SPRINGFIELD, MO - Jake Buchanan battled through five innings and Corpus Christi's bullpen got key outs late as the Hooks fashioned a series victory over Springfield with a 3-2 triumph Saturday night at Hammons Field.
The Cardinals sent seven men to the plate in the first and scored twice on a home run to left field off the bat of Jake Lemmerman. Buchanan (1-0) settled in from there, yielding just one hit over the next four frames to earn the victory.
Right fielder Domingo Santana started the scoring for Corpus Christi (7-2) in the fourth. With one away, he singled, stole second and advanced to third on a base hit to left by second baseman Enrique Hernandez. Catcher Carlos Perez bounced into a force play at second, allowing Santana to score. First baseman Erik Castro cracked a single into right, sending Perez to third. With third baseman Ben Orloff at the plate, Castro took off for second and engaged in a rundown long enough for Perez to race home to tie the game.
Perez gave Corpus Christi the advantage in the sixth with a two-out RBI double to right field. He was thrown out at third base trying to extend the play into a triple.
Carlos Quevedo entered in relief of Buchanan, setting down Springfield (3-6) in order in the sixth and seventh.
He got into trouble in the eighth after a Lemmerman walk and a Ruben Gotay double placed runners at second and third with one away. Quevedo bounded back to strikeout clean-up hitter Xavier Scruggs for the second out. Hooks skipper Keith Bodie then summoned southpaw Alex Sogard to face left-handed Adam Melker, who struck out looking on a 3-2 fastball.
Tommy Pham began the ninth and stroked a single into left on the first pitch from Corpus Christi closer Jason Stoffel. Pham promptly tried to steal second but was gunned down on a perfect throw from Perez. Stoffel worked around another single, striking out Neal Pritchard to earn his third save of the season.
The Hooks open up a three-game set tomorrow afternoon at ONEOK Field in Tulsa. Nick Tropeano and Bobby Doran are slated to face Drillers lefty Tyler Matzek. First pitch is 2:05.