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Minor-league report: Burleson goes hitless; Baker delivers solid start in Palm Beach loss

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St. Louis Cardinals start day 2 team workouts in Jupiter

St. Louis Cardinals non-roster pitcher Trent Baker throws live batting practice on the second day of team workouts on Tuesday, March 15, 2022, at the Cardinals spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Rain postponed the Cardinals’ Class AA Springfield affiliate from playing on Tuesday, but drier weather for the Cardinals’ three other full-season minor-league teams allowed each of them to play ball.

These are some of the notable performances by Cardinals minor-leaguers:

Hits

Right-handed pitcher Trent Baker, Class Low-A Palm Beach: Baker pitched his second consecutive quality start and third quality start this season after he threw six innings and gave up two runs on two hits despite walking five in Palm Beach’s 5-4 loss to Daytona. Both of the two runs Baker allowed came in the sixth inning.

After he walked the leadoff hitter, then allowed a two-out walk later in the inning, Baker induced a potential inning-ending groundout that he fielded, but his throw to the bag was wild and allowed the two walks to come around to score. In his first eight starts to begin the year, Baker sports a 2.34 ERA in 42 13 innings.

Shortstop Jeremy Rivas, Class Low-A Palm Beach: When the PB-Cards needed a clutch hit, Rivas delivered. Rivas went 3-for-4 with a walk and two RBIs in the loss. His most impactful swing came with one-out in the ninth inning. After first baseman Brady Whalen walked and later advanced on a wild pitch, Rivas singled to right field to bring Whalen score a game trying run in the ninth inning.

The three hit performance was his third three-hit game and 11th multi-hit game of the year. He is batting .290 with much success as of late. Through 62 at-bats in May, the 19-year-old is hitting .323 with two doubles and nine RBIs after batting .263 with six RBIs in April.

Outfielder Ben DeLuzio, Class AAA Memphis: DeLuzio entered the series-opener against Iowa in a slump where he was batted .192 in his last 15 games coming into the Tuesday. But even with the struggling offense, DeLuzio provided a jolt with one swing.

With the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning of Memphis' 9-4 win over the Iowa Cubs, DeLuzio belted a grand slam marking his sixth homer of the season. The homer was DeLuzio’s sixth of the season and second in his last three games.

Outfielder Mike Antico, Class High-A Peoria: Antico, the Cardinals’ eighth-round pick in the 2021 draft, tied a season-high with three hits in the Chiefs’ 6-4 loss to the Lake County Captains. The 24-year-old singled in his first two at-bats, then doubled and came around in the sixth inning. After he got off to a 2-for-27 start in May, Antico batted .302 (13-for-43) with six RBIs and dive walks in his last 11 games in May.

Right-handed pitcher Wilfredo Pereira, Class High-A Peoria: The 23-year-old set a season-high in innings after coming in to relieve starter Logan Gragg who gave up four first-inning runs. Gragg had not allowed a runner to reach base from the second inning through the sixth. Then Pereira took the reigns and faced the minimum through four innings of relief work. 

Pereira combined with Gragg to retire 28 consecutive hitters marking a Chiefs’ franchise record. The previous record was 25 consecutive batters retired, which was accomplished twice. The first instance came in 2018 and the other in 1988.

Pereira’s relief appearance was just his longest outing of 2022, and his second scoreless outing of three innings or more this year. The only other outing in which Pereira threw three or more scoreless frames this season was on April 16 when he pitched 3 1/3 innings.

Outfielder Darlin Moquete, Class Low-A Palm Beach: Moquete hit his first homer of the season when he sent an 0-2 pitch over the left field wall during his at-bat in the fourth inning of the PB-Cards’ loss. In five games since getting transferred from the Cardinals complex league roster, Moquete is 4-for-16 with his lone homer, three RBIs and one walk. Since making his Cardinals minor-league debut in 2018, Moquete has batted .322 with a .833 OPS, seven homers, and 65 RBI in 128 games.

Misses

Outfielder Alec Burleson, Class AAA Memphis: Burleson’s season-best eight-game hitting streak came to an end on Tuesday when he went 0-for-5 in Memphis’ win over Iowa. Tuesday marked just the second game since May 6 where Burleson failed to reach base either via a hit or a walk. He came into the series against Iowa off a five-game stretch where he went 14-for-26 (.539) during a road series against Gwinnett.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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