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Cardinals Farm Report: Weaver's Grand Return, Bader's Bat Highlight Weekend Action

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Filling you in on all the weekend action from each level of the Cardinals' farm system.

Luke Weaver struck out ten batters in his season debut with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals on Sunday.
Luke Weaver struck out ten batters in his season debut with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals on Sunday.
Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis infielder Jhonny Peralta had his rehab assignment moved to the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals, his last stop before joining the major-league team for the first time in the regular season. Peralta is expected to be activated off the disabled list and added to the Cardinals’ 25-man roster on Tuesday, June 7.

Right-handed pitcher Luke Weaver and shortstop Juan Herrera both came off the disabled list and joined the Double-A Springfield Cardinals, who they both made their season debuts over the weekend.

On Friday, the St. Louis Cardinals announced that Memphis Redbirds outfielder David Washington and Peoria Chiefs starting pitcher Jake Woodford were named the organization’s minor-league player and pitcher for the month of May, respectively.

Also on Friday, the Cardinals signed pitcher Jerome Williams to a minor-league contract. Williams will join the Memphis Redbirds’ starting rotation in wake of the unfortunate news that right-hander Jeremy Hefner will be sidelined for at least two months with shoulder inflammation. Hefner was 1-1 in ten starts prior to the injury with 44 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings.

Friday, June 3

Zephyrs 5, Memphis 1

  • Mike Mayers (SP): 5.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Alex Mejia (SS): 1-4, R, 2B

Mike Mayers did not have a poor start on Friday night, but Memphis could barely back him up at all. Charlie Tilson plated the Redbirds’ only run of the evening with a groundout in the third inning. Aside from that, the Zephyrs’ pitching staff dazzled. Starter Jarred Cosart lasted under four innings, but he was backed up tremendously by the bullpen, including 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief from Jo-Jo Reyes.

RoughRiders 6, Springfield 5

  • Andrew Morales (SP): 6 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Harrison Bader (OF): 1-5, HR, R, RBI
  • Bruce Caldwell (SS): 2-4, 2 RBI

Andrew Morales surrendered five runs in his six-inning outing on Friday, but the Cardinals took him off the hook by scoring three times in the top of the seventh to tie the score at one. A stolen base proved to be key in the RoughRiders’ half of the seventh. After an infield hit with one out against reliever Heath Wyatt, center fielder Lewis Brinson stole second base and came around to score the go-ahead run shortly after on first baseman Ronald Guzman’s eleventh double of the season.

Blue Jays 3, Palm Beach 0

  • Jack Flaherty (SP): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K
  • Landon Beck (RP): 1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Jhonny Peralta (3B): 1-3
  • Darren Seferina (2B): 1-4, SB

Jack Flaherty started for Palm Beach on Friday and was very sharp, and his counterpart, Taylor Cole, was sharp, too. The pair allowed a total of five hits through their seven- and five-inning outings, respectively and both exited the game with a scoreless tie. The Cardinals’ Landon Beck allowed a three-run homer to Dickie Joe Thon in the top of the eighth, enough for the Blue Jays to snatch a win.

Peoria 13, Kernels 4

  • Derian Gonzalez (SP): 4.2 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
  • Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 4-5, R, HR, 3 RBIs
  • Brian O’Keefe (C): 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBIs
  • Magneuris Sierra (CF): 2-5, 3 R, 2 RBIs

The Chiefs erupted for thirteen runs on Friday, eight off of the Kernels’ starter, Miles Nordgren. Catcher Brian O’Keefe opened up the scoring with a three-run blast in the first inning, and the Chiefs put up five runs in the second and ninth. Derian Gonzalez allowed four runs in just under five innings; he was relieved by Jorge Rodriguez, who threw 2 1/3 hitless innings and was credited with the win.

