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Minor-league report: Nunez caps off strong June with solo homer; McGreevy gives up four runs

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Cardinal major-leaguers face minor-league pitchers for BP

Cardinal minor-league pitcher McGreevy throws for live batting practice on Sunday, March 13, 2022, facing major-league batters in Jupiter, Fla. Major-league players gear up one day before the official start of workouts for spring training. Ownership and the players union reached a deal on a labor contract to end the lockout. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

A towering two-run homer, an emphatic ending to strong month at the plate, and some strong starting pitching by Class High-A and Class Low-A starters were some of the moments provided by Cardinals minor-leaguers on Thursday.

These are some of the notable performances from around St. Louis’ MiLB affiliates:

Hits

First baseman Malcom Nunez, Class AA Springfield: Nunez added to what was a standout June by connecting on a solo homer in the second inning of Springfield’s 7-6 loss to Wichita. Nunez, who homered three times in 40 games through April and May, clubbed nine in June, which were the second-most in the Texas League since the start of the month.

Over his last 23 games, Nunez posted league-highs in RBIs (27), average (.381), and hits (32). The 21-year-old also finished second in slugging percentage (.726) and third in OPS (1.189).

Outfielder Jonah Davis, Class AA Springfield: After having already hit a two-run double in the sixth inning against the Wind Surge, Davis connected on a towering two-run homer in the ninth inning of the S-Cards’ loss. The homer left the 24-year-old’s bat at 104 mph, per the Springfield MiLB.tv stream, and landed on the roof of the S-Cards' training facility.

Davis’ mammoth homer was his fourth homer in his last eight games. His four-RBIs in the loss were a season-high, and the most he’s produced in a single game since Aug. 29, 2021 when he was playing in Class High-A Greensboro during his time as a minor-leaguer in the Pirates organization.

Right-handed pitcher Freddy Pacheco, Class AAA Memphis: Pacheco pitched two scoreless inning and struck out two batters on 22 pitches (16 strikes) in Memphis' 5-1 loss to Jacksonville. Pacheco allowed one hit, which was a single by Lewin Diaz with two outs in the eighth inning, but Diaz was thrown out by right fielder Moises Gomez after he tried to stretch the single into a double.

Pacheco has thrown three scoreless innings and allowed two total hits in his first two relief appearances since his June 23 promotion from Springfield to Memphis.

Right-handed pitcher Dionys Rodriguez, Class High-A Peoria: Coming off his worst outing of the year where he gave up seven runs in five innings on June 24, Rodriguez had a quality bounce back performance on Thursday against Quad Cities. Rodriguez gave up just one run and allowed six hits in six innings of work in Peoria’s 4-3 loss to the River Bandits. The 21-year-old struck out seven batters and walked one over his 75 pitches (56 strikes).

Shortstop Jeremy Rivas, Class Low-A Palm Beach: Much of June had been a struggle for Rivas, who entered Thursday 17-for-69 (.203) since the start of the month. But Rivas was able to salvage the down offensive month with a timely two-RBI single that sealed a 3-2, 10th inning walk-off win for Palm Beach. Rivas’ two RBIs in the win over Daytona accounted for two of five RBIs he produced in June, and were his first since driving in a run on June 21.

Right-handed pitcher Carlos Guarate, Class Low-A Palm Beach: Guarate matched a season-high in innings pitched during Palm Beach’s win as he threw five scoreless frames and allowed three hits in his start against the Tortugas. The solid start finished a strong month for the 21-year-old, who made two starts and six total appearances over in June. Guarate finished the month with a 1.31 ERA over 20 2/3 innings. He struck out 14 batters and walked only three over that stretch. His season ERA dropped from 5.08 at the end of May to 3.64 following his start on Thursday.

Misses

Right-handed pitcher Michael McGreevy, Class AA Springfield: Although McGreevy's 6 1/3 innings marked his second longest outing of the season and his longest since debuting Double-A, the former first-round pick allowed four runs and gave up two homers to the Wind Surge. McGreevy allowed a solo homer in the first inning, a two-run homer in the third and a one-out RBI double in the seventh that signaled the end of his outing. McGreevy threw 99 pitches (61) strikes and walked two batters in the loss.

Catcher Pedro Pages, Class AAA Memphis: Pages’ struggles in Triple-A continued into Thursday’s loss to the Jumbo Shrimp as the catching prospect went zero-for-four and struck out three times. Pages struck out swinging in all three instances, but did see a total of 17 pitches in those three at-bats. Since he made his debut with Memphis, Pages is batting .179 in his first eight games (28 at-bats). He has walked twice and does not have an extra-base hit in the early stages of his stint with the Redbirds.

Infielder Chandler Redmond, Class AA Springfield: For the second time this season, Redmond struck out four times in a game after he went hitless in five at-bats and four strikeouts against Wichita. The only other game where Redmond struck out four times this year came on June 1 against Arkansas. The hitless performance ends a month for Redmond where he slashed .232/.394/.411 in 56 at-bats.

Right-handed pitcher Ronny Oliver, DSL Cardinals: Before play was suspended due to rain in the Dominican Summer League (DSL) Cardinals’ Thursday game against the Angels’ DSL affiliate, Oliver gave up six runs and could not record an out in his start. He allowed six hits that included three singles, a triple, a double, and a three-run homer. The 18-year-old threw two wild pitches, walked a batter, and hit another in his rough outing. In 10 innings of work this season, he owns a 6.30 ERA.

Daniel Guerrero

@TheDanielGuerrero on Twitter

dguerrerro@post-dispatch.com

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