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Wednesday Org Report and Crisp Homers

Cardinals affiliates went 5-2 on Wednesday, including the Chiefs 2-1 win over Cedar Rapids for their fourth straight victory. Triple-A Memphis had an off day.

St. Louis got a comeback win in Colorado to take top prospect Marco Gonzales off the hook for the loss in his major league debut. Gonzales cruised through three innings before allowing five runs in the fourth. He tossed another shutout inning in the fifth and came out having allowed seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts. The Cards then scored eight of the game’s final nine runs for a 9-6 win as Trevor Rosenthal nailed down his 23rd save. The power surge continued for Matt Adams, who hit his ninth home run and third of the series.

Double-A Springfield was leading their game with Corpus Christi 3-0 into the sixth before giving up seven runs over the next three innings and fell 7-4. Aldemys Diaz and Cody Stanley each had three hits. Former Chief Breyvic Valera made his Double-A debut by going 1-3 with a run and a walk.

Advanced-A Palm Beach gave up two runs in the first inning but nothing else, and used a four-run eighth to defeat Charlotte 5-2. Former Chief Silfredo Garcia got a no decision after five innings, while another former Chief, Dixon Llorens, picked up his seventh save. Two more former Chiefs, Charlie Tilson and Nick Martini, each had three hits. Tilson fell a home run shy of hitting for the cycle.

Short Season-A State College had a furious comeback against Jamestown, scoring five runs between the fifth and eighth inning to send the game into extras, but fell by an 8-7 score in 12. Rowan Wick crushed two more homers to give him nine in 13 games. Jeff Rauh, a member of the Chiefs earlier this season, tossed three scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 1.93.

Rookie-A Johnson City took a 9-4 win at Bristol by scoring seven times in the eighth inning. Blake Drake, a 2014 draft pick, had two hits to raise his average to .429 and stole his third base. Another 2014 draftee, Landon Beck, tossed four scoreless innings in the start, allowing one hit with four walks and five strikeouts.

The Gulf Coast League Cardinals got a 5-4 win over the GCL Nationals to improve to 4-1.

Former Chief Coco Crisp continued to produce since coming off the disabled list. He finished 3-5 with two RBI and this solo homer in Oakland’s 8-5 win over the Mets.

Friday’s Org Report and Former Chiefs Update

The Chiefs split their doubleheader last night in Quad Cities to open the second half of the Midwest League season while the rest of the Cardinals organization was 4-3.

For the second straight game the St. Louis offense could only muster one run against the Phillies in a 5-1 loss. Jaime Garcia (3-1) was cruising through four innings with a 1-0 lead before allowing two runs in the fifth. The first two batters in the sixth got on against him and he came out of the game as both runners scored. Matt Carpenter scored the only run for the Cards when Matt Holliday knocked him in. Former Chief Yadier Molina was 2-4 with a double.

Triple-A Memphis is scoring all the runs in the system, as they put up double-figures for the second straight game in a 13-4 win at Salt Lake. Randal Grichuk was 4-5 with three runs, Shane Robinson finished 3-5 with four runs and Xavier Scruggs was 2-4 with five RBI. Angel Castro allowed one run in six innings to improve to 7-4 on the season.

Double-A Springfield took a tough 3-2 loss, as Arkansas scored all three runs in the fifth inning against former Chief Mike Mayers in his Double-A debut. He allowed eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts. Another former Chief, David Popkins, finished 2-5 with a run scored.

Advanced-A Palm Beach got another great start from former Chief Silfredo Garcia in the Cardinals 3-1 win at Charlotte. Garcia allowed one run in six innings with four hits and four strikeouts. He was followed to the mound by two more former Chiefs, Corey Baker and Dixon Llorens, who combined for three scoreless innings and four strikeouts. None of the three pitchers allowed a walk. Former Chiefs Alex Mejia was 3-4 with an RBI and Charlie Tilson was 2-5 with two runs scored.

Short Season-A State College picked up a 5-3 win in ten innings at Jamestown. The long ball was the story as the Spikes got three home runs, including the first career home run by recent draft pick Danny Diekroeger. Alex De Leon hit his first of the year to tie the game in the ninth, and State College also got the sixth homer already from Rowan Wick. Jeff Rauh, a member of the Chiefs earlier this year, got his first save by pitching a perfect tenth inning with a strikeout.

