Ryan McCarvel (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

The St. Louis Cardinals system was 1-3 on Saturday. Our Player of the Day is Peoria designated hitter Ryan McCarvel, who hit a three-run blast to score the winning runs for the Chiefs in their victory over Burlington.

Results for games played Saturday, April 8.

Memphis 3 at New Orleans 9

A two home run, three RBI day for Tommy Pham was the highlight of this loss at New Orleans.  Pham, who was optioned to Memphis after failing to make the big league roster out of Spring Training, made a bid for a future call up with this performance.  The Redbirds were scoreless until the sixth inning, when the outfielder blasted a long call to left center field for two scores and briefly tying the game.  Two innings later, with the Redbirds down by five runs, Pham thumped a solo shot. Luke Voit had the only other multi-hit performance, going 2-for-3 with a double.


Memphis starter Chris Ellis was obtained in the offseason from Atlanta in the Jaime Garcia trade.  Ellis tossed five innings, giving up two runs on three hits.  Thomas Lee pitched the sixth and surrendered four additional runs to take the loss. Mark Montgomery allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings, and John Brebbia gave up the final two New Orleans’ scores in the ninth.

The Redbirds are 2-1 on the season and remain in first place in the PCL American South.

Sunday’s game:  at New Orleans, Mike Mayers (0-0, 0.00) 1:00 CT


Springfield 2 at Frisco 10

The Cardinals suffered their first loss of the new season, as they were routed on the road by the Frisco Rough Riders on Saturday night. Left-hander Austin Gomber couldn’t finish the first inning, giving up five runs on five hits.  With just two outs in the books, the starter was removed and Chandler Hawkins came in to staunch the bleeding.  After a throwing error and a walk to score an inherited runner, Hawkins retired the final batter of the inning.   The lefty pitched three more innings and surrendered one run on two hits.  Kevin Herget began the fifth and pitched 2 1/3 innings, relinquishing two additional Frisco scores.  Pedro Echemendia entered with one out in the eighth and finished the game, allowing the final two runs.

The Cardinals offense managed two runs on seven hits, which included a solo home run by Bruce Caldwell.  Caldwell drove in the other Springfield run as well, on a RBI single in the fifth inning.  Casey Grayson was 2-for-4.

The Cardinals are 2-1 in the Texas League North and remain in first place.

Sunday’s game:  at Midland, Dakota Hudson (0-0,0.00) 4:00 CT


Palm Beach 4, St. Lucie 5

The home opener in Jupiter, Florida, was a nail-biter, but after the score was tied twice, the Cardinals finally fell to the Mets in the ninth inning.  Starter Derian Gonzalez had a so-so start, surrendering three runs, two earned, on three hits in four innings of work.  Reliever Ian McKinney pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings before giving way to Brennan Leitao.  Leitao gave up the tying run and was charged with a blown save.  Jacob Evans relinquished the winning Mets run in the ninth and took the loss.

The Cardinals offense scored four runs on just four hits.  Danny Diekroeger drove in two on sac flies, one in the first and one in the third, but was hitless.  Randy Arozarena grounded out in the second inning to plate a run, and catcher Jeremy Martinez hit an RBI single in the fifth. The only extra base hit was triple by Thomas Spitz.

Magneuris Sierra stole his second base of the season in two attempts, and Spitz stole his first base in his only try.  Darren Seferina was caught stealing for the second time in two attempts.  Sierra and Arozarena each had an outfield assist.

The Cardinals stand at 2-1 to begin the season.

Sunday’s game:  vs. St. Lucie, Ryan Helsley (0-0, 0.00) 12:00 pm CT.


Peoria 3, Burlington 1

In the home opener on Saturday night at Dozer Park, the Chiefs held on to win their second game in two tries. A three-run home run off the bat of Ryan McCarvel was all that was needed to seal the victory.  The long ball was the only Chiefs’ extra base hit of the night.   Catcher Brian O’Keefe was 2-for-3.


Ronnie Williams started for the Chiefs, and allowed the only Bees’ run in the second inning.  Williams was replaced after three walks and a single in the second. Dailyn Martinez took over and pitched 4 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the win.  Brady Bowen and Estarlin Arias pitched the final three frames in scoreless fashion, with Arias earning the save.

The Chiefs are 2-0 on the season.

Sunday’s game:  vs. Burlington, Ian Oxnevad (0-0, 0.00) 5:00 CT.

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