MiLN - "Free" Ryan Ludwick

Corner outfielder (hint) Ryan Ludwick hit a grand slam Friday night to lead the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds to a win over the Iowa Cubs. Ludwick is hitting .342, 6 HR, 24 RBI in 22 games for Memphis. As sports columnist Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post Dispatch would say and probably already has, it's time to "Free" Ryan Ludwick.


The St. Louis Cardinals Minor League Notebook

For Games Played Friday


Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A): Winners 6-5 over Iowa Cubs

The Memphis Redbirds scored five runs in the bottom of the third and added another run in the 4th to take a 6-0 lead midway through the game. The Cubs came back with three runs in the sixth and two more in the ninth but it was too little, too late.

Memphis starting pitcher Troy Cate (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, pitching five innings, scattering seven hits, allowing three earned runs on the night.

Ryan Ludwick hit a grand slam in the third inning, his sixth homer season. Ludwick is hitting .342 with six home runs and 24 RBI and one has to wonder how long it is going to take the St. Louis Cardinals to call him up.

1B Tagg Bozied, raised his batting average to .260 with a three-for-four night, with all three of his hits being doubles.

Memphis closer Brian Falkenborg came in the game in the eighth inning and pitched the final two frames to pick up his sixth save on the season.

The St. Louis Cardinals sent down left-handed starting pitcher Randy Keisler to Triple-A Memphis on Friday, opting to bring up reliever Kelvin Jimenez in his stead. Keisler was 0-0 in three starts, compiling a 5.65 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched. Jimenez pitched 11 innings with 12 strikeouts and a 1.59 ERA at Memphis this season.


RECORD: 11-11, 2nd Place, 2.5 GB


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A): Winners 2-1 over Tulsa

The Cardinals improved their record to 8-9 with their third straight win at home Friday night with a 2-1 win over the Tulsa Drillers to move into a tie with the Drillers for first place in the Texas League North Division.

After a two hour and forty-five minute rain delay the game was stopped again in the sixth inning so that a fireworks display could take place before the apparent 11 p.m. curfew on fireworks being launched in Springfield Missouri. The end must be near if baseball games are being stopped to shoot off fireworks, it just seem sacrilegious to me. Kind of like having opening day in Japan and taking players out of spring training for a World Baseball Classic, go figure.

The Cardinals scored their runs in the third inning on an RBI double by Colby Rasmus to drive in the tying run and Jonathan Jay scoring the go-ahead run on a ground out by Juan Richardson.

The Drillers scored their only run (unearned) in the first off of starter Cory Rauschenberger. Relievers Jose Garcia (1-1), Brian Stitt and Matt Scherer combined to work eight scoreless innings in relief of Cory Rauschenberger. Garcia picked up his first win and closer Chris Perez earned his third save after walking the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

Catcher Bryan Anderson had two hits to lead the Springfield offense, which was outhit 7-6. The win gives the Cards three straight victories, marking the first time this year that Springfield has won three in a row.

1B Joe Mather is making another run at Texas League Player of the Week honors, picking up seven hits in 22AB's over his last six games. Four of the seven hits have gone over the fence, as Mather continues to lead the league with nine long balls. Mather's career high is 16 homers, established in Palm Beach last year over 124 games. This season, Mather is on pace for more than 70 home runs, with nine homers in his first 16 games. His .344 average is currently fifth in the league.

St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Juan Encarnacion is hitting just .118 (2-17) with one RBI in his first four rehab appearances. Today, he'll be batting third and playing right field for the third game in a row.


RECORD: 8-9, Tied for 1st Place with Tulsa


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A): Lost to Vero Beach 11-3

The Palm Beach Cardinals pitching staff was roughed up on Friday night, as they gave up 11 runs on 12 hits to the Vero Beach Devil Rays to knock the Cardinals out of first place in the FSL Eastern Division.

Starter Palm Beach starter Tyler Norrick (3-1) was knocked out of the game after 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks with six strikeouts. The 23-year-old left-hander from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale had given up only one earned run over 24 innings in his first four starts.

Three members of the bullpen; Donnie Smith, Nicholas Webber & Zach Zuercher each gave up two earned runs in relief, with the Bees scoring an additional unearned run on the night.

It was another night of ugly baseball for the Cardinals pitching staff with four wild pitches (Norrick, Webber & Zuercher 2) and a hit batter (Zuercher) that didn't help the cause.


RECORD: 11-9, 2nd Place, 1 GB


Swing of Quad Cities (A): Winners 5-3 over the Burlington Bees

The Swing down 2-1 in the fifth, fought back scoring four runs to go ahead of the Burlington Bees to close out a 12 game, 13 day road trip with a 5-7 record.

Burlington scored the first runs of the game in the second inning normally a bad sign for the Swing who had a record before Friday's game of 2-10 when the other team scored first.

Shaun Garceau (1-0) picked up his first win of the season, pitching three innings in relief, giving up two hits, one earned run, walking on and striking out four.

Kenny Maiques earned his fourth save of the year with a scoreless frame in the ninth.

RF Luke Gorsett led the way for the Swing with a 2-for-4 night at the plate that included a double, a run, and an RBI.

Five different batters had an RBI Friday night; Brandon Buckman (18), Mark Shorey (17), Luke Gorsett (4), Chris Grossman (5), Daryl Jones (3).


RECORD: 10-11, 6th Place, 2 GB


Batavia Muckdogs (SS)

Season opens on Tuesday June 19th, against the Auburn Doubledays.


Johnson City Cardinals (R)

The Cardinals will open the season on the road in Greenville on Tuesday, June 19th.



Minor League Pitcher of the Day

Brian Falkenborg

The Memphis closer came in the game in the eighth inning Friday night and pitched two innings, giving up two runs in the ninth, only one of them earned, to earn his sixth save of the season.


Minor League Player of the Day

Ryan Ludwick

Ludwick hit a grand slam in the third inning, his sixth homer season to lead Memphis to a 6-5 win over the Iowa Cubs on Friday night. Ludwick is hitting .346 for Memphis and with the St. Louis Cardinals struggling to put runs on the board, Ludwick should be getting a call soon. Personally I would have already made the call, it is time to shake some things up in St. Louis.



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