Rookie-A Johnson City dropped a 4-1 decision to Bluefield as Steven Farinaro allowed four runs, two earned, in 4 2/3 innings in taking the loss. Johnson City got six hits, all singles.

The Gulf Coast League Cardinals kicked off their season with a 7-2 win against the GCL Marlins. Julio Mateo allowed two runs with eight strikeouts over six innings for the win. Edmundo Sosa was 3-4 with a run and a walk as the leadoff hitter.

Former Chief Ryan Buchter made his major league debut one to remember with Atlanta last night . He entered the game in the 12th inning in Washington tied at four and kept it that way with scoreless inning. When the offense scored two in the 13th and Jordan Walden closed it out, Buchter earned the win.

Former Chiefs drove in all four runs in Oakland’s 4-3 win over Boston last night. Josh Donaldson kicked things off with a three-run homer in the first and Coco Crisp broke a 3-3 tie with a single in the eighth.

Thursday’s Org Report and Former Chiefs Update

While the Chiefs were rained out last night, the rest of the Cardinals organization went 3-3. The best night team-wise belonged to Johnson City, who won their season opener 13-0 in Bluefield.

An up-and-down season for St. Louis continued as they lost to the Phillies 4-1. Shelby Miller (7-6) allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts and a home run to Ryan Howard. Miller also had the only extra-base hit for the Cards, a double. Matt Carpenter knocked in Jhonny Peralta for the only run. Former Chief Yadier Molina had a single in three at bats and also threw out Jimmy Rollins attempting to steal second base.

Triple-A Memphis picked up a 12-9 win over Salt Lake, scoring six runs in the first inning. Randal Grichuk hit his 11th home run, Pete Kozma had four RBI and Stephen Piscotty drove in three.

Double-A Springfield fell to Arkansas 9-1, behind a rare bad start from Kyle Hald. Hald allowed six runs in four innings to drop to 6-2 on the season. He also gave up three homers while only striking out two. Former Chief Chris Thomas pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in his Double-A debut. Another former Chief, David Popkins, had the only multi-hit game for Springfield.

Advanced-A Palm Beach got a 6-1 win over Charlotte, scoring four times over the final two innings to put the game away. Joe Cuda gave up a run over six innings to improve to 5-5 while former Chief Thomas Lee pitched a scoreless inning with two strikeouts. Two ex-Chiefs had a multi-hit game, Breyvic Valera who’s now batting .342, and Jimmy Bosco who’s at .375 with Palm Beach.

Short Season-A State College dropped an 8-4 game in 11 innings against Batavia. Each team scored a run in the ninth but Batavia got four in the 11th and held the Spikes off the board for the win. Former Chief Robelys Reyes had three hits and the only two RBI for the Spikes.

Rookie-A Johnson City won big in their season opener by a score of 13-0 in Bluefield. Landon Beck, Juan Perez, Jonathan Escudero and Isaac Silva combined for the shutout on six hits, one walk and nine strikeouts. The offense was paced by C Jose Godoy’s four hits and six RBI.

Former Chiefs starting pitcher Chris Archer had Astros hitters off balance last night as he pitched the Rays past Houston 5-0. Archer went 6 2/3 shutout innings allowing just three hits, all singles, with two walks and eight strikeouts. Below are highlights from his gem which got him to 4-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.14.

Wednesday Game Recaps; Donaldson and Harrison Enjoy Big Games

Wednesday was a successful day for the Cardinals and their affiliates. The organization went 3-1 and unfortunately, the only loss belonged to the Chiefs. Triple-A Memphis got to enjoy an off day and will begin a home series with the Nashville Sounds tonight.

The parent club got an 11 inning victory in Kansas City. Matt Carpenter looks like he’s returning to his 2013 form by going 5-5 with two doubles, one of which brought in the game-winning run. Adam Wainwright took a shutout into the ninth before faltering and had to settle for a no decision. You can read the Cardinals postgame recap here.

