Games Played Thursday – April 9th
Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) - Winners 4-3 over Oklahoma City in 10
It took extra innings for the Redbirds to win their home opener, winning 4-3 over Oklahoma City Thursday night in front of 5,726 fans at Auto Zone Park.
Starter Mitchell Boggs scattered five hits over six innings, giving up only one run, but did not factor into the decision. Jess Todd was tagged with a blown save after he gave up two runs in two innings as he begins the process of moving from the rotation into the bullpen. Chris Perez looking to work his way back into the St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, pitched two scoreless frames to pick up the win.
The Redbirds scored the winning run in the bottom of the 10th when Casey Rowlett walked with the bases loaded, scoring Tyler Greene from third. Allen Craig and Jon Jay both went 2-for-4 Thursday night, the only players with a multi-hit game.
TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Bryan Anderson (#3), Jess Todd (#4), Mitchell Boggs (#8), Jon Jay (#10), Clayton Mortensen (#11), Adam Ottavino (#13), Allen Craig (#14), Tyler Greene (#17), P.J. Walters (#23), Nick Stavinoha (#30), and Shane Robinson (#33).
Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Winners 16-4 over Frisco
The Cardinals who have not won an Opening Day game in the first four years of their franchise history, scored three runs in the first, second and third inning to take a commanding 6-2 lead over the Frisco Roughriders before the game was delayed by rain for two hours and thirty five minutes. The Cardinals would go on to score 10 more runs before it was over, winning 16-4 to send the rain soaked faithful in red home in time for breakfast.
Brett Wallace led the offense, taking Birdhouse "Player of the Day" honors away from Shane Peterson who seemed like a sure lock just three hours earlier, by going 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs.
The Cardinals 2008 Minor League Player of the Year, Daryl Jones, went 3-for-4 with a double and a walk. He added an RBI on a single up the middle in the sixth and scored four runs.
Starter Kyle Mura pitched the first three frames before the rain delay, giving up two runs on five hits. When play resumed Trey Hearne took the mound for two innings, giving up two more runs on five hits before Elvis Hernandez, who was credited with the win and Kristhiam combined for four innings of shutout relief.
A LOOK BACK AT 08: Despite having the best overall mark in the North Division at 76-64, as well as setting a franchise record for number of wins (76), the Cards missed the playoffs. Springfield had three Texas League Post-Season All-Stars; 3B Allen Craig, RHP Jess Todd and RHP Fernando Salas, all of whom are now in Triple-A Memphis. The Arkansas Travelers knocked off the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in the first round of the playoffs, then bested Frisco 3-2 in the Texas League Championship Series.
OPENING DAY BLUES: The Springfield Cardinals have not won an Opening Day game in their first four years of franchise history. Twice they've opened on the road twice and twice here at Hammons Field, including last year against the Frisco RoughRiders. Not only did the Riders win on Opening Day last year, they swept the Cards in a three-game series.
Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Winners: 7-0 over Jupiter
The Cardinals shutout their Roger Dean Stadium roommates, the Jupiter Hammerheads, 7-0, to win the home opener Thursday night.
The Cards scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh, with Nick Derba and Curt Smith going deep for the Redbirds. Shane Peterson went four for four, with three doubles, two RBI and one run scored, to take home the first, Birdhouse "Player of the Day" Award for the 09 season. Peterson is coming off an impressive 2008 season for the Batavia Muckdogs where he hit .291 with 39 RBI and 20 doubles (tied for 2nd most in the league).
PETE KOZMA WATCH: The former 1st Round Draft Pick went 0-for-4 on the night with a sac fly for an RBI, striking out twice.
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Lost to Wisconsin 2-1
The River Bandits couldn't hold onto a slim 1-0 lead as they get snake bit by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
Adam Veres started for Quad Cities and put together three strong innings, allowing just one hit and fanning two without given up a run. Kevin Thomas followed with two scoreless innings of his own, using three strikeouts to work around a pair of hits. Arquimedes Nieto suffered the loss, allowing two unearned runs on two hits in his 2.2 innings on the mound.
The Bandits scored their only run in the third when Aaron Luna hit a double off the batter's eye in center field for the first hit of the game. One batter later, Paul Cruz laced a line-drive single to right to drive Luna in.
BREAKING NEWS: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Thursday that Quad Cities pitcher Deryk Hooker has received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension of Hooker will be effective immediately.
PIGGYBACK ROTATION: Drives me nuts, but here it is; Quad Cities will once again be using the tandem starter (or "piggyback") system for its starting rotation in 2009, although this year it will feature a twist. The roster includes 10 starting pitchers that are paired into five tandems and will operate on a traditional five-day rotation. The five tandems will still switch off who will start and who will come out of the bullpen each time out, and the second "starter"—or "piggyback" pitcher—will still always enter the game to start a fresh inning. Aside from the two additional starters, the main difference in this year's system involves the bullpen. Each tandem will get the day following their start to rest. The next day, the member of the tandem that threw the fewest pitchers two days earlier will be available as a fourth reliever in the bullpen. The system is intended to ease the wear-and-tear on the arms of young pitchers, emphasize the Cardinals' organizational philosophy of pitch efficiency, and give more pitchers the chance to start. There will be only three full-time relievers on the River Bandits' 13-man pitching staff to start the season.
Batavia Muckdogs (SS) - The Muckdogs will begin the defense of their NYPL Championship Title on June 19th when they host Auburn at home.
Johnson City Cardinals (R) - The Cardinals will open the season on the road in Kingsport on Tuesday, June 23rd. The Cardinals will play a three game series with the Mets before the action comes to Howard Johnson Field on Friday, June 26th when the Cardinals play host to the Burlington Royals in the 2009 home opener.
Gulf Coast League Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-June
VSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-May
DSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts near the end of May
Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Adam Veres
Veres gave up just one hit in his three innings on the mound Thursday for Quad Cities, but did not factor into the decision. Quad Cities lost to Wisconsin 2-1.
Minor League Player of the Day - Brett Wallace
Shane Peterson was in line for Player of the Day before the Springfield Cardinals' after a two-hour rain delayed finished their home opener at 1:00 a.m., just about four hours after my bedtime. Brett Wallace, who won't be playing at the Double-A level very long, went 4-for-5 with two home runs and six RBIs.
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