Midland, TX - The Midland RockHounds took the opening game of the series, 7-2, against the Springfield Cardinals before 5,804 fans at Citibank Ballpark on Friday night. With losses by the Arkansas Travelers and Tulsa Drillers, the Cardinals remain in sole possession of 1st place in the North Division Second Half standings.
The RockHounds (21-33, 54-70) cracked the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second against RHP Zach Petrick (L, 2-2). With one down, 2B Tyler Ladendorf doubled himself to second base. After a groundout, 3B Jefry Marte placed an RBI single to left field, lifting the 'Hounds to the 1-0 lead.
Midland stretched the advantage with two tallies in the bottom of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded and one away, DH Chad Oberacker brought in Ladendorf from third with an RBI fielder's choice. 1B Max Muncy then darted home on a wild pitch, increasing the lead to 3-0.
The Cardinals (28-26, 61-61), though, started chipping away right away in the top of the fifth inning against RHP Sean Murphy (W, 7-6). SS Luis Mateo led off the frame with a walk, before moving to second when C Casey Rasmus reached on an error. A wild pitch advanced both runners ninety feet, before a pop out induced by Murphy logged the inning's first out. 2B Colin Walsh came through with an RBI groundout to second base, scoring Mateo from third to make it 3-1.
Springfield kept coming back in the top of the sixth inning. 1B Xavier Scruggs was hit by a pitch to start the inning, quickly moving to second base on a single from RF Stephen Piscotty. One out later, LF Adam Melker lined an RBI base hit to left field, bringing home Scruggs from second base to pull the Cardinals within one run, 3-2.
The RockHounds countered with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. With two on and one down, C Casey Rasmus misfired a throw to third after the runners had taken off on ball four to RF Josh Whitaker. The throw bounced out to left field, enabling LF Conner Crumbliss to score and leaving runners at first and third. SS Dusty Coleman followed with an RBI double down the left field line, before Ladendorf worked a walk to load the bases. Muncy followed suit with an RBI walk of his own, and then Marte drove an RBI sacrifice fly to right field to cap the rally and stretch the lead to five runs.
Midland LHP Jeff Urlaub and RHP Blake Hassebrock combined to provide scoreless relief, closing the 7-2 win for the RockHounds.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
The Cardinals continue the six-game Texas road trip in Midland on Saturday at 7pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield then returns home for a four-game home series against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, starting on Tuesday, August 20. That Tuesday is a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day with delicious hot dogs for just a buck each, along with a 7:09pm First Pitch.
That series against the Naturals will also feature a Wednesday night contest on Wednesday, August 21, followed by the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and a Johnsonville "Buck a Brat" Night on Thursday, August 22. The series wraps up with the American National Back-to-Back Texas League Player of the Year T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) and an AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks Show featuring Top 40 Music on Friday, August 23. First Pitch each night is 7:09pm, with gates opening at 6:09pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a Cake Pop Company Birthday Party or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-2143 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule and to get your tickets right now.
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