SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI (JUNE 1, 2014) - A poor defensive showing in the third inning spelled defeat for the Frisco RoughRiders, who fell 3-2 to the Springfield Cardinals on Sunday night at Hammons Field.
With the loss, Frisco (33-22) falls in a one-run game for the fourth time this season. The 'Riders finish the road trip with a winning record at 3-2 and maintained a 4 1/2 game hold on first place in the south division.
Springfield (26-30) takes the series two games to one and stays 4 1/2 games behind Tulsa in the north division.
Edwar Cabrera (2-2) took the loss for the 'Riders. While his fastball lacked the accuracy of recent outings, Cabrera ground his way through six innings and allowed three runs (two earned runs) on seven hits with one walk and six strikeouts.
His lone walk proved costly, as it occurred with the bases loaded, and Cabrera was forsaken by defensive miscues, in particular in the third inning.
Jonathan Cornelius (5-5) lasted six innings and allowed two runs on seven hits with no walks and no strikeouts. He pitched into the seventh inning, but was relieved after two men reached with no outs. His replacement, Lee Stoppelman, retired the side with no runs allowed.
Justin Wright earned his third save in his second appearance against the RoughRiders this season.
Frisco started quickly in the first inning. The first two batters of the game reached on base hits, and Tomás Telis grounded into an RBI fielder's choice to put the 'Riders up 1-0.
A rough third inning for the 'Riders defense allowed Springfield to seize momentum. Cabrera allowed consecutive singles to open the frame, and Cody Stanley reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases with no outs.
Stanley grounded to Frisco first baseman Drew Robinson who threw down to Edwin Garcia at second for the force. Third base umpire Clay Park ruled Garcia did not keep his foot on the second base bag and everyone stayed safe.
Cabrera proceeded to walk Jonathan Rodriguez with the bases packed and Springfield squared the game at one.
With the infield at double play depth, Curt Smith put the ball on the ground to Garcia at short. The cowhide booted off Garcia's glove and into left field, which allowed two runs to score on the error.
Cabrera rallied to retire the next three batters, but the damage was done and the Cardinals took a 3-1 advantage.
The RoughRiders quickly narrowed the gap in the top of the fourth inning when Jake Smolinski lined a Cornelius offering over the fence in left for a solo home run. It was the second straight night with a homer for Smolinski who now sits with nine on the season.
Frisco missed a golden opportunity in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and one out. However, a line drive by Telis found the glove of second baseman Jacob Wilson, who tagged the base to double off Patrick Cantwell and send the 'Riders back scoreless.
A double play doomed the RoughRiders again in the ninth. Ryan Rua smashed a single to left to open the frame, but was soon wiped off the pads when Teodoro Martinez grounded into another twin killing.
Both double plays took place with Joey Donofrio on the mound. Donofrio had not induced a double play until he presided over two on Sunday night.
The RoughRiders enjoy a day off on Monday, the team's first since May 20. The team begins an eight-game homestand on Tuesday, June 3 as the San Antonio Missions arrive for a four-game series. Coverage begins at 6:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.