North Little Rock, AR - The Arkansas Travelers struck for two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, coming back for the 7-6 win against the Springfield Cardinals, before 5,877 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park on Friday night.
Springfield (21-18) swung in front with a powerful top of the second inning against RHP Manny Correa. After 1B Xavier Scruggs was hit by a pitch to start the stanza, CF Adam Melker grounded a base hit up the middle. One out later, SS Luis Mateo crushed a three-run home run over the left-field wall, cracking the scoreless tie. Later in the inning and with LF Mike O'Neill at first base, 2B Starlin Rodriguez hammered a two-run shot to left field, stretching the Cardinals lead to 5-0.
The Travelers (23-17) chipped away with a pair of home runs of their own through the third and fourth innings against LHP Anthony Ferrara. A solo shot by CF Travis Witherspoon in the third got Arkansas on the board, before a two-run home run from 2B Taylor Lindsey in the fourth brought the Cardinals lead down to two runs, 5-3.
With one big swing, Scruggs stretched the Springfield lead back out. Leading off the top of the sixth, he unloaded a solo home run to straightaway center field, making it 6-3.
However, the Travelers answered with two of their own in the bottom of the sixth before completing the comeback in the bottom of the eighth. Only trailing, 6-5, to start the eighth, RF Randal Grichuk and Lindsey were both retired by RHP Deryk Hooker (L, 1-1). Arkansas, though, mounted a two-out rally. INF Rolando Gomez kept the inning alive with a two-out single, before a walk from LF Drew Heid put two on. Facing RHP Keith Butler, C Anthony Bemboom floated an RBI single to shallow right field that brought home Gomez from second. On the play, Heid was able to score as well as the Cardinals attempted to retire Bemboom in a rundown between first and second base, which lifted the Travelers to the 7-6 lead.
Arkansas RHP Caleb Graham (S, 1) dealt a scoreless ninth to close the 7-6 win for the Travs, with LHP Buddy Boshers (W, 1-1) registering the victory.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
The Cardinals continue the eight-game road trip in Arkansas on Saturday at 7:10pm. Catch all the action on JOCK 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield returns home to begin an eight-game homestand on Wed., May 22 with a 7:05pm First Pitch against the Frisco RoughRiders. The homestand will feature the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500 fans) on Thurs., May 23, AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Country Music on Fri., May 24, the Yadier Molina Gold and Platinum Glove Award Giveaway (2,500 fans) on Sat., May 25 and much more! Click below to view the full rundown of promotions at Hammons Field.
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