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Minor-league report: Baker, Burleson highlight Memphis offense; Paniagua throws seven scoreless frames

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St. Louis Cardinals start day 4 of team workouts in Jupiter

St. Louis Cardinals non-roster outfielder Alec Burleson takes batting practice on the fourth day of team workouts on Thursday, March 17, 2022, at the Cardinals spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

While Class AAA Memphis had some fireworks in the form of a late-game comeback win, some other Cardinals affiliates wound up on the wrong side of offensive outbursts on Monday.

These are some of the notable performances from around the minor-leagues:

Hits

Outfielder Alec Burleson, Class AAA Memphis: Burleson went three-for-four with three singles and two RBIs in the Redbirds’ 6-4 win against Durham. After getting in to 2-2 count in the seventh inning, Burleson fouled off six pitches before singling home Moises Gomez on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. The RBI was Memphis’ first run of the game.

The 23-year-old added to his day by giving Memphis a 4-3 lead with a two-out, RBI single on the first pitch he saw of his eighth inning at-bat. With the three-hit day, Burleson raised his average to a league-leading .341 and collected his league-best 95th hit of the season.

First baseman Luken Baker, Class AAA Memphis: An at-bat after Burleson gave Memphis a 4-3 lead, Baker clubbed a two-run homer high over the left field wall that provided some insurance to the Redbirds’ in their 6-4 win. Baker’s homer was his 13th of the season and first in his last 10 games. The 25-year-old hit just three homers in 95 at-bats across the month of June. He belted a career-high 26 homers in 91 games a season ago with Class AA Springfield.

Right-handed pitcher Inohan Paniagua, Class Low-A Palm Beach: Paniagua, who was named the Cardinals’ organization minor-league pitcher of the month for June, threw seven scoreless innings, allowed one hit, struck out six, and didn’t walk batter during Palm Beach’s 5-1 win over Jupiter. The only hit Paniagua allowed was a single with one out in the first inning.

Following the single, Paniagua faced the minimum over the rest of his start. Paniagua featured a sinker that reached 95 mph and generated 14 swings-and-misses on his 84 total pitches on Monday.

The strong start lowered the 22-year-old’s ERA to 2.15 over 88 innings. He leads the Florida State League in ERA, innings, strikeouts (97), and batting average allowed (.205).

Outfielder Chase Pinder, Class AA Springfield: Pinder homered twice and drove in four runs in what became the 26-year-old’s first multi-homer game of his minor-league career. The four RBIs in Springfield’s 13-4 road loss to Arkansas also marked his most in a game since he drove in five runs on April 9 against Northwest Arkansas.

Pinder missed nearly most of may May and all of June due to injury. His first homer on Monday was his first since April 22. The former seventh-round pick is batting .321 and has a .981 OPS in 78 at-bats this season.

Outfielder Todd Lott, Class High-A Peoria: Lott joined Pinder in having a multi-homer game as he belted a pair of solo homers in Peoria’s 11-3 loss to Beloit. The first of Lott’s two homers was a leadoff blast in the bottom of the first inning. His second came during Lott’s second at-bat of the day. Lott’s multi-homer game was his second since making his MiLB debut in 2019. His only other such performance came on May 29, 2021 while he was assigned to Palm Beach.

After batting .180 in his first 27 games of the season, all of which came with Springfield, Lott is batting .233 with five homers, and 13 RBIs in 30 games with Peoria since he was reassigned to Class High-A on May 24.

Right-handed pitcher Wilfredo Pereira, Class High-A Peoria: Pereira delivered his first quality start of the year as he pitched six innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in Peoria’s loss to Beloit. The 23-year-old also struck out a season-high nine batters. The nine strikeouts were his most in a game since he struck out nine over five innings in a start for Peoria on July 1, 2021. The solid start lowered Pereira’s ERA back under four to a 3.84 mark. Monday marked his second consecutive start of six or more innings.

Right-handed pitcher Jose Davila, Florida Complex League (FCL) Cardinals: Davila threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings, allowed three hits, and struck out five in his start against the FCL Astros. The five strikeouts in the 6-1 loss were the most Davila has recorded through his first four pitching appearances in the FCL this season. He has a 3.14 ERA over 14 1/3 innings and has compiled 17 strikeouts during that stretch. In 15 games a year ago with the FCL Cardinals and Palm Beach, Davila went 1-4 with a 4.86 ERA over 53 2/3 innings.

Misses

Shortstop Masyn Winn, Class AA Springfield: By going hitless in four at-bats on Monday, Winn is now seven-for-41 with one homer and six RBIs in his last nine games since June 23. Winn was batting .276 and had an .850 OPS before that stretch. Overall since making his Class AA debut on May 25, Winn has slashed .245/.325/.417 in 35 games (139 at-bats), homered five times, driven in 18 runs, and doubled nine times while with the S-Cards.

Right-handed pitcher Edgar Escobar, Class AA Springfield: The 25-year-old was removed from Monday's loss to the Travelers after he surrendered seven earned runs on eight hits, walked four batters, and gave up two homers in four-plus innings. Escobar’s outing began to unravel after he allowed a three-run homer with two outs in the first inning.

After he managed to keep Arkansas to a run over the next three frames, Escobar allowed two singles and a three-run homer to the first three batters he faced in the fifth inning. He was removed after walking a batter with no outs after giving up the homer.

Left-handed pitcher John Beller, Class AA Springfield: A night after throwing 1 2/3 scoreless innings from the bullpen in his Springfield debut, Beller gave up three runs in one inning of work on Monday. All three of the runs he allowed came on a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. Prior to his promotion on to Class AA on Friday, Beller held a 2.38 ERA over 22 2/3 inning in 11 appearances as a reliever this year in Class High-A.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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