Cardinals Minor League Notebook: 08/26/12

The system went 4-2 Saturday as Springfield and Johnson City moved closer to the post-season. The GCL Cardinals begin the playoffs on Sunday.

Results from games played Saturday, August 25.

Albuquerque 4, Memphis 2

With the Saturday night win, the Isotopes tied the series at two games apiece in the best of five series at AutoZone Park.

The Redbirds found themselves down 3-0 in the third before Steven Hill hit a two-run home run for what became the only Redbird runs on the night. Adron Chambers scored ahead of Hill and was the only other Memphis batter with multiple hits. The leadoff man also swiped two bases.

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman collected his first hit in his second rehab game, leading off the sixth inning with a base hit to center field. Berkman is 1-for-5 with one run scored, one walk and one strikeout in two games.

Starter Tyler Lyons took the loss, giving up three runs on eight hits over six innings with five strikeouts. Jess Todd allowed the fourth Albuquerque run in the eighth.

Sunday's game: vs. Albuquerque, 6:05 pm CT, Shelby Miller (9-10, 5.04)

Springfield 2, Arkansas 1

Springfield defeated the Arkansas Travelers 2-1 in walk-off fashion, taking the first game of the series and lowering their magic number to three.

Down 1-0, the Cards cracked the scoreboard in the eighth inning, when Jamie Romak scored on a wild pitch. The Cards put runners at first and second in the bottom of the ninth as Mike O'Neill and Kolten Wong had back-to-back singles. Greg Garcia hit what appeared to be a double-play ball, but Kolten Wong's hard slide into the Travs' second baseman forced a throwing error, allowing O'Neill to score and end the game.

Our Player of the Day, starter Kevin Siegrist, pitched six innings, giving up one run on four hits, and striking out five. Kevin Thomas added two perfect innings with three strikeouts. Eric Fornataro picked up the win after a scoreless ninth.

Chris Swauger went 2-for-4 in his return from the disabled list. O'Neill went 3-for-4, raising his Texas League average to .444.

Sunday's game: vs. Arkansas (LAA), 2:08 pm CT, Carlos Martinez (3-3, 2.94)

Palm Beach 4 at Fort Myers 2

The visiting Beach Birds rapped out 14 hits, including solo home runs from Starlin Rodriguez and Geoff Klein. Both of them had three hits. Chris Edmondson and Luis De La Cruz singled, doubled and drove in one.

The Miracle scored one in the fifth and another in the sixth against starter Todd McInnis. He picked up the win despite having given up eight hits and three walks. Jose Almarante, Dean Kiekhefer and Zack Russell (save) combined for 3 1/3 scoreless.

Sunday's game: at Fort Myers, 11:35 am ET, TBA

Clinton 6, Quad Cities 3

Quad Cities committed five errors in their series-opening loss to Clinton, their second consecutive night with that many miscues. With the defeat, the Bandits were formally eliminated from winning the division, and have just an outside chance at a second-place finish.

The LumberKings touched Bandits starter Sam Gaviglio for four runs in five innings, but only one was earned. Stephen Piscotty made a trio of throwing errors and has 22 miscues in his first 47 professional games. In his return from the disabled list, Robert Stock allowed a run and Ethan Cole was charged with the final Clinton tally.

The Quad Cities offense managed nine hits but drew no walks. They scored all three runs in the sixth, with two coming from Luis Mateo's home run. Nick Martini singled, doubled and scored one run.

Sunday's game: at Clinton (SEA), 2:00 pm CT, Hector Hernandez (7-6, 4.12)

Batavia 6, Williamsport 5

The Muckdogs spotted the visiting Crosscutters two runs in the first only to come back to seize a 6-2 lead. They then held on for the one-run victory.

Batavia did the primary damage in the second, when they scored four. David Popkins' first New York-Penn League home run, a two-run shot, was the big blow.

Kyle Helisek put just four runners on base over five innings. Two scored, though only one was earned. Helisek fanned six. Dyllon Nuernberg yielded three runs in his 1 2/3 before Lee Stoppelman (hold) and Brandon Creath (save) combined for 2 1/3 scoreless to close out the win.

Matthew Young went 3-for-4, including a solo long ball in the fourth. Patrick Wisdom singled, walked twice and scored.

Sunday's game: vs. Williamsport, 1:05 pm ET, Corey Baker (2-2, 2.21)

Johnson City 5 at Burlington 1

The Cardinals needed a win to keep their playoff hopes on track. On Saturday night, they got out of the gates fast with four in the first and stayed ahead.

Red-hot Bruce Caldwell drove in the first two with the first of his two singles and scored the fourth and fifth runs of the night. C.J. McElroy had two singles, a walk, stole his 24th base of the season and scored once.

Starter Stalyn Lopez yielded just an unearned run in his four innings of work. He issued more walks, four, than hits allowed, three. Lopez fanned five. Joey Donofrio was awarded the win after four one-hit, no-walk scoreless frames.

Sunday's game: vs. Danville, 6:00 pm ET, TBA

GCL Cardinals vs. Marlins - canceled

The Cardinals' and Marlins' Saturday morning game was canceled due to rain. With the Cards having already clinched their division and the Marlins eliminated plus a huge home playoff contest planned for Sunday, a day of rest may be welcomed.

With both of the other GCL division races going down to the final day, the Cardinals did not know until Saturday afternoon if they would entertain the Pirates or the Tigers, both from the East Division. Though the Bucs are the Cards' opponent as the wild card, they still finished with two more wins than the Cardinals.

Sunday's game: One-game first-round playoff at Jupiter vs. the Pirates.

With a win, the Cards will advance to a best-of three series against the other finalist, either the North Division champion Tigers or the South Division winning Red Sox. A loss will end the Cardinals season.

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