Editor's Note: Everyone welcome Josey Curtis to VEB as she will be handling the weekend minor league reports. She is on twitter @curtis_josey.
The Memphis Redbirds, Springfield Cardinals, Palm Beach Cardinals, and Peoria Chiefs combined to win six of their twelve games over the weekend.
Friday, May 13
Storm Chasers 7, Memphis 1
Shortstop Greg Garcia went 2-for-4 and drove in a run, the only run for the Redbirds on Friday evening. The rest of the lineup mustered a mere three hits and whiffed a dozen times; Omaha starter Miguel Almonte recorded eight of the strikeouts through his five-inning outing. Jeremy Hefner started for Memphis and lasted 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on six hits, three of which went for extra bases.
Springfield 6, Naturals 1
Trey Nielsen started the game on Friday for Springfield, and he finished the game, too. Nielsen allowed one run -- a home run to Naturals third baseman Mauricio Ramos -- and closed the door on the Naturals’ run column from there, recording six strikeouts along the way en route to the first complete game of his career. Nielsen received ample run support via a three-hit night from Breyvic Valera, two hits off the bat of Chris Jacobs, and homers from Carson Kelly and the rehabbing Tommy Pham.
Marauders 13, Palm Beach 1
Four costly errors committed by Palm Beach’s defense opened the flood gates on Friday for the Marauders, who knocked Jack Flaherty around for seven runs (three earned) on ten hits in five innings. Marauders shortstop Kevin Newman collected four hits in six at-bats, yet he did not drive in any of the Marauders’ runs. Three of the Cardinals’ four hits came from designated hitter Casey Grayson, including the team’s only extra-base hit of the evening.
(Peoria’s scheduled game against the LumberKings on Friday was postponed; the teams played a doubleheader on Saturday.)
Saturday, May 14
Memphis 10, River Cats 3
Arturo Reyes got the nod for the Redbirds in Saturday’s game and held the River Cats to two earned runs through six innings. The Redbirds went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position, more specifically second baseman Matt Williams, who tallied five RBIs. Chris Heston (the same Chris Heston that no-hit the New York Mets in June of last year) surrendered four runs on as many walks and five hits over four innings.
Naturals 7, Springfield 2
A four-run fourth inning was all the Naturals would need to defeat Springfield on Saturday. The Naturals’ big inning came against Andrew Morales, who really wasn’t in much trouble aside from that frame. Harrison Bader drove in one of Springfield’s runs, but the rest of the lineup was pretty quiet; Carson Kelly and Paul DeJong went a combined 0-for-8 on Saturday with six strikeouts.
Marauders 2, Palm Beach 1
A pitchers’ duel between Palm Beach’s Austin Gomber and the Marauders’ Alex McRae unfolded during Saturday’s game, one that eventually faded to a battle of the bullpens and was ultimately won by the Marauders on a one-out, go-ahead homer off the bat of Connor Joe. Gomber pitched six solid innings for Palm Beach, allowing one run on seven hits. Palm Beach second baseman Darren Seferina swiped his ninth base of the season.
Game One: Peoria 3, LumberKings 1
Brennan Leitao started the first game of Peoria’s doubleheader on Saturday and lasted the entirety of the seven-inning affair. Allowing just one run on five hits, Leitao was backed by two-hit days from Eliezer Alvarez and Brian O’Keefe and a pair of RBIs off the bat of Thomas Spitz.
Game Two: Peoria 7, LumberKings 2
The LumberKings knocked Peoria starter Junior Fernandez out of the game after drawing two walks and scoring twice six batters into the game. Fernandez threw over 30 pitches before being replaced by Jorge Rodriguez, who held the LumberKings to two hits for the next 4 1/3 innings. Peoria plated five runs in the ninth to break the 2-2 tie and cruise to a sweep of the doubleheader. Eliezer Alvarez and Brian O’Keefe -- who each collected two hits in the first game -- went 3-for-5 in the second game and combined for three RBIs.
Sunday, May 15
River Cats 4, Memphis 2
Memphis sent Deck McGuire to the mound in Sunday’s game, and he was knocked around a bit by the River Cats, who collected seven hits -- including two homers off the bat of right fielder Jarrett Parker -- and four runs. Memphis scored once in the bottom of the first on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Garcia and once in the ninth on a fielding error by Parker.
Springfield 5, Naturals 2
Three runs in the bottom of the eighth powered Springfield to a victory on Sunday behind a strong start from Corey Baker, who held the Naturals to one run on three hits during his six-inning performance. First baseman Luke Voit collected two hits in four trips to the plate, and Harrison Bader upped his batting average to .364.
Marauders 3, Palm Beach 2
Palm Beach received a strong outing from their starting pitcher for the second straight game, but they again failed to provide him with much run support. Blake McKnight allowed one earned run through seven frames for Palm Beach in a game that eventually required additional innings to conquer. Nicholas Frey surrendered a run in the top of the eleventh to the Marauders, the deciding run of the game.
Peoria 8, LumberKings 2
Peoria starter Derian Gonzalez turned in a respectable outing on Sunday, surrendering two runs to the LumberKings through six innings. Leadoff hitter Magneuris Sierra collected two hits in Sunday’s game for Peoria, but the real offensive story for the Chiefs was the lower third of their batting order. Dylan Becker, Thomas Spitz, and Craig Aikin each contributed two RBIs in the contest and went a combined 9-for-15.
A Bird on the Mend
Outfielder Tommy Pham began his rehab assignment with the Springfield Cardinals on Thursday, May 12. In four games since then, Pham has collected five hits in fourteen at-bats, including a home run. Pham is recovering from an oblique strain he suffered in early April.