SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI (MAY 30, 2014) - A six-run second inning propelled the Springfield Cardinals to an 8-4 victory over the Frisco RoughRiders on Friday night at Hammons Field.
The game was decided in the bottom of the second inning when the 'Riders allowed the most runs in a single inning this season. After he faced the minimum in the first, Ryan Bores wilted in the second as the Cardinals sent nine men to the plate.
On three separate occasions, the RoughRiders nearly escaped the inning, but Springfield caught the break each time and capitalized to the fullest extent.
Curt Smith became the first baserunner for either team when he reached on an error by Frisco first baseman Drew Robinson with one out.
The next batter, Patrick Wisdom, popped a soft fly ball to the shortstop position. The ball fell out of the glove of Guilder Rodriguez, and with a runner on first, such an instance may have benefitted the RoughRiders, who could have triggered a double play to end the inning.
Instead, the umpire crew ruled an infield fly for the second out.
For a third time, Frisco almost ended the inning, but David Popkins outraced a throw to first from Rodriguez to extend the frame.
From that point onward, the game unraveled from Bores. Consecutive base hits to the final batters in the order scored a pair of runs, and the 23-year-old proceeded to walk Rafael Ortega to load the bases with two outs.
Jacob Wilson delivered the decisive blow when his grand slam left the vicinity to clear the bases and put the Cardinals up a half dozen.
Frisco pecked at the deficit with an RBI single by Patrick Cantwell in the fifth inning and another RBI base knock by Teodoro Martinez in the sixth. The 'Riders also left three men stranded in scoring position over that two-inning span and missed an opportunity to apply further pressure on Springfield.
The Cardinals stayed alert at the wheel and tacked on an insurance run in the sixth and another in eighth.
Springfield's final two runs were charged to Kyle Lotzkar. The Canadian pitched the final three innings and allowed the Cardinals' only earned run of the game on an RBI single by Wisdom in the eighth.
Jon Edwards pitched the three-inning interim between Bores and Lotzkar and turned in his finest outing of the season. The resident of Keller, Texas faced ten batters and allowed a walk on no runs, no hits and struck out three.
The RoughRiders held their heads high and scored two late runs in the ninth off Springfield's Justin Wright, a pitcher who had allowed one run in 19 innings until Friday night.
Bores (1-3) made his first career start at the Double-A level and suffered his third consecutive defeat in as many outings. He lasted two innings, threw 48 pitches and allowed four hits, six unearned runs and one walk.
Cardinals' starter Kyle Hald (4-1) earned the win. The RoughRiders inflicted the first defeated of the season upon Hald, but the southpaw bounced back on Friday with two runs on four hits and five walks over 5 1/3 innings. Hald also struck out two.
With the loss, Frisco (32-21) sees its four-game winning streak come to an end. The 'Riders lose for the first time on the road to a north division opponent, but remain ahead of the second place Midland RockHounds by 3 1/2 games in the south division standings.
Springfield (25-29) evens the season series with Frisco at two games apiece.
The three-game set between the Cardinals and the RoughRiders continues on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com.
The 'Riders return to Dr Pepper Ballpark on Tuesday, June 3 to begin a four-game series with the San Antonio Missions. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.