Saturday, June 4

Cubs 4, Memphis 0

  • Arturo Reyes (SP): 6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
  • David Washington (1B): 1-4

It’s not overly easy for a team to win a ballgame when the batting order musters out four hits, just ask Arturo Reyes, Memphis’s starter on Saturday for the first of four games with the Iowa Cubs. Reyes turned in six innings of four-run ball, but he did not receive any sort of run support from his teammates, who clearly had a tough time against Iowa Jake Buchanan. Buchanan pitched seven scoreless innings and whiffed just as many.

RoughRiders 11, Springfield 6

  • Corey Baker (SP): 3.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
  • Luke Voit (DH): 3-3, R, 2 RBIs
  • Anthony Garcia (RF): 1-3, R, HR, 3 RBIs

The RoughRiders chased Cardinals starter Corey Baker out of the game in the fourth inning on their way to an 11-6 victory on Saturday. Despite three RBIs from Anthony Garcia and a pair of runs driven in by Luke Voit, Springfield’s run column couldn’t quite match up to that of the RoughRiders that featured a five-RBI night by Lewis Brinson.

Palm Beach 9, Blue Jays 4

  • Blake McKnight (SP): 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 2 K
  • Jhonny Peralta (SS): 2-4, 2 R, 2 2Bs, RBI
  • Cole Lankford (DH): 3-4, R, 2B, 2 RBIs

Blake McKnight worked five respectable innings on Saturday, allowing four runs through five innings. The Blue Jays’ four runs came on a grand slam by Emilio Guerrero in the top of the third, and from there, the Cardinals’ bats stole the show. In the ballgame, the Cardinals totaled fifteen hits, which came at the correct times. Palm Beach put up three runs in the fourth and two in the fifth and sixth to take a 9-4 lead that they went on to win by.

Kernels 9, Peoria 2

  • Sandy Alcantara (SP): 3 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K
  • Brian O’Keefe (C): 2-4, 2 RBIs
  • Craig Aikin (LF): 2-4, 2B

Backed by a four-run second inning, the Kernels took Saturday’s game by a 9-2 score. The Kernels scored eight runs (seven earned) off Sandy Alcantara, the unearned run coming on a fielding error by left fielder Craig Aikin. Peoria catcher Brian O’Keefe plated the Chiefs’ two runs on Saturday on base hits in the fourth and sixth.

Sunday, June 5

Cubs 6, Memphis 1

  • Jerome Williams (SP): 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 K
  • Matt Williams (SS): 1-2, RBI

For the second consecutive day, the Cubs’ pitching staff held the Redbirds to four hits. And for the second straight day (not surprisingly), the Cubs rolled to a win. Alex Sanabia tossed five innings, allowing one earned run on three base hits. From there, Iowa’s bullpen went to work, firing four frames and giving up just one hit while striking out four.

Springfield 5, RoughRiders 0

  • Luke Weaver (SP): 7.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K
  • Harrison Bader (CF): 1-4, 2 R, HR, RBI
  • Luke Voit (1B): 2-4, 2 RBIs

In his first start of the season, Luke Weaver was exceptional. Weaver shut the RoughRiders out to four hits through 7 1/3 innings and struck out ten batters. Springfield put up three runs in the top of the third, two on an RBI base hit by Luke Voit. Harrison Bader hit his thirteenth homer of the year in the top of the ninth, padding the Cardinals’ lead to 5-0.

Blue Jays 5, Palm Beach 0

  • Jacob Evans (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K
  • Cole Lankford (DH): 1-3, 2B

A quality start from Jacob Evans was put to rest by an even better outing by the Blue Jays’ Chris Rowley, who allowed a mere three hits over his 6 2/3 innings. Right fielder Jonathan Davis homered twice against Evans, which proved to be enough for the Blue Jays to win the third game of the four-game series.

Peoria 9, Kernels 4

  • Jake Woodford (SP): 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Magneuris Sierra (CF): 2-5, R, 2 RBIs
  • Chris Chinea (DH): 3-5, R, 3 RBIs

The Chiefs rattled Kernels starter Eduardo Del Rosario for five earned runs in his six-inning outing on Sunday, rallying behind another fine start from Jake Woodford. Woodford allowed two runs in six innings before turning things over to the bullpen.