Andrew Knizner (Brian Walton / The Cardinal Nation)

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

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 4-0 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Peoria catcher Andrew Knizner, who was 4-for-5 with an RBI and two runs scored in the Chiefs’ season-opening victory over Burlington.

Results for games played Friday, April 7.


Memphis 5 at New Orleans 1

St. Louis lefty Tyler Lyons made a rehab start, as he seeks to return to the major league club following knee surgery last season.  At New Orleans, Lyons pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing no runs while fanning two and walking one.  Lyons gave up three hits.  Arturo Reyes followed with 3 2/3 innings, surrendering the lone New Orleans’ run on two hits.  Reyes earned the win.  Rowan Wick pitched the final two scoreless innings.

The Redbirds offense put up five runs on eight hits.  Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-4 with two runs driven in, on an eighth inning double.  Three runs in the first inning were plated on a Patrick Wisdom sac fly and a two run double from Paul DeJong.

Carson Kelly was caught stealing in the sixth, in his first attempt of the season.

The Redbirds are 2-0 on the season and in first place in the PCL American South.

Saturday’s game:  at New Orleans, Chris Ellis (0-0, 0.00) 1:00 CT.


Springfield 7 at Frisco 0

The bats were humming for the Springfield Cardinals, as they put seven runs up to shut out the Frisco Rough Riders on the road.  A two run home run by Blake Drake was the only long ball of the night, but several Cardinals had multiple hits. Bruce Caldwell was 3-for-5, while Luis Cruz was 3-for-4.  Alex Mejia was 2-for-5 with three RBI.  Mejia drove in the first run on a double in the second inning.  Cruz followed up with an RBI single.  Caldwell plated a run on a double in the third.  Drake’s two run blast came in the fourth, and in the fifth, Mejia plated two on a double.

On the mound for the Double-A squad was Sandy Alcantara, who pitched six scoreless innings to earn his first Texas League win.  The righty struck out four and walked one. According to TCN's Derek Shore, Alcantara threw 85 pitches and held upper-90s velocity on his fastball. Jimmy Reed pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth, and Daniel Bard closed with a clean ninth.

In the field, catcher Cruz was charged with a throwing error and a passed ball.  Drake had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals are 2-0 in the Texas League North and stand in first place.

Saturday’s game:  at Frisco, Austin Gomber (0-0, 0.00) 7:05 CT.


Palm Beach 3 at St. Lucie 2

The Cardinals eked out a close win at the St. Lucie Mets.  Palm Beach got on the board first in the fourth with a Chris Chinea RBI double to score Edmundo Sosa, who reached base on a leadoff walk.  A groundout by Austin Wilson plated Chinea from third.  After the Mets tied the game, the Cardinals took the lead and the win in the eighth when a Mets throwing error put Magneuris Sierra on third base and a ground ball single by Sosa brought him home.  Thomas Spitz had the only multi hit night, going 2-for-4 with a double.

Starter Zac Gallen kept the Mets off the board until the bottom half of the sixth, when the right-hander surrendered a leadoff double, but fanned the next batter.  Gallen was replaced by reliever Juan Perez, who gave up the single that scored Gallen’s runner.  Perez' runner then scored on a double to tie the game.  Perez was charged with a blown save.  Tyler Bray began the seventh and pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and fanning two. Landon Beck added a scoreless ninth to earn his first save.  Bray was the winning pitcher.

The Cardinals stand at 2-0 to begin the season.

Saturday’s game:  vs. St. Lucie, Derian Gonzalez (0-0, 0.00) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 8 at Burlington 2

In the weather-delayed season opener, Chiefs hurler Jordan Hicks picked up his first Midwest League win, tossing six scoreless innings.  Hick allowed three hits and struck out two, with his only blemish being four walks.  Hicks was followed by two scoreless relief innings from Ramon Santos.  Greg Tomchick pitched the ninth and surrendered both Bees runs without benefit of a hit; the righty reliever walked three then allowed a run on a wild pitch.  The second run scored on a force out grounder.

The Chiefs offense was led by catcher Andrew Knizner, with a 4-for-5 night at the plate.  Knizner drove in a run and scored two of Peoria’s eight runs.  Of his four hits, two were for extra bases, a double and a triple, missing a home run for the cycle.  Other Chiefs went deep though, with three solo home runs adding to the scoreboard tally, off the bats of Dylan Carlson, Stefan Trosclair, and J.R. Davis.  An RBI single by Brian O’Keefe plated two runs and a seventh inning ground out gave O’Keefe a three-RBI night.  The final Peoria score came on a sac fly from Vince Jackson.  Trosclair and Carlson joined Knizner in crossing the plate twice.

The Chiefs are 1-0 on the young season.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Ronnie Williams (0-0, 0.00) 6:30 CT.

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