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Cardinals Farm Report: Sierra & Valera Have Big Weekends; Weaver Set for Triple-A Debut on Monday Night

Though the major-league squad has been playing a bit sluggishly as of late, there are always fun things happening down in the Cardinals' farm system! Notes, stats, and game summaries from the previous weekend are all on tap for today's report.

Center-fielder Magneuris Sierra went 6-for-12 with the Peoria Chiefs over the weekend, collecting a double, three walks, three RBIs, and a pair of steals.
Center-fielder Magneuris Sierra went 6-for-12 with the Peoria Chiefs over the weekend, collecting a double, three walks, three RBIs, and a pair of steals.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The Cardinals activated Matt Carpenter -- who had been dealing with an oblique injury -- off the 15-day disabled list prior to their game with the Braves on Friday. In a corresponding move, the club optioned Dean Kiekhefer to the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds.

On Friday, Luke Weaver was officially promoted from the Double-A Springfield Cardinals to the Redbirds. Weaver is set to make his Triple-A debut on Monday in the second game of the Redbirds’ doubleheader with the New Orleans Zephyrs. Weaver went 6-3 with a 1.40 earned run average and an 88:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio in twelve starts in Double-A prior to his promotion on Friday.

The Palm Beach Cardinals’ game with the Jupiter Hammerheads on Saturday was postponed; a make-up date has not yet been announced. Springfield’s game with the Arkansas Travelers on Sunday was also postponed. And like the Palm Beach and Jupiter game, a make-up date for that game has not been released. Johnson City was scheduled to play a doubleheader with the Burlington Royals on Sunday, but it was postponed due to inclement weather; as of now, there are doubleheaders scheduled for Monday and Tuesday.

Friday, August 5

Memphis 11, Storm Chasers 6

  • Arturo Reyes (SP): 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
  • Randal Grichuk (CF): 1-3, 2 HBP, 2 R
  • Jose Martinez (LF): 3-5, HR, 5 RBIs, R
  • Breyvic Valera (3B): 3-5, 2B, 3 RBIs, 2 R

Big nights in the box from left-fielder Jose Martinez and third baseman Breyvic Valera led the Redbirds over the Storm Chasers on Friday by an 11-6 score. Martinez plated five runs and Valera drove in three, accounting for half of the Redbirds’ runs in the contest. With a home run and a double, respectively, Martinez and Valera picked up the only two extra-base hits of the evening for the Redbirds.

Springfield 6, Travelers 3

  • Corey Baker (SP): 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  • Luke Voit (1B): 2-3, 2B, 2 BB, 3 RBIs

Corey Baker gave Springfield five dominant innings, allowing one run on two hits and punching out seven. With notable assistance from Luke Voit and Bruce Caldwell, Baker picked up his third win of the season, as the Cardinals doubled up the Travelers, 6-3. Voit and Caldwell each collected a double and two RBIs during Friday’s game.

Palm Beach 5, Hammerheads 2

  • Ian McKinney (SP): 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K
  • Cody Schumacher (RP): 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
  • Thomas Spitz (RF): 3-4, 2B, HR, RBI, R

A fine day from the pitching staff as a whole played a key part in the Cardinals’ 5-2 win over the Hammerheads on Friday. Ian McKinney allowed one earned run in five innings of work, which preceded three shutout frames out of the ‘pen from reliever Cody Schumacher. On the other side of the ball, right-fielder Thomas Spitz recorded three hits, an RBI, and finished the day a triple shy of the batting cycle.

River Bandits 11, Peoria 4

  • Dailyn Martinez (SP): 5 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Magneuris Sierra (CF): 3-5, 2B, 3 RBIs

Fueled by a trio of crooked-number frames, the River Bandits stole Friday’s game from the Chiefs, 11-4. Chiefs starter Dailyn Martinez surrendered six runs in his five innings of work, in which he whiffed eight batters. Of the four runs the Chiefs mustered out, center-fielder Magneuris Sierra was responsible for three of them.

Doubledays 9, State College 0

  • Dewin Perez (SP): 5 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 3 K
  • Ricardo Bautista (RF): 1-3, SB

With the assistance of five defensive miscues on behalf of the Spikes, the Doubledays defeated State College by a 9-0 margin in Friday’s contest. Catcher Jeremy Martinez and left-fielder Anthony Ray each committed two errors, helping the Doubledays tally nine runs. Though going 4-for-11 with runners in scoring position certainly assisted in manufacturing runs, only one of the Doubledays nine hits went for extra bases, implying speed, small ball, and the faulty defense of the Spikes was used to the Doubledays’ advantage.

Twins 14, Johnson City 1

  • David Oca (SP): 3 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
  • DeAndre Asbury-Heath (CF): 1-3, 3B, BB, R
  • J.R. Davis (2B): 2-3, RBI

The Twins scored at least one run in all innings but the fifth, which happened to be the only inning that the Cardinals scored in during the Twins’ 14-1 victory on Friday. Cardinals starter David Oca lasted three innings and allowed five runs (four earned) in his start. The Twins’ batting order featured many standout performances, including three hits apiece from Brandon Lopez, Travis Blankenhorn, and Lewin Diaz.

Saturday, August 6

Memphis 6, Storm Chasers 5

  • Alex Reyes (SP): 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
  • Randal Grichuk (DH): 1-5, 3B
  • Breyvic Valera (2B): 3-3, 2 BB, 2B, 2 RBIs

The Storm Chasers scored three runs in the eighth off Miguel Socolovich and tacked on another in the ninth off Sam Tuivailala to take a 5-4 lead in Saturday’s ballgame. In spite of that, the Redbirds gained some magic in the bottom of the ninth inning while facing Omaha reliever Brooks Pounders. With three straight singles from Jose Martinez, Efren Navarro, and Carson Kelly, the Redbirds tied the game at five. Anthony Garcia stepped in box following Kelly and popped a ball deep enough into centerfield to score the runner from third, giving Memphis a 6-5 win in walk-off fashion.

