Springfield, MO - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals topped the Springfield Cardinals, 6-2, before 5,085 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night.
After both Springfield RHP Seth Blair (L, 0-3) and Northwest Arkansas LHP Justin Marks (W, 2-0) alternated three scoreless innings apiece, the Naturals (7-13) got on the board first in the top of the fourth. With two down and the bases empty, RF Yem Prades hit a solo home run to left field, lifting the Naturals to the 1-0 advantage.
Northwest Arkansas built on the lead with three runs in the top of the fifth. After LF Roman Hernandez doubled himself on, 3B Angel Franco quickly brought him home with an RBI double. A hit batter and a sacrifice bunt put two men on with one away, and Blair quickly logged the second out on a strikeout to SS Orlando Calixte. The Cardinals then intentionally walked DH Rey Navarro, loading the bases. However, C Mitch Canham worked an RBI free pass against Blair, and then Prades did the same against RHP Kevin Thomas, stretching the Naturals lead to 4-0.
The Cardinals (10-10) began chipping away immediately, getting on the board in the bottom of the fifth. Leading off the frame, C Audry Perez launched a solo home run over the right field wall, cutting the deficit down to 4-1.
After the Naturals stretched the lead with a two-run homer by 1B Matt Fields in the top of the eighth, the Cardinals responded with a solo shot by CF Tommy Pham in the bottom of the frame. However, RHP Edwin Carl took over on the mound for the Naturals and dealt 1.1 scoreless frames to close the 6-2 win.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.
The Cardinals kick off a four-game series against the Arkansas Travelers this Friday at 7:09 p.m. Watch the sky light up with a can't-miss AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring 60s British Rock-N-Roll! Gates open at 6:09pm.
Then on Saturday, show off your championship pride with the Price Cutter and Bar-S Foods Replica Gold Jersey T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500 fans). First Pitch is 6:09 p.m. with gates opening at 5:09 p.m.
This Sunday's 2:09pm contest against the Travelers features the Empire Bank Green Cap Giveaway, with specialty green Cardinals caps for 2,500 fans. Sunday is also a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with a free ice cream party for kids before the game. All kids can then run the bases just like the Cardinals after the game. Additionally, this Sunday will feature the Cardinals Bat Auction. Fans may bid on bats signed by Cardinals players to benefit Cherish Kids. Gates open at 1:09pm.
Escape to morning baseball this Monday with an 11:09 a.m. First Pitch against the Travs. At least join us on your lunch break! Gates open at 10:09am. Additionally, Monday will be a Missouri Department of Conservation Educational Day, with a pre-game lesson in conservation for school groups. Monday will also be a High School Career Day, offering high school students an inside look at what it is like to work in professional sports.
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.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule.
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