Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals rallied within one run of tying it late in the game, but the Midland RockHounds escaped with a 3-2 win before 6,418 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
Cardinals RHP Sam Gaviglio (L, 5-12) dealt a scoreless opening half-inning, before Springfield (23-30, 57-66) swung in front in the bottom of the first against RHP Chris Jensen (W, 12-7). CF Charlie Tilson opened the inning with a walk, putting a man on for 2B Breyvic Valera. Valera ripped a liner to short, but it was caught by SS Dusty Coleman. After making the grab, Coleman tried to double up Tilson with a throw to first, but his throw skipped away from first and out of play, enabling Tilson to advance all the way to third. C Cody Stanley quickly brought Tilson home with an RBI sacrifice fly to left field, swinging the Cards into the 1-0 lead.
The RockHounds (31-23, 69-55) had a quick response, jumping in front in the top of the second against Gaviglio. 1B Max Muncy worked a walk to start the stanza, before Gaviglio battled back with a pair of pop outs. Coleman, though, struck with two away, swatting a two-run homer over the left field fence for the 2-1 Hounds lead.
Midland made it a two-run margin with an unearned run in the top of the fourth. After Gaviglio retired the inning's first two outs in order, Coleman extended the inning with a single. C Bruce Maxwell followed with a free pass, putting two men on with two down. CF Kenny Wilson then bounced a grounder to short that SS Alex Mejia made the stop on, but lost his footing. From the ground, Mejia tried to get the force at third base, however, his throw bounced away and the miscue brought in Coleman for the 3-1 advantage.
RHP Dixon Llorens kept the Cardinals within striking distance with a scoreless sixth and seventh, followed by a perfect eighth tossed by RHP Chris Thomas.
Still trailing only by two, Springfield attempted the comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. Tilson again sparked the offense with a walk, before racing around to third base one out later on a single from C Cody Stanley. The basehit chased LHP Frank Gailey from the mound and led to RHP Jose Flores taking over. Flores retired the first batter that he faced, but DH Curt Smith rocketed an RBI single past the diving SS Dusty Coleman to bring in Tilson and make it just a one-run game. RF Rafael Ortega followed with a free pass, loading the bases with two down. However, Flores escaped the jam with a fly out induced to right field, getting the RockHounds out of the eighth inning ahead, 3-2.
Thomas came back out for the ninth inning and struck out two more batters in his second straight perfect frame, sending it to the bottom of the ninth with Springfield only down by one run. Flores, though, countered with a 1-2-3 inning of his own in the bottom of the ninth, and the RockHounds hung on for the 3-2 win.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
Guarantee Individual Promo Items with the brand-new Promo Seats
The brand-new Promo Seats Package includes one Diamond Box Ticket for a game featuring a Promotional Item and guarantees that you receive one of that night's Promotional Items, plus a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Hamels Foundation Cardinals Youth Initiative to provide tickets for area youth and non-profit organizations.
By purchasing the Promo Seats, fans will have an item reserved for them regardless of where they are in line or what time they arrive at the game. And, for the first time, out-of-town fans that order a Promo Seat Package can choose to have their Promotional Item mailed to them for an additional shipping and handling charge of $10 per item. Both out of town fans and those unable to make the game may donate their game ticket to the Hamels Foundation Cardinals Youth Initiative.
Promo Seat Packages are just $28 each and there are only 61 available for each game. Call the Ticket Office at (417) 863-2143 right now to order yours!
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10 Years of Cardinals History Canvases, Free Ice Cream for Kids and Kids Run the Bases this weekend
The Cardinals continue the series against the RockHounds on Saturday with the Mercy 10 Years of Cardinals History Canvas Giveaway (2,500). First Pitch is 6:10pm, gates open at 5:10pm.
The homestand then wraps up with a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday, featuring free ice cream for kids before the game, and The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases on Sunday, August 17. First Pitch is 2:10pm, gates open at 1:10pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a The Cup 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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