Marco Gonzales (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

Marco Gonzales tossed seven strong frames for Memphis in the system’s only win from a light Mother’s Day schedule. Springfield suffered a walk-off loss while both Palm Beach and Peoria were idle.

Results from games played Sunday, May 14th.

 

Memphis 6 vs. El Paso 5 

Late game offensive fireworks transformed an early pitching duel as Memphis slipped past El Paso at AutoZone Park, 6-5.  The Redbirds (24-13) won three of the four-game set over the Chihuahuas (17-20) (SD) and remain seven ahead of second-place Nashville (OAK) in the American Southern Division.

Player of the Day Marco Gonzales was impressive in his return to Triple-A, tossing seven frames of three-hit, one-walk ball.  Unfortunately, one of those hits was a solo home run, leaving his team down 1-0 at the seventh’s midpoint.  The southpaw fanned six with seven ground- and six fly-ball outs.

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But Gonzales’ teammates picked him up in the bottom of the frame, scoring four times.  Two came via Luke Voit’s eighth long ball of 2017.  Voit was one of three Redbirds going 2-for-4, along with Carson Kelly and Nick Martini who each doubled.  Memphis accumulated 11 hits in all.

However, reliever Josh Lucas (BS, 2) (W, 4-0) fell prey to a long ball of his own, serving up a game-tying bomb, denying Gonzales the win.  Lucas allowed three hits and a base-on-balls in his inning of work.

Back to work went the bats and the result was two more scores.  The big blow was Chad Huffman’s pinch hit single bringing across right fielder Rangel Ravelo (single) and Kelly (double). Ravelo and Kelly touched home twice, the former singling once in two at bats with two walks.

Nevertheless, the drama was not over.  Mark Montgomery (S, 1) served up a home run to his first batter before retiring the next three straight.

Monday’s game:  vs. Albuquerque (19-17) (COL), 6:35 pm CT, TBA (likely Tyler Lyons in a rehab outing)

 

Springfield 7 at Arkansas 8

The S-Cards battled back from an early deficit only for the Travelers to walk off with the prize in their 8-7 loss.  Springfield (18-16) split the four-game series with last-place Arkansas (14-21) (SEA) and are tied with Northwest Arkansas (KC) atop the North Division, but only a half game in front of Tulsa (LAD).

Springfield struck first with two in the opening frame but Austin Gomber gave that back plus more in the bottom of the frame.  Four Travelers crossed the plate on two doubles, a single and two walks, all tallies unearned due to a fielding error by second baseman Eliezer Alvarez.  Gomber departed having retired just two batters.

Blake McKnight went the next 2 2/3, yielding three runs on five hits, including a solo shot, and a walk.  He did strand Gomber’s last two runners.

Corey Baker tossed three innings, permitting three hits and letting one of McKnight’s two runners score on a force out.  Chandler Hawkins (L, 0-1) had trouble finding the strike zone, issuing four free passes during his two plus innings on the bump.  Hawkins gave up three hits, one of which drove in Arkansas’ winning run.

The S-Cards generated 10 hits, led by Casey Grayson who went 3-for-4 with a walk and run scored.  Oscar Mercado, Alex Mejia and Anthony Garcia had two hits apiece. Mercado crossed home plate three times, Garcia knocked in two and Mejia had one of each.

http://www.scout.com/player/215506-adolis-garcia?s=321

But the talk of the game centered on Adolis Garcia, despite him going hitless in four at bats.  The right fielder worked one of four free passes issued in the eighth, ending up on third with his team down 7-6 and two gone.  Garcia took everyone by surprise when he dashed home, scoring for the second time.  It was his second steal of the game to go with two RBI, one on a sac fly.

Monday’s game:  vs. Tulsa (18-17), 6:30 pm CT, Dakota Hudson (1-2, 3.41)

 

Palm Beach - off

Palm Beach (17-19) will try to snap a three-game losing skid when they open a four-game series with Jupiter (MIA) at Roger Dean Stadium.  The third-place Beach Birds trail Bradenton (PIT) by 6 1/2.

Monday’s game:  vs. Jupiter (15-22), 6:30 pm ET, Jake Woodford (1-2, 3.52)

 

Peoria - off

Seventh-place Peoria (12-21), losers of four straight, will try to turn their fortunes around during their four-game road series with co-leaders Cedar Rapids (MIN), a team their trail by seven. One of Monday's seven-inning contests is a make up of the April 30 rainout.

Monday’s games:  at Cedar Rapids (20-15).  Game one – 5:30 pm CT, Jordan Hicks (4-1, 2.76)/Mike O’Reilly (0-0, 2.31)

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