Kyle Hald was the first of three pitchers to combine for a 3-0 shutout for Double-A Springfield in their win over Arkansas. Hald went 6 2/3 innings on four hits with four strikeouts before giving way to Lee Stoppelman and Justin Wright to complete the shutout. Former Chief Patrick Wisdom contributed with a two-run home run. Click here for their game story.

While the St. Louis Cardinals were busy getting an extra-inning road win, the Palm Beach Cardinals got a walk-off win against Clearwater, by scoring three times in the bottom of the ninth for a 4-3 victory. In last night’s game, Palm Beach had eight former Chiefs in their starting lineup, but it was the most recent player to leave Peoria- Jimmy Bosco- that scored the game-winning run. His first hit for his new team came in the ninth and he moved to second on a wild pitch before scoring on Charlie Tilson’s single to cap a terrific comeback. You can read all about the exciting win here.

 

Former Chiefs Josh Donaldson and Josh Harrison each enjoyed a big game last night as well. Donaldson crushed his 16th home run of the season at Yankee Stadium, which gave the A’s a 5-4 lead in an eventual 7-4 Oakland win.

Harrison, the Former Chief of the Day, has solidified himself as the Pirates leadoff hitter. He finished yesterday 3-4 and all three hits went for extra bases. After lining out in his first at bat, he tripled with two outs but was stranded. He then doubled in a run in the fifth and doubled again in the eighth, but was left on the bases both times as the Pirates fell 3-2 despite allowing just one hit.

Former Chiefs Tearing Up the Minors

This week, we will take a look at some former Chiefs who are still playing in the minor leagues, but making a push to not stay where they are for too much longer.

RHP Zach Petrick began the year with Double-A Springfield, going 2-0 with a 0.48 ERA in three starts. As a result of his domination, he was promoted to Triple-A Memphis, making his first start with the Redbirds on April 21. He took a no decision, but allowed only three runs in six innings. He was the losing pitcher in his next start, but the Cardinals 17th-ranked prospect is one step away from the majors.

RHP Kurt Heyer has been with Springfield all season and after a very rough season debut, he has allowed one run in each of his four other starts. He went seven innings twice and six innings two more times, earning two wins. He currently sports a 2.93 ERA, which is skewed high from the six runs in 4 2/3 innings game he pitched on Opening Day.

RHP Joe Donofrio has a 1.69 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings over 10 games for Springfield. He also picked up his first save of the season on April 27.

There are three players for Advanced-A Palm Beach who are shining. LHP Kyle Helisek is 0-1 but owns a 1.59 ERA. He gave up three runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings in his loss and only three earned runs total in his three no decisions. SS Alex Mejia leads the team with a .310 batting average and 2B Jacob Wilson has a team-best 19 RBI to go with a .292 average.

Many former Chiefs still in the Cubs organization are thriving in 2014. Triple-A Iowa has gotten to first place in the standings mainly due to their pitching. LHP Eric Jokisch is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA and has three quality starts in five games. RHP Marcus Hatley has allowed one run on three hits in 10 innings, spanning nine games. He has 17 strikeouts and two walks as opponents are batting just .091. RHP Alberto Cabrera is 2-0 in seven games out of the bullpen. He has given up just two runs on eight hits in 12 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts. Offensively, 2B Arismendy Alcantara is second on the team with a .299 average while playing in all 23 games. The Cubs sixth-ranked prospect also leads the team with 26 hits, 15 RBI, four triples, seven stolen bases, and 47 total bases.

Pitching has also helped Double-A Tennessee, especially the bullpen. RHP PJ Francescon is 2-1 in seven games out of the bullpen with a 1.35 ERA, while LHP Hunter Cervenka owns a 2-0 record and 1.59 ERA in eight relief outings. The hitting stars include C Rafael Lopez, who is tied for the team-lead with a .298 average and 1B Dustin Geiger who is tied with Cubs number-two prospect Kris Bryant for the team-lead with five homeruns.

At the Single-A level, OF Bijan Rademacher owns a .375 average for Advanced-A Daytona and SS Marco Hernandez is second at .320. RHP Zach Cates has a 1.46 ERA in six relief appearances. At Kane County, OF Yasiel Balaguert has a .320 average and team-best 18 RBI.

