The St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliates were busy on Thursday as Memphis and the GCL Cards each played two. The organization went 6-4 with Jack Flaherty and Harrison Bader headlining for Peoria and Marco Gonzales struggling for Memphis.
In the resumption of a suspended game from Wednesday, Memphis was held to seven hits and three runs while committing three errors in game 1 of a double header. Jeremy Hazelbaker continued his strong season with two hits, including his 7th double for Memphis. Marco Gonzales relieved John Gast, who did not face a batter prior to the game being suspended, went 4 innings and allowed 7 hits, 4 runs, and struck out 3.
In the regularly scheduled game, Memphis was shut out by four Sounds' pitchers while collecting 8 hits. Tommy Pham and Matt Williams each had two hits while all 8 hits were singles. Tyler Waldron made the start for the Redbirds and allowed four runs on 5 hits while recording just 5 outs. Recently DFA'd Marcus Hatley allowed 3 runs over 2 1/3 innings in relief.
The Springfield Cardinals used the long ball to defeat the Travelers on Thursday as Aledmys Diaz blasted his 8th home run and Anthony Garcia hit a go ahead 3-run home run in the bottom of the 6th which erased a one run deficit. Charlie Tilson had two hits and was causing havoc on the bases, swiping two bags. Starter Jimmy Reed struggled for the S-Cards, allowing 6 runs on 7 hits over 5 innings. Reliever Ryan Sherriff allowed 2 runs over 1 1/3 innings but picked up his first win.
Palm Beach also came from a run behind and scored single runs in the 7th and 8th to get the lead and they would hold on to win. Mason Katz has had a strong return from the disabled list, collecting two hits after a three hit night in his return on Wednesday. C.J. McElroy, Casey Turgeon, and Collin Radack each doubled for the Beach Birds. Blake McKnight made his first start of the season and it was a successful one as he went 5 innings and allowed just 3 hits while walking one and striking out three.
Peoria starter and 2014 supplemental first rounder Jack Flaherty stole the show as he struck out 12 of the 18 batters he retired while allowing just one run on 5 hits and 2 walks. Harrison Bader continues to swing a hot bat, collecting two hits, including a double. Over his last 4 games, Bader has 6 hits, which includes 2 home runs and 2 doubles. Kyle Grana picked up his 17th save for Peoria and lowered his ERA to 0.82.
The Spikes pounded out 14 hits and had multi-hit games from their first 6 in the line up. Orlando Olivera, out of Missouri Baptist, led the way with three hits including his third home run for the Spikes. Landon Beck got the start for State College and allowed 2 runs but scattered 9 hits while striking out 8 and walking none. The Spikes scored in the top of the 10th and Pedro Echemendia held the Black Bears in the bottom of the inning for his 5th save.
In another extra inning game, the Johnson City Cardinals allowed two runs in the top of the 12th and were unable to answer in the bottom half. Edmundo Sosa had two hits for the Cardinals, including his 6th double of the season. Josh Wirsu got the start for the Cards and was strong over 7 innings allowing 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 8. Harley Holt took his second loss while allowing the two extra inning runs.
The Gulf Coast Cards played two, 7 inning games on Thursday and Ian Oxnevad got the start in this one and was impressive. Over 4 innings, he allowed no runs on 4 hits while walking 2 and striking 3 out. Over 13 professional innings, Oxnevad's ERA is down to 0.69. Carlos Talavera and Bladimil Franco each had two hits for the Cards.
The Mets and Cards split their two games on Thursday while 2015 first rounder Nick Plummer recorded two hits in this contest. Plummer is trying to recover from a 0-21 skid and has recorded a hit in two straight games. Again, Bladimil Franco recorded a multi-hit game with 2 hits. Jake Woodford had a strong start, going 4 innings and allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 5 and walking 2.
In the Dominican Republic, Starlin Balbuena had two hits including his 5th double while Sanel Rosendo hit his 6th home run, a 2-run home run in the 9th to give the Cards a 3 run cushion. Will Changarotty went 5 innings and allowed 7 hits, 1 run, and struck out 4.