Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals struck for two runs in the first and never looked back, cruising to the 9-1 win before 3,417 fans at Hammons Field on Monday night. 3B Ruben Gotay helped lead the charge with three hits and a season-high four RBIs.
The Cardinals (4-7) took advantage of a couple of first-inning errors by the Missions, taking a quick 2-0 lead. With one away, SS Jake Lemmerman skied a deep fly ball to left-center that CF Rico Noel chased down in the gap. However, Noel dropped the catch on the warning track, enabling Lemmerman to get all the way to third on the error. Gotay wasted no time getting Lemmerman home, ripping an RBI single to center field to get the Cards on the board. After a 1B Chris Swauger base hit, Gotay scored from second when SS Chris Bisson misplayed a grounder from CF Tommy Pham, putting Springfield ahead by two.
After Pham tacked another run to the lead with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth, the Cardinals blew the game open in the bottom of the seventh. Facing LHP Jeff Ibarra, 2B Vance Albitz started the big frame with a pinch-hit single. After a walk by LF Mike O'Neill and a Lemmerman single loaded the bases with no outs, Gotay unloaded them with a three-run double to the left-field corner, making it 6-0. Swauger then brought Gotay home with an RBI single, before trotting home on a two-run homer by RF Adam Melker later in the inning, stretching the advantage to 9-0.
The Missions (6-5) got on the board with a solo shot by 1B Tommy Medica to lead off the ninth, but that was as close as they would come with the Cardinals taking the 9-1 win. RHP Richard Castillo (W, 1-2) logged six scoreless frames with six strikeouts to register the win, while RHP Donn Roach (L, 2-1) was tagged with the loss for San Antonio.
Click here for the complete box score from Monday's game.
The two teams wrap up the series at Hammons Field with an 11:09 a.m. start on Tuesday morning. It will be a Discovery Center Science Behind Magic Educational Day and High School Career Day. Tuesday is also Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day with hot dogs for just a buck! Gates open at 10:09 a.m.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, ordering the new Friday, Saturday, and Promo Items Packs (only 100 available), the custom-designed Championship Packs (only 100 available) or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-0395 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
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