Andrew Knizner (Brian Walton/The Cardinal Nation)

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

On Thursday, the St. Louis Cardinals system went 3-1, including a 1-1 mark in extra innings. Player of the Day Andrew Knizner’s three-run home run ended Peoria’s 15-inning marathon.

Results from games played Thursday, May 18th.


Memphis 4 vs. Albuquerque 2 

The Redbirds scored early then held on for a 4-2 victory over the Isotopes (21-19) (COL), salvaging a split of the four-game set.  Memphis (26-15) remains in first, six in front of Nashville (OAK).

The home team scored twice in the first before adding another tally the next frame, bookending it with another run in the eighth.  Chad Huffman and Rangel Ravelo led the 14-hit attack, both going 3-for-4 with a run scored and RBI.  Carson Kelly and Patrick Wisdom had two hits apiece in four at bats, Kelly crossing home once and Wisdom driving in one.

Mike Mayers (W, 3-4) tossed seven plus strong frames, scattering eight hits and two walks generating two runs.  Both tallies scored in the eighth after the righty yielded a lead-off double followed by two singles, the latter one bringing across the first run.

John Brebbia inherited runners at the corners with none out and kept the damage to one score via a sac fly.  A one-two-three ninth inning earned Brebbia his third save.

Friday’s game:  at Fresno (16-25) (HOU), 7:05 pm PT, Luke Weaver (3-0, 0.41)


Tulsa 5 at Springfield 4 (10)

The S-Cards battled back from an early deficit but could not get over the hump, falling to the Drillers, 5-4, in 10.  After winning the first two games, Springfield (20-18) dropped the last two of the home series to third-place Tulsa (20-19) (LAD) and slid into second in the North Division, a game behind Northwest Arkansas (KC).

All four runs charged to starter Sandy Alcantara over five were produced by three second-inning home runs.  The 21-year-old allowed eight hits and a walk in all, striking out five.

Blake McKnight kept the Drillers off the board on three hits and a walk in two innings, giving way to Landon Beck.  Beck retired four of his five batters faced before Chandler Hawkins recorded the last two outs in regulation.

Pedro Echemendia (L, 1-1) was not as effective, giving up two hits and a walk in the 10th.  One of them was a solo shot, which provided the difference in the game.

The home team was held to just five hits, including Anthony Garcia’s second long ball of 2017.  It came with Alex Mejia (walk) aboard and cut Tulsa’s lead to 4-3 after six.  Garcia then doubled with two gone in the eighth, eventually scoring on back-to-back wild pitches.  Stephen Piscotty popped out to short in his only at bat in the first before being replaced in the field to begin the third.

Friday’s game:  vs. Northwest Arkansas (21-17), 7:10 pm CT, Austin Gomber (2-2, 3.41)


Palm Beach 7 vs. Jupiter 1

Jupiter scored first but the Beach Birds scored the most as they romped over the Hammerheads, 7-1.  Palm Beach’s (21-19) current four-game winning streak spans the entire series with struggling Jupiter (15-26) (MIA) and lifts the PB-Cards into second, 4 1/2 in back of Bradenton (PIT).

Derian Gonzalez got the job done through six, notching his first win in six 2017 decisions.  The only blemish against him occurred in the first when he yielded a tally via a walk, stolen base and double.  The right-hander permitted just four hits and the aforementioned free pass, throwing 48 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

Ross Vance tossed two scoreless frames, striking out two and giving up a hit.  Brennan Leitao worked around two hits in the ninth.

Down 1-0 after one, Palm Beach tied it up in the third before putting Jupiter away with three consecutive two-run innings in the fifth through seventh.  The squad mustered 12 hits in all, led by three players with three hits apiece:  Chris Chinea, Darren Seferina and Randy Arozarena.

Chinea was a perfect 3-for-3 with a walk, two doubles, run scored and one knocked in.  Seferina ended up a home run shy of the cycle, going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, a stolen base and two RBI.  Arozarena went 3-for-4 with a double, touched home once and drove in two.

Almost lost in that trio’s output was Shane Billings’ night.  Billings singled twice in four at bats with a run scored and one knocked in.  The center fielder has hit safely in eight of his last 10 games.

Friday’s game:  vs. Florida (18-23) (ATL), 6:30 pm ET, Ryan Helsley (2-2. 5.28)


Peoria 4 vs. Beloit 1 (15)

It took 15 innings, but the Chiefs walked off with a 4-1 triumph over Beloit in the first of four versus the Snappers.  Peoria (14-24), which holds a 3-7 record over the last 10 games, is mired in seventh place, trailing Cedar Rapids (MIN) by nine.

There were many hits for such a low-scoring affair, as the two squads combined for 23.  But the big blow was Andrew Knizner’s three-run bomb, his seventh home run of the season.  Our Player of the Day’s feat came with Nick Plummer (walk) and Tommy Edman (IBB) on, finishing a game that lasted just over four hours.

Edman paced Peoria with three of their 12 hits, going 3-for-6 with a walk, stolen base and run scored.  Knizner added a single to his home run in five at bats with a base-on-balls.

Ryan McCarvel and Vince Jackson had two hits each as well.  McCarvel singled twice in six at bats while Jackson smashed his first triple and touched home once.

Max Almonte nailed down the final three frames, striking out four, for his first full-season win.  He was the last of a quartet of Peoria relievers that included Austin Sexton, Eric Carter and Brady Bowen.  Sexton followed starter John Kilichowski to the mound in the sixth, tossing 2 2/3 frames of shutout ball and leaving Kilichowski’s last two runners on.

But Eric Carter (BS, 2) could not close it out in the ninth, surrendering a run on two hits and two walks that sent the game into extras.  Brady Bowen took over from there, pitching a clean 10th, 11th and 12th.

Kilichowski tossed his best game to date in 2017, limiting the fourth-place Snappers to four hits in 5 1/3 scoreless.  But the lefty battled control problems, issuing six free passes.

Friday’s game:  vs. Beloit (19-20) (OAK), 6:30 pm CT, Bryan Dobzanski (0-3, 5.33)

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