Games Played Thursday, April 30, 2009
Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A) - Winners 4-3 over Iowa
The Redbirds beat the Cubs Thursday night, 4-3, there is nothing like a win over the Cubs, no matter where they play.
Memphis starter Clayton Mortensen improved to 2-1 on the season, pitching six complete innings, giving up three runs, only one of them earned, on five hits and a walk while striking out four. Jess Todd, making a very smooth transition from the rotation to the closer's role, pitched a scoreless frame in the ninth to pick up his PCL leading fifth save on the season.
The offense was led by a trio of batters hitting below the Mendoza line; David Freese (.172), Joe Mather (.132) & Bryan Anderson (.184), but each drove in a run last night with an extra-base hit. David Freese's base hit was a solo home run, his first on the season and Bryan Anderson hit a double to go with Mather's triple.
Shortstop Donovan Solano had a rough night in his first Triple-A game, a rain soaked affair with less than perfect field conditions, he went 0-for-3 at the plate and committed two throwing errors.
With the win last night, Memphis moves to within a half of a game behind the Iowa Cubs in the PCL American North Division. The Redbirds have a chance to move into first place, as they are scheduled to play the Cubs for the next three days, that is, if they can avoid more of the Midwest rains.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Memphis is ranked dead last in hitting in the PCL with a pathetic .220 team batting average, but its pitching staff leads the league with a 3.46 ERA. It will be interesting if a team hitting .220 can actually move into first over the weekend.
ROSTER MOVES: Tyler Greene was promoted to St. Louis Thursday to take the place on the Cardinals 25-man roster vacated by Brendan Ryan who was placed on the 15-day DL. Infielder Donovan Solano was promoted from Springfield to take Greene's place on the Memphis Roster.
Reliever Marco Gonzalez was sent down to Double-A Thursday after getting off to a slow start with Memphis this season. Gonzalez played for Springfield last year.
RECORD: 12-8, 2nd Place, 0.5 GB - PCL American North Division
Springfield Cardinals (Double-A) - Winners 6-2 over NWA
The Springfield Cardinals salvaged the final game of the four-game series in Northwest Arkansas, snapping a three-game skid with a 6-2 victory at Arvest Ballpark. It was the Cardinals first win over the Naturals this season and with the win Springfield gets just a little breathing room in the standings, taking a two-game lead over Northwest Arkansas.
Starter Tyler Herron won his first decision this season, working six strong innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three. Closer Francisco Samuel, into the game in the eighth inning to record the final out, pitched a scoreless frame in the ninth to earn his league-leading sixth save of the season.
The Cardinals experienced a rare power surge Thursday night with home runs by Brett Wallace, Mark Hamilton and Jim Rapoport. In addition, outfielder Daryl Jones went 3-for-5 with a run scored and first baseman Andrew Brown chipped in three hits, including a double, going 3-for-5 on the night as well.
Second baseman Daniel Descalso extended his hitting streak to 13 games, going 1-for-4 at the plate in yesterday's contest. The 13-game hitting streak is five shy from tying the franchise record of 18, set by Tyler Greene last year.
BRETT WALLACE WATCH: Brett hit his fifth home run on the season Thursday night, tying him with Steven Hill for the team lead in homers. Brett went 1-for-5 in the 6-2 over NWA.
ROSTER MOVES: Former first round draft pick, Pete Kozma will join the Cardinals Friday in Tulsa. Infielder Donovan Solano was promoted to Memphis Thursday to take Tyler Greene's place on the Triple-A roster.
TOP 40 PROSPECTS: Brett Wallace (#2), Daryl Jones (#5), Pete Kozma (#12), Francisco Samuel (#19), Tyler Herron (#25), and Steven Hill (#29).
RECORD: 12-8, 1st Place - Texas League North Division
Palm Beach Cardinals (High-A) - Lost to Jupiter 6-2
Starter Shaun Garceau pitch four solid innings before turning the game over to the "piggy-back" system, that it still blows my mind that it's being used again this season. Garceau gave up just one run on three hits and a walk, while striking out two. Richard Castillo was tagged with a blown save and the loss, giving up five runs, four of them earned, on three hits and three walks.
The Cardinals third baseman Jermaine Curtis had the only multi-hit game yesterday, going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Leadoff man and outfielder Adron Chambers went just 1-for-5 and remains among the league leaders with a .375 batting average. Chambers stole his third base of the season as the Cardinals offense fails to generate enough offense to avoid the 4-2 loss.
The Cardinals fall to two games below the .500 mark for the first time this season, after winning just two of their last 10 games, very disappointing considering Palm Beach started the season winning seven of their first 10 games.
RECORD: 9-11, 5th Place, 3.0 GB - FSL South Division
Quad Cities River Bandits (A) - Winners 4-2 over South Bend
The River Bandits won their sixth straight game Thursday night, with a 4-2 win over the South Bend Silver Hawks at Modern Woodmen Park.
Working out of the bullpen Gary Daley earned his second win, striking out four and holding the Silver Hawks to just one run over 3.1 frames despite issuing four walks and giving three hits. Daley, who is supposed to have the best stuff on the staff, continues to struggle with his control. Starter George Brown gave up just one run through four frames without figuring into the decision.
Shortstop Niko Vasquez who has turned up the heat with his bat lately, hitting .342 over his last 10 games, went hitless last night, but scored twice after reaching base three times via the walk. Got to love those "free passes".
Second baseman Brett "the on-base-machine" Lilley, was kept off the bases Thursday, going 0-for-4, but still has an impressive .514 OBP through his first eight games with Quad Cities.
The River Bandits improved to 10-2 on the season at home and are just a game back of Kane County in the Western Division standings.
RECORD: 12-7, 2nd Place, 1-0 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) - The GCL Cardinals open their season on June 23 vs. the GCL Marlins.
VSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts mid-May
DSL Cardinals (R) - Season starts near the end of May
Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Tyler Herron
Herron won his first game of the season, as the Springfield Cardinals finally defeated Northwest Arkansas for the first time in six games this year. Pitched six complete innings, giving up just two runs on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three.
Minor League Player of the Day - Mark Hamilton
Credit goes to the Springfield Cardinals designated hitter Mark Hamilton Thursday, who hit his first home run on the year, a two run blast in the fifth to help propel the Cardinals to their first win over the Naturals.
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