Top prospect Alex Reyes allowed one run and whiffed eight batters in his six-inning outing for the Redbirds on Saturday; he did not factor into the game’s decision. Out of Reyes’ last ten starts, he has whiffed at least six batters in seven of them.

Travelers 5, Springfield 4

  • J.C. Sulburan (SP): 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K
  • Justin Wright (RP): 3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
  • Luke Voit (1B): 1-2, 3B, BB, 2 RBIs

The Travelers’ runs in the early portion of Saturday’s ballgame stood tall by the time the last out was recorded, as the Cardinals -- despite scoring three runs in the eighth -- dropped Saturday’s contest, 5-4. In Springfield’s ultimately irrelevant crooked-number eighth inning, first baseman Luke Voit drove in two on his fourth triple of the year.

Peoria 7, Kernels 4

  • Jorge Rodriguez (SP): 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
  • Magneuris Sierra: 2-4, BB, 2 R
  • Chris Chinea (C): 3-5, 3 RBIs, R
  • Eliezer Alvarez (2B): 1-4, HR, BB, SB, 2 R

A solid outing from starter Jorge Rodriguez and a big day from his batterymate, Chris Chinea, led the Chiefs to a 7-4 win over the Kernels on Saturday. Rodriguez allowed one run in his four innings of work for the Chiefs, who received three hits and as many runs from Chinea and a homer off the bat of second baseman Eliezer Alvarez, his fifth of the season.

State College 3, Lake Monsters 2 (F/11)

  • Harley Holt (SP): 4 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
  • Danny Hudzina (3B): 2-5, 2B, RBI, R
  • Elier Rodriguez (1B): 1-4, BB, RBI, R

Saturday’s matchup between State College and the Lake Monsters remained scoreless until the top of the eleventh inning. With Lake Monsters reliever Ty Damron on the mound, the Spikes put up three runs, including one from first baseman Elier Rodriguez, who came around to score on a double from third baseman Danny Hudzina. The Lake Monsters plated a pair in the bottom of the eleventh, but they were to no avail, as the Spikes held on for a 3-2 victory.

Johnson City 5, Twins 2

  • Ian Oxnevad (SP): 7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
  • Andrew Knizner (C): 2-3, HR, BB, 3 RBIs, R

Powered by Ian Oxnevad’s first seven-inning since early July and a solid offensive evening from Andrew Knizner, the Cardinals took their contest with the Twins on Saturday, 5-2. The Cardinals did the majority of their damage in the fifth inning of the ballgame, scoring four runs, including three on Knizner’s second long ball of the season.

Sunday, August 7

Memphis 5, Zephyrs 2 (F/10)

  • Jeremy Hefner (SP): 8 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K
  • Ryan Sherriff (RP -- pitched the ninth and tenth innings; picked up the win): 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
  • Randal Grichuk (CF): 0-5, RBI
  • Harrison Bader (Pinch-hitter in the tenth inning): 1-1, HR, 2 RBIs, R

Fine outings from starter Jeremy Hefner and reliever Ryan Sherriff paired with a two-out, two-run, pinch-hit home run in the tenth inning off the bat of Harrison Bader helped the Redbirds best the Zephyrs on Sunday evening, 5-2. Hefner’s eight-inning start preceded two innings of relief from Sheriff, who allowed one run as well. Memphis shattered a 1-1 tie in the tenth inning by scoring four runs, including the aforementioned pair on Bader’s clutch long ball.

Palm Beach 4, Hammerheads 3 (F/11)

  • Sandy Alcantara (SP): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
  • Michael Pritchard (DH): 1-3, 2B, 2 BB, RBI
  • Cole Lankford (3B): 2-6, RBI

With two outs in the top of the eleventh and Hammerheads reliever Matt Ramsey on the mound, Cardinals third baseman Cole Lankford shot a single to right field to score Andrew Sohn, who led off the frame with a walk. Though he allowed two baserunners in the bottom of the eleventh, Cardinals reliever Kyle Grana held the Hammerheads off the scoreboard to preserve a 4-3 win for Palm Beach on Sunday.

Peoria 3, Kernels 2

  • John Kilchowski (SP): 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
  • Jose Martinez (SS): 1-5, RBI, R

Defensive mistakes committed by Kernels catcher Kevin Garcia and a splendid outing from John Kilchowski all worked in Peoria’s favor in the club’s victory over the Kernels on Sunday, 3-2. The Chiefs scored all three of their runs and recorded two of their four total hits in the first inning of the contest against Kernels starter Tyler Beardsley, who went on to complete five innings and allow only two hits outside of the first. Two of the Chiefs’ runs were directly scored as a result of Garcia’s defensive faults, as Peoria’s second and third runs were scored on his mistakes. Kilchowski turned in seven innings of one-run ball to lower his ERA to 2.77 in two starts with the Chiefs.

State College 11, Lake Monsters 2

  • Jordan Hicks (SP): 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
  • Jeremy Martinez (C): 3-5, HR, 3 RBIs, 2 R
  • Yariel Gonzalez (2B): 3-5, 2B, 3 RBIs

Noteworthy days at the dish for catcher Jeremy Martinez and second baseman Yariel Gonzalez pumped the Spikes over the Lake Monsters in an 11-2 rout on Sunday. Lake Monsters starter Xavier Altamirano was lifted from the action after recording an out in the fifth inning and allowing six runs (five earned). Altamirano was replaced with Matt Milburn, who didn’t fare any better than Altamirano; in two innings, Milburn was charged with five earned runs.