Jack Flaherty (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

The road was kind to St. Louis’ minor league teams on Thursday, Minor League Baseball Opening Day. Memphis, Springfield and Palm Beach all opened with away wins while Peoria’s game was postponed. Player of the Day Jack Flaherty was impressive in his first taste of Double-A ball.

Results from games played Thursday, April 6th.


Memphis 5 at New Orleans 4 (13) (click for game box score)

Solo shots by Harrison Bader and Patrick Wisdom bookended the Redbirds’ scoring as they upended the Baby Cakes (MIA) (Baby Cakes????) 5-4 in 13 in New Orleans.

Bader led off the game with his bomb while Wisdom’s blast broke a four-all tie in the 13th.  Both players went 2-for-6, Wisdom doubling once with two runs scored and two RBI.


Tommy Pham singled twice in five at bats, touching home once, driving in one and going one-for-two in attempted steals.  He committed the Redbirds’ only two errors as well, on the same play, from right field.  Five Redbirds each had one of the team’s 11 hits.

Josh Lucas struck out three and gave up two hits in three clean innings for his first win at Triple-A.  Ryan Sherriff pitched around a lead-off single and wild pitch for the save.

Luke Weaver went only two frames and gave up one hit before exiting the game with what appeared to be a hand or wrist injury.  Kurt Heyer was tagged for three runs on three hits and four walks in 1 2/3.  Mark Montgomery allowed two hits over 1 1/3, permitting one of two inherited runners to score.  The right-hander was making his Redbirds’ debut after signing with St. Louis last week.  Zach Phillips (BS, 1) and John Brebbia each went two innings, Phillips yielding an unearned tally on two hits but fanning four.

Friday’s game:  at New Orleans (0-1), 7:00 pm CT, Arturo Reyes (0-0, ---) following MLB rehabber Tyler Lyons.


Springfield 9 at Frisco 3

A double-digit hit attack coupled with a strong starting pitching effort resulted in Springfield’s 9-3 triumph at Frisco (TEX).

The S-Cards generated 12 hits and produced two four-run frames, led by Alex Mejia and Oscar Mercado, who had three hits apiece.  While both players singled three times in five and four at bats, respectively, Mejia did the most damage.  The shortstop accounted for four runs, scoring once and driving in three.  Mercado had one RBI in his Double-A debut.


Nick Martini and Jacob Wilson singled twice and touched home once, Wilson knocking in two.  Luis Cruz’ double, his only hit in five at bats, was the only one to go for extra bases.

Meanwhile on the mound, Jack Flaherty, our Player of the Day, dazzled in his maiden Double-A effort, striking out six over 6 2/3 with one base-on-balls.  The 21-year-old blanked the RoughRiders on three hits, tossing 54 of his 81 pitches for strikes.


Blake McKnight left Flaherty’s final runner at first to finish the seventh but was dinged for three runs, two earned, on two hits and a hit batsman the next inning.  Corey Baker used a 6-4-3 double play to negate back-to-back singles for his first save.

Friday’s game:  at Frisco (0-1), 7:05 pm CT, Sandy Alcantara (season debut)


Palm Beach 3 at St. Lucie 1

Palm Beach kicked off its 2017 season with a 3-1 road victory over the St. Lucie Mets.

The Beach Birds put up a straight tally in the second, fourth and sixth frames, capitalizing on two Mets’ miscues for two unearned runs.  Five players had one hit each, the most productive being first baseman Chris Chinea.  Chinea reached on a throwing error to begin the second before coming around to put his team up temporarily 1-0.  The clean-up hitter launched his first bomb in the fourth, breaking a one all tie.


The squad’s final tally was generated when shortstop Edmundo Sosa reached via a fielding error with two gone and eventually scored when third baseman Danny Diekroeger grounded one into left.  Designated hitter Darren Seferina generated the team’s only other extra-base hit, a one-out triple in the first.

Lefty Jacob Evans was credited with the win, retiring four batters and walking one.  Brennan Leitao (1.2 IP) and Ross Vance (1.1) split pitching duties with Vance picking up his first save.

All three pitched in relief of Junior Fernandez, who had mixed results, fanning five in 4 2/3 frames but issuing four free passes.  The 20-year-old gave up three hits, one of them a second-inning long ball.

Friday’s game:  at St. Lucie (0-1), 6:30 pm ET, Zac Gallen (full season debut)


Peoria at Burlington - postponed

The Midwest monsoon that swept through these parts Wednesday evening resulted in a postponement of the season opener between the Chiefs and the Bees.  The game will be made up as part of a twin bill when the Chiefs return to Burlington May 26th through the 29th. 

Friday’s game:  at Burlington (LAA), 6:30 pm CT, Jordan Hicks (season debut)   


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