For the third straight game, the Cardinals plated runs in the first inning. Kolten Wong led-off with a single, was sacrifice to second and scored on Oscar Taveras' 22nd home run of the season to give Springfield a 2-0 lead.
Redbirds' starter Scott McGregor allowed just a single through the first two innings, but the Naturals struck for four runs in the 3rd. Paulo Orlando had an RBI single, a throwing error scored another, a sacrifice fly scored the third and a Kevin Kouzmanoff RBI single was the fourth and final run of the inning making it 4-2.
NW Arkansas added three more to their tally in the 4th as Yem Prades hit a ball to center field that Oscar Taveras lost in the sky to score a run, an RBI single from Whit Merrifield scored the second run and Merrifield scored from second on a fielder's choice to make it 7-2 after four innings.
In the 5th, the Naturals got another run across on a double by Prades off the end of the bat down the right field line off reliever Justin Wright to bring the score to 8-2 into the 6th inning.
The Cardinals offense did not have a base runner from the first until the 6th where they had the first five men reach safely and score two runs on a RBI singles from Oscar Taveras and Jamie Romak to make it 8-4. With bases loaded and no outs, Springfield could not tack on another run as Michael Mariot struck out two and got a fly out to end the threat.
Springfield added a run in the 7th on another RBI single by Taveras. They'd add two more in the 8th on an RBI double by Audry Perez and an RBI ground out from Mike O'Neill to make the score 8-7.
In the 9th, the Cardinals got a lead-off single from Jermaine Curtis, a one-out hit from Jamie Romak and Xavier Scruggs reached on an error to load the bases. Greg Garcia was down in the count 0-2 before drawing a walk to tie the game 8-8. Audry Perez followed with an RBI single, Adam Melker doubled home two more and O'Neill had a sac-fly to score the fifth run of the inning giving Springfield a 12-8 lead.
Kevin Thomas and Michael Blazek combined to toss three scoreless innings out of the bullpen to shut down the Naturals offense and preserve the 12-8 victory.
Springfield will conclude their four-game series against NW Arkansas tomorrow night at 7:30pm. The Cardinals will have Richard Castillo on the mound against Yordano Ventura of the Naturals.
The Cardinals return home Saturday night for the final homestand of the regular season to play the Arkansas Travelers in a three-game series and the Tulsa Drillers for four. Great tickets are still available, so visit the Hammons Field Ticket Office, go online at springfieldcardinals.com or call (417) 863-2143.
Escape to Cardinals Baseball!