July 7, 2022

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Gorman, Yepez, Burleson power Memphis

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The third, fourth and fifth spots in a starting lineup are typically reserved for a team’s main run producers. Cardinals’ prospects Nolan Gorman, Juan Yepez and Alec Burleson proved that to be true in Triple-A Memphis’ wild 18-14 win over Charlotte on Wednesday night.

Batting third, Gorman tallied five hits in six tries, swatting his third home run of the season. Yepez crushed two three-run homers as the cleanup hitter — including a game-tying shot with two outs in the ninth inning — to finish 3-for-5 with six RBIs and a walk. Burleson matched him from the five-hole, swatting two three-run homers of his own and adding a walk in six plate appearances.

Together, the trio combined for 10 hits, five home runs, 14 RBIs and 10 runs scored in the Redbirds’ come-from-behind victory.

Gorman, the No. 32 prospect in baseball, kicked off the scoring with a two-out solo home run in the first inning, sending a hanging breaking ball over the fence in right-center field.

Charlotte scored five runs in the second inning to regain the lead, but Memphis would tie the game at five after Burleson’s first three-run homer in the fourth and Gorman’s RBI single in the fifth.

Memphis found itself down six after a big fifth inning from Charlotte but would work its way back to a tie ballgame again in the ninth.

Gorman recorded another RBI single in the seventh and brought Yepez to the plate with two on and two out. On an 0-2 fastball, the Cardinals’ No. 5 prospect delivered with a monster home run to left field, crushed 105 mph off the bat.

Charlotte added a run in the eighth to bring the lead to three, setting up Yepez for an opportunity to be the hero in the ninth inning. In a nearly identical situation — two on, two outs, two-strike count — the 24-year-old hit a nearly identical home run to tie the game at 12, sending the ball out of Truist Field.

St. Louis’ No. 4 prospect Iván Herrera gave Memphis its first lead since the game’s first frame with an RBI single in the top of the 10th inning, but Charlotte answered back to tie the game.

Gorman gave Memphis the lead by cashing in the automatic runner on second base with his fifth hit of the night. Yepez followed with a walk and they both scored on Burleson’s second three-run dinger of the game.

Herrera added an RBI double two batters later to cap a five-run inning and the Redbirds’ 18-run outburst.

Both Gorman and Burleson have gotten off to blazing starts in 2022. Gorman, the Cardinals’ No. 2 prospect, has a .385/.448/.731 slash line with 10 RBIs in seven games. Burleson is batting .333 with four homers and 10 RBIs through six games. Yepez started slower but has collected 12 RBIs and raised his OPS to .853 with Wednesday’s performance.

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