Springfield, MO - 1B Xavier Scruggs and 3B Ruben Gotay both swatted homers, powering the Springfield Cardinals past the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, 3-2, before 6,719 fans at Hammons Field on Thursday night. The Cards move back into a tie with the Arkansas Travelers for 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings with 11 games left in the Regular Season.
The Cardinals (30-29, 63-64) swung in front against RHP Sugar Ray Marimon (L, 6-13) in the bottom of the second inning. Leading off the frame, 1B Xavier Scruggs broke the scoreless tie with one big swing, launching a mammoth solo home run beyond the left field fence for the 1-0 lead.
Springfield widened the gap with another long-ball in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one down, CF James Ramsey lined a single to right-center field, before motoring to second base with a steal. One out later, 3B Ruben Gotay tatooed a two-run home run over the right field wall, tripling the advantage to 3-0.
Cardinals RHP Zach Petrick (W, 3-2) shut down the Naturals (29-30, 54-75) bats through his first six scoreless frames, retiring nine straight from the fourth through the sixth. However, Northwest Arkansas started the seventh with a single by SS Rey Navarro, before a one-out base hit by DH Edinson Rincon put two men on. 3B Cheslor Cuthbert followed with an RBI single to left field, leading to RHP Kevin Thomas taking over on the mound. LF Lane Adams welcomed Thomas to the game with an RBI base hit, before 1B Matt Fields worked a walk to load the bases. Thomas, though, dug in and retired the next two in order without allowing any more damage, keeping the Cards up by one, 3-2.
After Thomas retired the first out in the eighth, LHP Lee Stoppelman (S, 5) took over with two runners on. Stoppelman got out of the eighth and navigated through the ninth, retiring five straight outs to close the 3-2 win for the Cardinals.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday's game.
AT&T and the Cardinals are teaming up to make dreams come true with the AT&T Dreams Come True contest all week long on the Cardinals Facebook Fan Page.
Every morning this week, there will be a new question posted on the Cardinals Fan Page at 9am. Fans have until 1pm each day to post a creative answer to the question in 50 words or less.
The winner of the contest each day will receive the AT&T Dreams Come True Package for the next night's game, including four front row tickets, a Ceremonial First Pitch, a radio interview and the opportunity to watch Batting Practice. Check out the Cardinals Fan Page at 9am each morning for the day's new question.
Click here to visit the Springfield Cardinals Facebook Fan Page.
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. 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.
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