Games Played Thursday, April 23rd
Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) - Lost to Nashville 7-6
The Redbirds jumped out to a 4-1 lead but couldn't hold it, as they suffer a 7-6 loss to Nashville Thursday night at AutoZone Park.
The ‘Birds down 7-4 in the ninth, staged a too little, too late, comeback attempt as they pushed two runs home before David Freese with the bases loaded to end the game.
Freese struck out twice in Thursday's game, going 0-for-5 on the day as his batting average dips to .182 since being sent down from St. Louis. Outfielder Joe Mather had his best day at the plate in days, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Outfielder Shane Robinson had a rare 0-for day, going 0-for-3 as his batting average falls below the .400 mark to .383.
Starter Blake Hawksworth took the loss allowing six runs on six hits over four innings to fall to 1-2 on the season with a 6.43 ERA.
The Redbirds and Sounds wrap up their four-game series tomorrow night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Memphis will send Clayton Mortensen to the mound.
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).
RECORD: 8-6, 3rd Place, 1.5 GB - PCL American North Division
Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Winners 10-6 over Tulsa
The Cardinals won their season-best third straight game with a 10-6 win over Tulsa on Thursday night at Hammons Field to take sole possession of first place in the Texas League North Division.
Outfielder Jim Rapoport led the Redbirds' offense with a game-tying grand slam in the fifth, then driving in the go-ahead run in a five-run seventh inning. Second baseman Daniel Descalso also took one out of the park for his second home run of the year.
Keep an eye on Descalso, going into Thursday's game he had raised his batting average to .409 thanks to a five-game hitting streak, including three straight multi-hit games. Descalso hit safely in his first five games this season and has hit safely in all but one game this year. Last night Daniel went 1-for-3 as he finished the night with a .396 batting average on the season, extending his current hitting streak to six games.
BRETT WALLACE WATCH: After seeing his average nearly plummet all the way to the "Mendoza Line", Brett Wallace has five hits in his last 12 at-bats, after last night's 0-for-4 performance. Wallace still has not homered since going yard twice on opening night. He's only driven in two runs since he exploded for six on Opening Night, including none over his last six games. Wallace is hitting .265, but still has an OBP of .455 which ranks 10th best in the league.
Springfield (8-5) is now three games over .500 for the first time this year. The Cards look to make it four straight wins, taking on the Drillers in game two of the four-game home stand on Friday night.
RECORD: 8-5, 1st Place - Texas League North Division
Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Lost to Fort Myers 8-0
The Cardinals lost their fourth straight game losing Thursday night, getting swept in a three-game series and shutout by the Fort Myers Miracle 8-0. In the three-game set at Fort Myers the Cardinals were outscored 30-7 (ouch).
The Cardinals only had five hits but on a positive note, shortstop Pete Kozma went 2-for-3 and reached base on a walk, raising his batting average to .250. Outfielder Shane Peterson went 1-for-4 but is still hitting above the .400 mark with a .409 average.
Starter Ryan Kulik was tagged with the loss, giving up six runs on six hits and two walks, while striking out four. Reliever Eduardo Sanchez gave up his first run this season Thursday, allowing just one run in his two innings of work. Sanchez, who has a save to his credit, has pitched in seven games, 10 innings total this season, allowing only one run, while striking out nine to keep his ERA below 1.00 at 0.90.
The Cardinals will look to get back on the winning track when they begin a three-game set with the Sarasota Reds, who they swept a three-game series from earlier this month.
PETE KOZMA WATCH: A 2-for-3 night with no errors.
AMONG THE LEAGUE LEADERS: OF Shane Peterson still leads the league in hitting with a .409 average; OF Adron Chambers ranks 5th with a .375 mark and 3B Jermaine Curtis comes in at #7 with a .356 average. Pitching; Adam Reifer has a league-high three saves and SP Ryan Kulik ranks fifth in the league with 17 strikeouts.
ON THE DL: 1B Matthew Arburr
RECORD: 7-6, Tied for 2nd Place, 2.0 GB - FSL South Division
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Lost to Beloit 7-4
The Quad Cities River Bandits sitting above the .500 mark for the first time this season, jumped out to a four run lead in the top of the first inning on Thursday night, but Beloit Snappers' starter Bobby Lanigan settled down and took over the ballgame pitching 6.2 innings to lead the home team to a 7-4 win at Pohlman Field.
Lanigan's performance last night is a perfect example as to why I'm so opposed to the piggyback starting system the Cardinals organization employs. You are never going to see a pitcher get the opportunity that Lanigan had last night to battle back after struggling early in the game.
Quad Cities mustered up just two hits after the first inning as the Snappers rallied for the last seven runs of the night. Beloit got a dominating performance from Lanigan, who gave up four runs on six hits and a walk but struck out 10 and allowed just one hit after the first inning to earn the win.
QC starter Scott McGregor pitched four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out five, but did not factor into the decision naturally. Miguel Tapia suffered the loss for Quad Cities out of the bullpen, giving up three runs on three hits over three innings.
Offensively, Osvaldo Morales hit his third home run on the year with a two-run shot in the first to give Quad Cities the early lead. Second baseman Brett Lilley, just called up from extended spring training, was perfect, he went 2-for-2 with a double, a walk and a run scored.
After winning two of the first three games of the series, Quad Cities will look to win the set with a victory tonight. A win would also put the River Bandits back above the .500 mark for just the second time this season.
RBI MACHINE: 1B Osvaldo Morales blasted a two-run homer in the first inning on Thursday, making it nine RBI over his last four games. The powerful Dominican leads the Midwest League with 16 RBI through his first 12 games of the season, adding three home runs and 10 runs scored. He is also a perfect 5-for-5 with a runner at third and less than two outs.
HITTING THE GROUND RUNNING: 2B Brett Lilley flew into Beloit and met the team at the ballpark on Thursday, but that did not stop him from having an impact in his River Bandits debut. The Notre Dame product—and all-time NCAA hit-by-pitch leader—opened the ballgame with a double and reached base safely in all five of his plate appearances. Lilley went 2-for-2 with a walk and was hit by two pitches. He was also the only player that reached base against Snappers' starter Bobby Lanigan after the first inning—doing so twice.
ON THE DL: The River Bandits offense took a hit on Thursday with the news that OF Paul Cruz has landed on the DL after injuring his right wrist on an awkward swing. The 23-year-old was red hot after launching a game-tying homer on Wednesday for his second home run of the year. The pesky leadoff hitter has hit safely in eight of his nine games this season and scored runs in seven of them—including six in a row. A 40th round pick in 2008 out of the University of Tampa, Cruz is 12-for-32 (.375) with nine runs, six RBI and nine walks.
RECORD: 6-6, Tied for 4th Place, 2.5 GB - MID Western Division
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 - Peter Parise
Pete earned his first on the season with two perfect frames Thursday as Springfield defeated Tulsa to take sole possession of first place.
Minor League Player of the Day - Brett Lilley
The River Bandits new second baseman reached base five times last night in his Quad Cities debut Thursday as the Bandits fell 7-4 to the Beloit Snappers.
Minor League Related Links (R)