Todd Cunningham (Scott Rovak / USA TODAY Sports Images)

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 went 1-4 on Friday, as Memphis split a doubleheader to make up the Thursday game postponed by rain. Our Player of the Day is Redbirds outfielder Todd Cunningham, whose two-run home run powered a victory over Colorado Springs.

Results for games played Friday, April 21.

Memphis 5 at Colorado Springs 1 (Game 1 - seven innings)

In the first of a twin bill to make up Thursday’s washed out game, the Memphis offense was very productive, with seven hits leading to five runs.  A two-run home run by Player of the Day Todd Cunningham in the third inning put the Redbirds on the board and in the lead.

A leadoff double in the fifth by Chad Huffman followed by a Tommy Pham single scored Huffman.  A single from Luke Voit plated Pham.  A double play ground out allowed a fifth and final run to score in the seventh.  Wilfredo Tovar was 2-for-3 and scored on Cunningham’s home run.

On the pitching side, Josh Zeid won his first game of the season by pitching six strong innings, giving up only one run on six hits.  Sam Tuivailala closed out the game with a scoreless seventh.

Memphis 1 at Colorado Springs 5 (Game 2 - seven innings)

Fortunes were reversed in the second game of the twin bill.  The Redbirds were defeated by the Sky Sox by the same margin in which they won the first game. This time, the Redbirds failed in both pitching and offense. 

Memphis’ bats were sluggish, as only one run crossed the plate. In the fifth inning, Tommy Pham doubled, and Luke Voit followed with an RBI single.  The first baseman was 2-for-3 including a double, while Anthony Garcia was 2-for-2.  The Memphis offense was 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left six men stranded.

Pitching for the Redbirds also fell short.  Spot starter John Brebbia allowed two runs in three innings of work, surrendering six hits and fanning one.  Kevin Herget surrendered an additional three runs, two earned.  Zach Phillips pitched a scoreless sixth.

Memphis is 8-8 and remains in first place in the PCL South.

Saturday’s game:  at Oklahoma City, Daniel Poncedeleon (1-0, 1.80) 7:05 CT.


Springfield 3 at Arkansas 5

The Cardinals fell behind early, then tied it up, only to relinquish the lead immediately and not get it back.  Dakota Hudson suffered his first loss of the season, giving up five runs on seven hits in four innings of work.  Hudson was bitten by the long ball, a two run shot in the fifth inning that put the Travelers in the winning column. That home run, plus the double and walk that followed led to Hudson being replaced by Ross Vance.  Vance got the three outs on a ground out and a double play to end the inning.  Tyler Bray pitched the remaining three frames, holding the opposition to one hit and no runs, while striking out three.

The Springfield offense plated three runs on nine hits.  In the fourth inning, a leadoff single by Eliezer Alvarez, followed by a Alex Mejia double and a Casey Grayson walk, loaded the bases with no outs. Luis Cruz then grounded into a double play that scored Alvarez.  An Oscar Mercado single plated Mejia.  In the fifth, the Cardinals tied the game at 3-3 on an Adolis Garcia single and stolen base, followed by an RBI single from Bruce Caldwell.  Mercado was 2-for-5, the only Cardinal with multiple hits.

Springfield is 8-6 in the Texas League North, in first place by one game.

Saturday’s game:  at Arkansas, Matt Pearce (0-2, 4.66) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 0, Charlotte 10

The Cardinals were routed by the Charlotte Stone Crabs in Jupiter on Friday.  The major pitching failure was obvious.  It started with Derian Gonzalez, who surrendered five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings pitched to absorb his second loss of the season.  The bloodbath continued with Steven De La Cruz, who gave up four more runs in 2/3 of an inning.  Austin Sexton entered with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh and threw a wild pitch that brought another run home, charged to De La Cruz.  Sexton pitched the remainder of the game, relinquishing his own run in the eighth.

As the score suggests, the Palm Beach offense was not on their game.  They managed eight hits, none of which brought a run across the plate. Randy Arozarena was 2-for-4 with a double, and Chris Chinea was also 2-for-4.  They had chances but could not convert, with 11 men left on base.

The Cardinals are 9-7, tied for first place with the Bradenton Marauders in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Charlotte, Ryan Helsley (0-0, 0.77) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 1 at Wisconsin 4

The Chiefs did not put a run on the board until the seventh inning, a solo home run by Danny Hudzina, and that was too little too late.  Other than that, Chiefs batters hit just five singles, two by Andrew Knizner in four at-bats.

Starter Ian Oxnevad allowed four Timber Rattlers runs in five innings to take his second loss of the season.  The big blow was a two-run home run in his final frame. Oxnevad fanned six and walked three.  Brady Bowen and Estarlin Arias combined for three scoreless innings.

The Chiefs are 6-8 on the season, 3.5 games back of first place in the Midwest League West.

Saturday’s game:  at Wisconsin, Steven Farinaro (0-1, 11.25) 1:05 CT.


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