The Cardinals recalled Kolten Wong from the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds and optioned Jeremy Hazelbaker on Friday. On Saturday, the move was followed by the demotion of Randal Grichuk to Memphis and the promotion of Tommy Pham to St. Louis. And on Sunday, the Cardinals activated Seth Maness off the 15-day disabled list and optioned Dean Kiekhefer to Memphis.
The Palm Beach Cardinals did not play over the weekend, as Saturday was the Florida State League All-Star Game. Catcher Steve Bean and pitchers Rowan Wick and Austin Gomber represented Palm Beach and appeared in the game; Bean caught the final three innings of the game and went 0-for-1; Wick pitched one-third of an inning; Gomber pitched one frame. Palm Beach will resume play on Monday.
With a win on Saturday, the Peoria Chiefs secured their second consecutive postseason berth for the only the second time in franchise history. The first time it happened was in 1985 and ’86. And with a win on Sunday, the Springfield Cardinals secured a trip to the Texas League Playoffs.
Friday, June 17
Memphis 7, Cubs 6
- Deck McGuire (SP): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 5 K
- Tommy Pham (CF): 2-4, 2 R, HR, 3 RBIs
- Michael McKenry (C): 2-3, R, HR, 2 RBIs
Four runs in the first inning and three in the second backed the Redbirds in their win over the Cubs on Friday. Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer as part of the four-run first, and Tommy Pham hit a three-run shot to account for the Redbirds’ runs in the second.
Springfield 2, Naturals 0
- Daniel Poncedeleon (SP): 8IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K
- Jonathan Rodriguez (LF): 1-4, 2B, RBI
Daniel Poncedeleon was fantastic, nearly going the distance for Springfield on Friday night. Josh Lucas replaced Poncedelon, who was at 98 pitches, with one out in the ninth and recorded the final outs of the ballgame via the strikeout.
Peoria 4, Bees 3 (F/11)
- Jake Woodford (SP): 6IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4K
- Magneuris Sierra (CF): 2-5, R, HR, RBI, SB
- Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 1-5, R, 2B
It took eleven innings, but the Chiefs pulled away with a win on Friday night. Bees center fielder Michael Hermosillo doubled to tie the score at three in the top of the eighth off Jorge Rodriguez, and that score would stand until the bottom. Facing Bees reliever Angelo Amendolare with one out, Thomas Spitz singled to right field to plate the game-winning run, the speedy Eliezer Alvarez, who led off the frame with a double.
Saturday, June 18
Memphis 6, Cubs 4
- Alex Reyes (SP): 4.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
- Brayan Pena (C): 0-3, SF, RBI
- Jeremy Hazelbaker (CF): 0-1, R, SB
- Carlos Peguero (RF): 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBIs
A five-run third inning off the Cubs’ Drew Rucinski was all that the Redbirds needed to win Saturday’s ballgame. The inning was highlighted by Carlos Peguero’s fourth homer of the season, a two-out, three-run shot to center field.
Springfield 1, Naturals 0
- Trey Nielsen (SP): 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
- Mason Katz (3B): 1-3, RBI
Mason Katz singled in a run in the second inning, and Springfield’s pitching staff did not let it go. Trey Nielsen pitched six scoreless, and Pedro Echemendia, John Brebbia, and John Lucas followed him with three innings. The four hurlers combined to whiff eleven batters in the Cardinals 1-0 win on Saturday.
Peoria 8, Bees 3
- Ryan Helsley (SP): 6 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
- Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 3-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBIs
Six quality innings from Ryan Helsley and a fine day at the plate helped the Chiefs win their third straight game after dropping both games of a double header on Wednesday, June 15. Second baseman Eliezer Alvarez accounted for four of Peoria’s runs, two on his second homer of the season.
Sunday, June 19
Memphis 4, Cubs 3
- Mike Mayers (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
- Randal Grichuk (CF): 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBIs
- Brayan Pena (C): 2-4, R
The Cubs scored two runs in the eighth Juan Gonzalez to inch closer to tying the game, but it was Randal Grichuk’s three-run, third-inning home run that proved to be game-winning action. Mike Mayers turned in six innings and did not allow an earned run, lowering his earned run average to 1.93 in five starts with Memphis after posting a 2.30 in nine starts with Springfield. Sam Tuivailala recorded the save, the third straight game the fiery right-handed hurler has done so in.
Springfield 5, Drillers 2
- J.C. Sulbaran (SP): 4.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, K
- Paul DeJong (3B): 3-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBIs
- Mason Katz (2B): 2-4, 2B, 2 RBIs
Behind a 3-for-3 day from Paul Dejong, the Cardinals won Sunday’s game by a 5-2 score. Dejong hit his twelfth homer of the season, a two-run shot, supporting Springfield’s pitching staff that held the Drillers to two runs.
Peoria 2, Bees 1
- Junior Fernandez (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
- Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 2-4, R, RBI
- Jose Godoy (DH): 1-2, 2B, RBI
The Bees scored a run off of Nick Frey in the top of the seventh, the first run for either team to that point in the game. Bees starter Luis Pena and reliever Eury Sanchez held the Chiefs off the board through six innings. With Tyler Watson on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, Jose Godoy plated a two-out run with a double. With Watson still toeing the rubber, Eliezer Alvarez drove in his 36 run of the year, the go-ahead run for the Chiefs to complete a four-game sweep of the Bees.