When discussing outfielder Shane Robinson’s promotion to the majors on Wednesday, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny tried to explain the depth chart situation down in Memphis.
"That’s as tough a place to get playing time as this is,” Matheny said. That fact is especially true for outfielders, with the major league club and Memphis sporting a surplus of both.
Both groups had good nights Wednesday.
Leftfielder Matt Holliday scored the winning run in the 12th inning on a ball hit by rightfielder Allen Craig, who went 3-for-4 and reached base six times in the Cardinals 3-2 extra inning win over Arizona. Centerfielder Jon Jay made a potentially game-saving play in center field, diving on the warning track to rob Gerardo Parra in the top of the 12th.
Down in Memphis, the outfielders proved they are just as valuable to their club, and continued to make their cases for joining the big-league team.
Class AAA Memphis 7, Colorado Spring 4
The Redbirds’ outfield didn’t seem to miss Robinson – and his .371 average – much, as outfielders Randal Grichuk, Oscar Taveras and Stephen Piscotty combined for eight hits, four runs scored and three RBI to lead Memphis over Colorado Springs Sky Sox (Colorado Rockies) 7-4.
Grichuk blasted his ninth home run of the year and added a double (his 11th), while Taveras and Piscotty enjoyed three-hit nights. Taveras is now 7-for-10 in his last two games, both Memphis wins.
The Redbirds totaled 12 hits, their second straight night with double-digit hits. The offense rescued Memphis from a poor start by Kurt Heyer, who lasted just 3.2 innings. Four relievers held Colorado Springs to two runs over the next 5.1 innings, with David Aardsma notching his sixth save.
Memphis’ second straight win brought the Redbirds to .500 at 23-23.
Class AA Springfield 5, Midland 2
First inning home runs from David Popkins and Patrick Wisdom gave Springfield an early lead and that was enough to make a winner out of Sam Gaviglio, who struck out seven over 5.2 scoreless innings to defeat Midland (Oakland A’s) 5-2.
Designated hitter Cody Stanley continued his torrid month of May, scoring a run and driving one in while collecting two hits to raise his batting average to .343 through 28 games. The former fourth-round pick out of the University of North Carolina is scorching this month, batting .434 with four home runs.
Springfield improved to 21-24 and sit 3.0 games out of first place in the Texas League’s north division.
High-A Palm Beach 4, Brevard County 3
Leftfielder Starlin Rodriguez blasted two home runs, including a go-ahead one in the sixth inning and Palm Beach held on to beat the Brevard County Manatees (Milwaukee Brewers) for the second straight night. Designated hitter David Washington chipped in with a two-run single, and starter Joe Cuda held Brevard County to three runs over seven innings to earn his first win of the season.
Right fielder Nick Martini added two hits and a run scored. Aidan Lucas and Danny Miranda secured the win with two combined innings of scoreless relief. Palm Beach improved to 20-26.
Clinton 5, Low-A Peoria 0
Two Clinton (Seattle Mariners) pitchers combined to scatter eight hits and shut out Peoria one night after the Chiefs exploded for 20 hits and 14 runs. It was a night-long struggle to figure out Clinton starter Edwin Diaz, who pitched seven scoreless while striking out just one. The Chiefs went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven on base.
Chiefs starter Blake McKnight struggled on his way to his fourth loss of the season, compared to just one win. The righty surrendered nine hits and five runs (three earned) over 4.1 innings. Peoria fell to 26-19.