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Johnson City one win from Appy League title

Grayson leads rookie affiliate with two RBIs in Game 1

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MILWAUKEE -- Johnson City (Tenn.), one of the Cardinals' rookie-level affiliates, sits one win away from capturing the Appalachian League title after defeating the Danville Braves, 2-1, in Game 1 of the best-of-three championship series. Johnson City last won the crown in 2011.

Casey Grayson, who led the Appalachian League in RBIs during the regular season, doubled home both of Johnson City's runs in Wednesday's win. Grayson, a 21st-round pick out of the University of Houston in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, had helped the Cardinals avoid bowing out in the semifinal round by going 7-for-14 in that series.

Juan Perez, who struck out 10 over six innings, earned the win for the Cardinals. Kender Villegas pitched three perfect innings behind Perez and struck out five.

Here is a look at how the Cardinals' other affiliates fared in their postseason games on Wednesday:

• Triple-A Memphis dropped the opening game of a best-of-five series against Omaha, 7-0, in its Pacific Coast League semifinal series. Left-hander Tim Cooney, who won 14 games for Memphis during the regular season, was knocked around for four runs on six hits and two walks in his 4 1/3-inning start.

• Short-season State College was also shut out to start its semifinal series in the New York-Penn League, as the Spikes fell to Hudson Valley, 3-0. State College will need to win two straight to advance to the championship series. The Spikes were limited to six hits and struck out 10 times as two Hudson Valley pitchers combined for the shutout.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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