CORPUS CHRISTI - Kyle Smith struck out six over six scoreless innings and Delino DeShields, Jr., drove in three runs as Corpus Christi blanked Springfield, 8-0, Friday night at Whataburger Field before a stadium-record 9,185.
The Hooks, 7-8 in Texas League second-half action and 41-44 overall, have won three straight. The Cardinals are 5-10, 39-46.
Mitchell Lambson (two innings) and Travis Ballew joined Smith in teaming on the four-hit shutout. It was Smith's first victory since May 27.
Smith flirted with danger in the Springfield second, but came away unscathed. He walked Jonathan Rodriguez and Matt Williams' two-out single put runners at the corners. Smith (3-2) caught Starlin Rodriguez on a called third strike.
The Hooks touched Kurt Heyer (3-6) for a third-inning tally. Tony Kemp laced a hustling double to right, was sacrificed into scoring position by DeShields, and crossed when Jonathan Meyer dinked a 1-1 pitch into short right.
Cody Stanley opened the Springfield fourth by singling and taking an extra base on left fielder Leo Heras' fielding error. Smith righted the ship, fanning Jonathan Rodriguez and Patrick Wisdom before Breyvic Valera flew out to center.
Corpus Christi then doubled its advantage. Heyer hit lead-off man Brandon Meredith, who ultimately scored on Kemp's two-out single. Tyler Heineman had a single in the rally as well.
Andrew Aplin's 10th outfield assist helped thwart a Springfield charge in the sixth. He gunned Mike O'Neill at third from right field after picking up Stanley's one-out single.
The wheels came off for Heyer and reliever Logan Billbrough during a three-run Hooks sixth. Heyer was pulled in the wake of M.P. Cokinos' two-out single. Billbrough walked three of the five men he faced, including Heras with the bases loaded. DeShields contributed an RBI single and the other run scored when second baseman Valera, shifted just left of the keystone, kicked Meyer's grounder up the middle.
Heyer gave up five hits and walked four. He fanned three.
Billbrough's successor, Ryan Sherriff, ran into a seventh-inning buzz saw. The Hooks hung three more runs on four hits, DeShields and Meyer with run-scoring singles. Heineman posted a double down the left-field line.
Meyer owns an eight-game hitting streak.
Saturday's 7:10 start vs. Tulsa features a pair of southpaws: Corpus Christi's Tommy Shirley (6-3) and Ryan Kulik (0-1). Postgame fireworks follow.