Three minor league affiliates were in play on Monday. The Palm Beach Cardinals were rained out and will pick things up against the Jupiter Hammerheads today.
Memphis Redbirds 3, at Iowa Cubs 0
Austin Gomber (SP): 8 IP, 6 H, 16 K’s
Max Schrock (2B): 2-3, RBI, BB
Oscar Mercado (CF): 1-4, 2B, R
Yairo Munoz (SS): 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, R
Starter Austin Gomber stole the show on Monday, slices his way up and down the Iowa Cubs lineup. The outing ties Gomber with Lance Lynn for most strikeouts in a start in Memphis Redbirds history. The 16 K’s are even more impressive when you take Gomber’s profile into account: soft tossing lefty, funky delivery, #5 starter projection, 8.65 K/9 in the minors. You hear sometimes about an athlete “being in the zone”. Perhaps this is a glimpse into what Gomber can do when he’s truly locked in. Mike Mayers picked up the save while striking out one in the ninth.
Gomber’s dominance meant this game was over before he even took the mound. Outfielder Oscar Mercado opened up the game with a double off of Cubs starter Alec Mills, only to driven in by a Max Schrock single. Yairo Munoz then extended the lead by clubbing a two-run homer. Schrock didn’t hit for any power on Monday, but the 2-3 line with a walk puts him at .375/.416/.472. Small sample size caveats apply, of course, but Schrock might finally prove this year that his hit tool is ridiculous enough to make his lack of power a non-factor.
Springfield Cardinals 6, Northwest Arkansas Travelers 5
Chris Ellis (SP): 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 K’s
Ramon Urias (2B): 2-4, HR, RBI, 2 R
John Nogowski (1B): 3-4, HR, 3 RBI, R
Andrew Knizner (C): 2-4
Chris Ellis made his first start of the season on Monday after working exclusively out of the bullpen in his first six appearances. Ellis didn’t miss a beat, and turned the ball over after the sixth inning with a 4-1 lead. Things got dicey in the eighth when reliever Estarlin Arias allowed one run to score on a wild pitch, only to give up a two-run homer two pitches later. Andrew Morales took over for Arias and gave up one run over 1.1 innings of work.
The bullpen may have had a rough day, but the Springfield bats were able to pick up the slack. Second baseman Ramon Urias, an interesting under the radar sign out of Mexico, put the club ahead with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first. First baseman John Nogowski produced the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run shot to deep left. Springfield’s record now sits at .500 again. They’ll take on Northwest Arkansas again today at 6:30 CST.
Beloit Snappers 2, Peoria Chiefs 1
Winston Nicacio (SP): 5.2 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K’s
Dylan Carlson (RF): 1-4, RBI
Juan Yepez (1B): 1-4, BB
It proved to be a long and quiet day in Beloit, as the Athletic’s affiliate needed extra innings to dispatch of Peoria. Starter Winston Nicacio tossed 5.2 scoreless, if somewhat inefficient, innings of work. He turned the ball over to reliever Thomas St. Clair. St. Clair struck out three over 1.2 innings, but let Beloit tie the game with a Hunter Hargrove single in the eighth. The game would stretch to ten innings, until Beloit outfielder Austin Beck plated the game winning RBI against Bryan Dobzanski.
The Chiefs struck first on offense in the sixth inning. Third baseman Elehuris Montero reached based and was driven home by a Dylan Carlson single. Carlson’s sole RBI ended up being all that Peoria could scratch up on Monday. First Baseman Juan Yepez’s day doesn’t jump off the stat sheet, but he keeps hitting nonetheless. After Monday, Yepez is batting .404/.475/.654 through 61 PA’s. His K-BB ratio still stands at 1:1.
The loss puts Peoria at 8-7 on the season. They’ll take on the Beloit Snappers again today at 6:30 CST.
SPR: Ryan Helsley
PMB: Evan Kruczynski
PEO: Jake Walsh