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Minor league weekend roundup: Memphis makes history

2014-07-28T01:25:00Z 2015-02-01T08:02:05Z Minor league weekend roundup: Memphis makes historyBy Joe Trezza jtrezza@post-dispatch.com 314-340-8274 stltoday.com

Class AAA Memphis (56-52, Pacific Coast League)

Weekend Record: 5-0

Highlights: The double-header sweep of Iowa (Chicago Cubs) Sunday was the Redbirds’ second in two days, and the five game series sweep was the first in franchise history. 

John Gast, Tim Cooney, Boone Whiting and Marco Gonzales all posted victories to highlight a banner weekend for the starting rotation. The only starter to not post a win was Nick Greenwood, who was held to just three innings in his first start since spending more than a month in the major league bullpen.

Greenwood tossed three scoreless innings in Sunday’s 2-0 win. Dean Kiekhefer (win) and three other relievers combined to throw four more.

Some offensive notes:

-  Randal Grichuk homered Friday and Sunday to give him 20 in 80 games on the season.

-  Xavier Scruggs homered and drove in two runs in the first game Saturday 

- Stephen Piscotty’s RBI single Sunday improved the outfielder’s batting average to .818 (9-for-11) with the bases loaded this season. 

- Ed Easley (.400) and Luis Mateo (.555) combined for nine hits over the weekend.

Class AA Springfield (15-22 second half, 49-58 overall, Texas League)

Weekend Record: 1-2

Highlights: Rafael Ortega’s RBI double put the Cardinals ahead in the top of the 10th Sunday and proved to be the biggest of 15 hits for Springfield, which topped North West Arkansas (Kansas City Royals) to salvage one game of the weekend series. Mike O’Neill and James Ramsey tallied three hits apiece, while Cody Stanley and Breyvic Valera drove in two runs each.

Ramsey finished the weekend 5-for-11 with three doubles. He’s hitting .301 with 13 home runs.

Recently promoted Samuel Tuivailala earned his first save. Tuivailala has yet to allow a run in 7.2 innings for Springfield, after posting a 3.58 ERA in 29 games for High-A Palm Beach.

Lowlights: Seventeen hits resulted in just one run over the first two games of the weekend series, which Springfield dropped by a combined score of 8-1. Kurt Heyer allowed three earned runs over six Saturday and earned his ninth loss. Jonathan Cornelius lost for the eighth time Friday, even though he allowed just three runs in six. 

High-A Palm Beach (24-12 second half, 60-45 overall, Florida State League)

Weekend Record: 2-1

Highlights: Home runs from Mason Katz and Luke Voit led a 16-hit, 13-run barrage of Brevard County (Milwaukee Brewers) Friday, as Joe Cuda earned his seventh win despite allowing seven runs in 6 2/3 innings.

Nick Martini and David Popkins added three hits apiece and combined for three RBI. Anthony Garcia added two RBI and Katz and Voit drove in three each.

Martini doubled and homered while Popkins and Garcia added two more hits apiece in the Cardinals 5-4 win in Game 1 of Sunday’s doubleheader.

Catcher Gerwuins Velazco hit his first homer of the season, a grand slam, to put Palm Beach ahead early.

Reliever Chris Perry split 2 1/3 scoreless innings over two appearances to keep his Palm Beach ERA spotless in 6 1/3 innings.

Lowlights: Palm Beach failed to earn a sweep as Danny Miranda allowed two runs in two innings of relief and the Cardinals dropped Sunday’s second game 4-2. The Cardinals scored two in the first on a Bruce Caldwell home run, but couldn’t figure out two Brevard relievers.

Low-A Peoria (20-15 second half, 57-47 overall Midwest League)

Weekend Record: 3-0

Highlights: Luis Perdomo earned his second win Saturday and Rob Kaminsky his sixth Sunday, but the best pitching performance of the weekend came from righty Blake McKnight Friday. The former 38th round pick out of Evangel University and O’Fallon, Mo., native, tossed seven one-hit innings in a no-decision against Lansing (Toronto Blue Jays). McKnight struck out six and walked two, but the Chiefs didn’t score until after he was gone. Reliever Jhonny Polanco earned the win in a game Peoria won 1-0.

Short Season State College (30-13 New York Penn League)

Weekend Record: 2-1

Highlights: Alex De Leon provided the only homer in Friday’s 14-run, 17-hit clubbing of Auburn (Washington Nationals). But the Spikes found other ways to score. Many other ways.

Robyelys Reyes had three hits and four RBI. Chase Raffield drove in four. De Leon also walked thrice and scored four times. Luis Cruz and Collin Radack had two hits. The Spikes walked nine times, doubled thrice and struck out just three times as well before the bats went silent Saturday.

They awoke Sunday though, when Nick Thompson, Raffield and Radack each homered and the Spikes prevailed 8-5. Second baseman Darren Seferina added two hits; the Spikes totaled 13. 

Daniel Poncedeleon struck out four over three scoreless innings.

Lowlights: Saturday brought a lull, as the Spikes mustered just four hits a night after smacking 17 and lost 7-1. Austin Gomber took his second loss after allowing five hits and two runs over four. Tyler Bray and Jacob Booden combined to allow five runs over 3 1/3. 

Rookie Johnson City (17-17 Appalachian League)

Weekend Record: 1-1

Highlights: The Cardinals capitalized on five Elizabethton (Minnesota Twins) errors to win 5-2 Saturday. Dailyn Martinez fanned eight over 7 2/3 innings. He allowed seven hits and two runs, with no walks, to earn his third win. Martinez, 21, is a native o the Dominican Republic who has spent time in State College this season. 

Lowlights: Matt Pearce allowed six earned runs over four innings and the Cardinals dropped Friday’s opener 8-1. Pearce struck out five and walked two. The righty out of Polk State has a 3.81 ERA over six starts.

Sunday’s series finale was suspended in the fifth inning and the Cardinals down 7-6.  

Joe Trezza is a sports intern at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter at JoeTrezz" @JoeTrezz

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