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Minor-league report: Cardinals rookie Matthew Liberatore allows four runs in final start

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Cardinals open series against Dodgers

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Matthew Liberatore regroups as Los Angeles Dodgers Mookie Betts rounds the bases off a two-run home run by Trea Turner in the fifth inning on Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at Busch Stadium. Photo by Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com

Struggles in the first and fifth innings that added up to four runs allowed overshadowed Cardinals rookie Matthew Liberatore’s final start of the year for Class AAA Memphis. Liberatore, who completed six innings in a 9-5 Memphis loss to Nashville on Tuesday, surrendered two runs in the first inning after he allowed two singles, a double, and a sacrifice fly.

And after he got into a groove during which he retired 10 consecutive batters and struck out three, the 22-year-old allowed another pair of runs — one of which came via a solo homer — in the fifth inning. He ended his outing, and his 2022 season, with a 1-2-3 sixth inning that included two strikeouts.

Along with Liberatore’s final start of 2022, these are some of the notable performances from around the Cardinals' minor-leagues:

Hits

Catcher Austin Allen, Class AAA Memphis: The St. Louis native drove in three of the Redbirds’ four runs on Tuesday with his three-for-five game. Allen’s three-hit game was his most in a game since being traded to the Cardinals organization during this year’s August MLB trade deadline. Since becoming a Cardinals minor-leaguer, Allen is batting .318 with an .865 OPS and 14 RBIs in 20 games. He is a career .287 hitter across 599 games in the minors

Outfielder Scott Hurst, Class AAA Memphis: From a familiar spot in the lineup, Hurst once again delivered a three-hit game for the Redbirds giving him back-to-back three-hit performances. Hurst’s three singles on Tuesday against the Sounds improved his slash line to .286/.399/.434 through 90 games for the Redbirds. After posting a .194 average in his first 29 games of this season, Hurst is batting .326 with 10 doubles, and 39 walks in 60 games since June 24.

Misses

Second baseman Nolan Gorman, Class AAA Memphis: Gorman went one-for-five with two strikeouts — both of which were swinging vs. Nashville. The first of Gorman’s two strikeouts came in the third inning when he stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. Gorman took the first two pitches he saw for strikes and fouled off another two before striking out on the sixth pitch of the at-bat. Gorman is four-for-33 and has struck out 18 times since returning to the minors.

Left-handed pitcher Matthew Liberatore, Class AAA Memphis: Liberatore’s six innings give him back-to-back outings of at least six innings to end the Class AAA season. The only other stretch that Liberatore did so was in starts on April 23 and April 29 when he tossed seven innings in back-to-back appearances.

The 22-year-old who made eight big-league appearances this year finished his minor-league season with a 5.17 ERA and struck out 116 batters over 22 starts that spanned 115 innings.

Left-handed pitcher Genesis Cabrera, Class AAA Memphis: Having found a stretch of success in the form of 5 1/3 scoreless innings over five outings, Cabrera scuffled on Tuesday night against Nashville. Pitching with Memphis down 4-3 in the eighth inning, Cabrera allowed five runs that came via three doubles and three singles. The five-run inning was the third time in nine minor-league outings this season that Cabrera allowed three or more runs in an inning of work. He had limited batters to one hit in his previous five innings of work entering Tuesday.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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