The Cardinals Minor League Notebook 04/29

Zack Zuercher and the Springfield bullpen turned in five scoreless innings on Monday, helping Springfield sweep Tulsa and take over first place in the North Division. Elsewhere, who put the River in the River Bandits, Memphis holds back a swarm of killer bees and Palm Beach salvages the last game of a three-game set with the dreadful Mets.


Games Played Monday


Memphis Redbirds (Double-A) - Winners over Salt Lake 4-1

The Memphis Redbirds and their fans braced themselves Monday night in anticipation of a swarm of the killer bees with a 21-1 record, descending into Auto Zone Park to wreck havoc

Apparently not allergic to bees, at least bees pitching, Colby Rasmus led off the bottom of the first inning with an estimated 440-foot Mantle type blast to right-centerfield. The Cardinals top prospect followed up with another solo home run in the fifth to put the Redbirds up 3-1. Rasmus now leads the team with five home runs. Josh Phelps chipped in three singles as his bat is beginning to heat up and Jarrett Hoffpauir added two singles of his own in the win.

Hugo Castellanos earned the win with six solid innings. The right-hander gave up one run on five hits with one walk and two strikeouts before giving way to the bullpen. Chris Perez picked up his sixth save of the year by working a scoreless ninth inning.

For Salt Lake the loss is only their second of the season and first on the road. Starter Shane Loux was pinned with the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits across five innings. Kendry Morales and Ryan Budde led the Bees with two hits each.

Memphis will send Iron Man Mike Parisi to the hill Tuesday night to face Salt Lake's Kasey Olenberger. Game time is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Parisi has never missed a start in his professional baseball career. You have to respect that.


RECORD: 11-14, 3rd Place, 3.5 GB


Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Winners 6-5 over Tulsa

The Springfield Cardinals completed their first sweep of the 2008 season, with a dramatic 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Tulsa Drillers. The win for Springfield gives them five straight and puts them alone at the top the North Division standings for the first time this year.

Outfielder Luke Gorsett picked the right time to hit his first home run for Springfield, a solo blast in the fifth inning that gave the Cardinals what would be, the lead for good. Shortstop Tyler Greene, who has been struggling at the plate in almost Biblical proportions, hit his second home run of the season, a two run shot in the third to give the Redbirds a brief, 5-4 lead.

The Dynamic Duo, outfielders Shane Robinson and Jon Jay, each contributed two hits on the night and scored a run. Robinson's 2-for-4 night, propels him to the top of the league leader board with a remarkable .423 batting average. Robinson has hit safely (12-for-20) in five straight games.

Brandon Yarbrough went 0-for3 Monday, but he has gotten hot for Springfield in the last week, hitting in his last six straight games leading up to yesterday's contest. Yarbrough had a season-high four hits and three RBIs in Springfield's 14-inning win on Tuesday in Springdale. Prior to the six-game hitting streak, Yarbrough had a .192 average, 106 points less than where he was standing entering Monday's contest.

Zack Zuercher picked up his first win of the season, with his timely two scoreless innings in relief as Josh Dew, who just joined the ballclub, earned the first save.


RECORD: 11-13, 1st Place, (5-game winning streak)


Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Winners 9-6

The St. Lucie Mets doubled their totals wins for the season, by taking the first two games of a three-game set against the heavy favorites, the Florida State League Eastern Division leaders, the Palm Beach Cardinals.

The Cardinals salvaged a 9-5 win over the Mets, Monday, to maintain their grip on sole possession of first place. The Mets fell to 4-21, 13 games back already this season.

Center fielder Tommy Pham hit his first home run this season, a two-run blast in the seventh inning to basically put the game out of reach for the Mets, who were suffering from an identity crisis after actually winning two games in a row.

One of Cardinal Nation's favorite minor league players, Steven Hill, was back behind the plate on Monday. Hill went 1-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, as his batting average plummeted to .337.

Infielder Donovan Solana had a good day at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored to raise his batting average about .300.

Starter Kyle Sadlowski improved to 3-0 on the season with the victory Monday, pitching five complete innings, giving up only two runs on five hits and three walks. Jon Mikrut who has been perfect since his return to Florida from Double-A Springfield, earned his fourth safe in six appearances. Mikrut has failed to give up a run or even a walk in his first six outings for the Palm Beach Cardinals.


RECORD: 17-8, 1st Place


Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Winners 4-3 over Lansing

The Quad Cities River Bandits experienced an ominous start to their day on Monday morning, arriving to Modern Woodmen Park only to realize that the overflowing Mississippi River had surrounded the ballpark and forced the relocation of their scheduled series opener against the Lansing Lugnuts to Cedar Rapids. Apparently Quad Cities is passing on my idea to have "life preserver vest night" at the ball park. Free live preservers to the first 500 people to swim to the ballpark. Go figure, I'm ahead of my time.

After falling behind 3-0 in the first inning, the Quad Cities River Bandits, playing as the home(less) team squatting in Veterans Memorial Stadium , came from behind with two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win their sixth consecutive game in dramatic, walk off fashion.

Quad Cities (14-9) notched their 10th come-from-behind win of the season and sixth in their final at-bat, improving to 7-1 as their current season-long homestand continues in various Eastern Iowa ballparks.

Third baseman Domnit Bolivar led the offense Monday, having perhaps his best day of the season, going 3-for-4 with a run scored.

Thomas Eager picked up his first win, pitching five scoreless frames in relief of Eduardo Sanchez and Matt Spade.

The A-List: OF Adron Chambers was hitting just .189 on April 15, but the speedster from Pensacola, Florida, has since raised his average 81 points by hitting safely in six of his last seven games. During that stretch, he has gone 9-for-26 (.346) with four multi-hit games and five runs scored.

Who put the "River" in River Bandits?

The Quad Cities River Bandits will play out the remainder of the current homestand away from Modern Woodmen Park, as the flooding Mississippi River has continued to extend its reach past the railroad tracks on S. Gaines St. and has surrounded the ballpark.


RECORD: 14-9, 3rd Place, 3.0 GB


Batavia Muckdogs (SS)

Season begins June 18th, on the road against the Auburn Doubledays

2007 RECORD: 31-43, 12th Place, 16.0 GB


Johnson City Cardinals (R)

Season begins on June 17th, on the road against the Bristol Sox

2007 RECORD: 28-40, 3rd Place, 22.0 GB


Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R)

Season begins on June 19th, on the road against the GCL Marlins

2007 RECORD: 24-30, 3rd Place, 15.5 GB


VSL Cardinals (R)

Season begins in May

2007 RECORD: 23-46, 7th Place, 25.5 GB


DSL Cardinals (R)

Season begins in June

2007 RECORD: 30-35, 4th Place, 16.5 GB



Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Zach Zuercher

Zack Zuercher and the Springfield bullpen turned in five scoreless innings on Monday, helping the Cardinals sweep Tulsa and take over first place in the North Division



Minor League Player of the Day - Colby Rasmus

Hit two home runs in Monday's breakfast club matchup against the Tulsa Drillers, as Springfield returns home, in first place in the Texas League North Division standings.


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