Williamsport (24-15), 7:05 pm ET, Steven Farinaro (4-0, 5.31)

 

Johnson City 6 vs. Kingsport 2 (mid-fifth) - Game 1

Johnson City vs. Kingsport – game two postponed  

Rain played havoc with Johnson City’s slate as the JC-Cards (17-16) were only able to get in one of their two scheduled games versus Kingsport, winning a rain-shorted affair, 6-2.  The second game never got underway.

With the score knotted at two all, the home team pushed across four runs in the fourth before the game was called at the midpoint of the fifth.  Shortstop Allen Cordoba was a perfect 3-for-3 as was first baseman Andrew Knizner.  Cordoba scored twice and swiped two bags while Knizner doubled and drove in two. 

Reliever Levi MaVorhis was credited with the win, walking one in 1/3 of an inning.  Starter Ramon Santos did not qualify for the victory because he fell one out shy of the five-inning minimum.  Santos gave up two runs on four hits and four walks.

Friday’s games:  vs. Kingsport (13-21).  Game one – 6:00 pm ET, Daniel Castano (0-2, 5.03)/David Oca (1-1, 5.09)

 

GCL Cardinals 10 at GCL Astros 2

The Gulf Birds’ winning streak reached seven with a 10-2 stomping of the GCL Astros (14-15).  The latest win resulted in a first place move to the top the East Division for the Cardinals (17-11).

The visitors pecked their hosts to death, generating 13 singles and one double.  Starlin Balbuena and Walker Robbins led the way with three hits apiece in five and four at bats, respectively.  The third baseman scored three times while Robbins touched home once with an RBI.

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Luis Flores, J.D. Murders and Carlos Talavera each had two hits, Flores singling and doubling in four at bats with a walk, scoring twice and knocking in one. Murders and Talavera both went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Talavera drove in two.

Mike O’Reilly raised his record to 3-1 with five solid frames, giving up two first-inning tallies and five hits plus two walks in all.  Jacob Schlesener, Champ Rowland, Connor Jones and Robert Calvano each tossed a scoreless frame, the first three fanning two each.

Friday’s game:  vs. GCL Marlins (13-17), 12:00 pm ET, Anthony Ciavarella (2-0, 0.00)

 

DSL Cardinals 10 vs. DSL Tigers 1

The Dominican Cardinals (29-17) banged out 12 hits in a 10-1 victory over the DSL Tigers (24-22), halting a four-game losing skid.

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Shortstop Moises Castillo led the way, going 3-for-5 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI.  It was the first three-hit effort in the 17-year-old’s young career. 

Four players had two hits each, all singles: Wadye Infante, Brian Sanchez, Julio Rodriguez and Oscar Cotes.  Infante, the center fielder, touched home three times in four at bats and worked one free pass, batting at the top of the order. Sanchez scored one and knocked in three.  Rodriguez and Cotes both went 2-for-4, Rodriguez walking once with a run scored and RBI. 

Cuban right-hander Johan Oviedo tossed the first three frames, yielding two hits and two bases-on-balls.  Angel Rondon (W, 2-2), taking his regular turn in the rotation, blanked the Tigers on two hits and a walk over four, striking out four.  Jesus Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth but the shutout bid ended in the ninth when Enrique Perez was touched for a run on a hit, walk and two hit batsmen. 

Friday’s game:  vs. DSL Angels (25-20), 10:30 am ET, Winston Nicacio (1-1, 4.99)

Bonus for members of The Cardinal Nation: Cardinals Prospect Interview: State College Shortstop Tommy Edman

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