Other players outside of those two organizations who are doing well through the season’s first month include Blake Lalli, who is being converted to full-time catching duties for the Diamondbacks Triple-A affiliate Reno. He’s batting .280 through his first 18 games this season.

LHP Jeff Beliveau hasn’t allowed a run over 12 1/3 innings this year, which includes two perfect innings with the Rays in early April. With Triple-A Durham he has allowed three hits and struck out 19.

RHP Josh Kinney has allowed one earned run in 10 innings with Indianapolis, the Triple-A affiliate of Pittsburgh.

1B Justin Bour is with Miami’s Triple-A affiliate New Orleans and is batting .352 with eight doubles and only seven strikeouts in 88 at bats. He also has a .412 OBP and .545 slugging percentage.

Some Former Chiefs in the Majors Had a Big Week

Baseball is finally in full swing all around the country, and there are former Chiefs doing great things on the field at the major league level. If you missed what some of your favorite players have done recently, here’s a quick recap:

Any bases loaded hit feels good, but when it’s a double to clear the bases, especially against your biggest rivals in your home opener, it’s extra special, as Yadier Molina’s first inning two-bagger against Cincinnati on Monday showed:

Molina would help spearhead another win the next night, as his homerun to lead off the second sparked a four run inning to tie the game in an eventual 7-5 victory:

Tony Campana of the Diamondbacks had a four-hit game on Thursday in San Francisco, including the eventual game-winning RBI single in the tenth for a 6-5 victory.

Josh Donaldson showed off his opposite field power for the Athletics, crushing a two-run shot to right-center on Thursday afternoon, helping to complete a sweep of the Twins. The homer was his first of the season.

Later in that same game, Donaldson knocked in Sam Fuld, another former Chief, with a single to complete the Oakland scoring.

Speaking of Fuld, he too launched his first long ball of the season on Thursday.

Albert Pujols hit a mammoth two-run homerun to left on Wednesday night, accounting for the only runs in a 2-0 Angels win in Seattle. The homer put Pujols into 26th place on the all-time list with 494, passing Lou Gehrig and Fred McGriff:

Oh yeah, Pujols hit a two-run dinger the night before too, that carried even further into the Seattle night, and gave him his 1,500th career run batted in:

Junior Lake smashed his first homerun of 2014 on Wednesday for the Cubs, driving one completely out of Wrigley Field in Chicago and onto Waveland Avenue:

Robinson Chirinos did the same thing on Tuesday for the Rangers, only his drive cleared everything at Fenway Park in Boston:

Chris Archer of the Rays threw seven shutout innings and got ground ball out after ground ball out in a no decision on Tuesday against Kansas City:

Dan Haren appears to be back to old form with the Dodgers, as he matched reigning AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Tigers through six innings on Tuesday, leaving in a 1-1 game:

Jeff Samardzija has pitched extremely well in his first two starts of the season, but he will be looking for his first W as the Cubs take on the Chiefs parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals tonight in St. Louis.

Get to Know Your 2014 Chiefs

On Monday, the Peoria Chiefs announced their Opening Day roster. The season begins in just two days, with a four game trip to Wisconsin, and the home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 against Dayton at 6:30pm. Today, we will showcase a few of the players you will see here at Dozer Park when Chiefs baseball begins!

The Opening Day roster is highlighted by top Cardinals prospects Alex Reyes and Carson Kelly.

Speaking of Kelly, he is one of the familiar faces you will see this year, though you won’t actually be able to see it as much. Kelly spent his offseason transitioning from third base to catcher, as described by Cardinals MLB.com beat writer Jenifer Langosch.

Reyes comes into this season as the organization’s highest rated righthanded pitcher, but how he got there is not your typical story. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details his long journey from New Jersey to the Dominican Republic and back to the states.

Michael Schulze is a versatile infielder who first paid his dues at Division II Northwest Missouri State College, and is now trying to make it big, along with a former college teammate who is now in the Indians system.

Pitchers Nick Petree and Blake McKnight are both Missouri natives, and received an eye-opening experience when Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter and manager Mike Matheny stopped by to give them a talk during Spring Training this year. Story by Kary Booher of the Springfield News-Leader.

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