Oscar Mercado (Springfield Cardinals FANatic Photos)

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 minor league system was 3-1 on Friday. Our Player of the Day is Springfield outfielder Oscar Mercado, who hit a grand slam and was 2-for-4 with two runs scored in the victory over the Arkansas Travelers.

Results for games played Friday, April 28.


Memphis 9, Round Rock 1

The Redbirds were in control from start to finish in their Friday night contest against the Round Rock Express.  Daniel Poncedeleon pitched six strong innings with one run on five hits to earn his second win of the season. Mark Montgomery added two scoreless innings of relief before Sam Tuivailala closed it out with a scoreless ninth.


First baseman Luke Voit and catcher Carson Kelly provided four of the Memphis runs with the long ball.  Voit and Kelly went back to back with solo home runs in the first inning.  The first sacker then hit a two run shot in the sixth inning.  Voit was 3-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored.    Kelly was 2-for-5.  Todd Cunningham plated four runs without benefit of a home run.  A two run double in the second inning, followed by RBI singles in the sixth and eighth topped off Cunningham’s performance.  The hits kept coming as Paul DeJong was 3-for-4, and Wilfredo Tovar and Breyvic Valera had two hits in four at-bats each.

Memphis is 11-11, tied for first place in the PCL South.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Round Rock, Arturo Reyes (2-0, 1.93) 6:35 CT.


Springfield 8, Arkansas 7 (10 innings)

The Cardinals pulled out a squeaker in extras on Friday night.  The game wasn’t close until the ninth, when the Travelers put up five runs to tie the game and send it into extra innings.  Starter Matt Pearce had his best outing to date in 2017, yielding two runs on four hits in six innings of work.   Ross Vance added a scoreless seventh. 

With the game seemingly in hand after his clean eighth, Corey Baker returned for the ninth.  Things did well, as he gave up four runs, three earned, without recording an out.  Pedro Echemendia entered with one runner on base and he allowed the inherited runner to score.  A wild pitch followed by an RBI single tied the game for Arkansas.  Echemendia was tagged with a blown save but ultimately was awarded the win as well when the offense scored the winning run in the 10th.

The Cardinals plated a run each in the second and the third innings to take a 2-0 lead.  It began with a solo home run by Eliezer Alvarez followed by an RBI single by Adolis Garcia.  After the Travelers tied it up with a run in the sixth and another in the seventh, outfielder Oscar Mercado made his presence felt with a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh.  A Bruce Caldwell solo home run gave the Cardinals a 7-2 lead going into the ninth.  Caldwell also plated the winning run in the 10th on a single.


The Cardinals are 11-9 in the Texas League North, tied for first place.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Arkansas, Jack Flaherty (4-0, 0.33) 6:10 CT.


Palm Beach 1 at Jupiter 4

The Cardinals fell behind early and couldn’t get traction to catch up.  The offense didn’t score until the sixth inning, and then only one run, via an RBI single from Casey Turgeon.  Turgeon was 2-for-4 on the night.  First sacker Danny Diekroeger was 2-for-3 with a double.

Palm Beach starter Derian Gonzalez tossed five innings, giving up four runs on eight hits.  The winless right hander was tagged with his third loss of the season.  Austin Sexton pitched three scoreless innings to close out the contest.


The Cardinals are 11-10, a half-game out of first place in the FSL South.

Saturday’s game:  at Jupiter, Ryan Helsley (0-1, 5.14) 4:30 CT.


Peoria 5, Cedar Rapids 2

The Chiefs pulled ahead behind a three-run home run off the bat of second baseman Andy Young in the third inning.  Two more runs in the fourth, via an RBI double by Tommy Edman, would be all the Chiefs needed.  Both middle infielders were 2-for-4 as was Ryan McCarvel.

Peoria starter Steven Farinaro pitched seven strong innings, allowing one run on five hits to earn his first Midwest League win.  Spencer Trayner pitched 2/3 of an inning and surrendered one run.  Eric Carter took over with two down in the eighth, and secured the final four outs.  Carter received the save, his second.


The Chiefs are 9-12 on the season and 5.5 games back of first place in the Midwest League West.

Saturday’s game:  vs. Cedar Rapids, John Kilichowski (0-2, 6.43) 6:30 CT.


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