Comeback falls short as 'Hounds drop finale to Cards

RockHounds leave 11 men on base in 5-3 loss to Springfield

(Richard A. Acosta)

By Bob Hards / Midland RockHounds | April 19, 2017 10:44 AM ET

Springfield and the RockHounds played before a Tuesday morning audience of about 6,000 fans, most of them school kids, and the Cardinals (appropriately) did a little first-inning "arithmetic," scoring four times and going on to a 5-3 win.

Five of the first six Cardinal batters reached base against starter Ben Bracewell, with Bruce Caldwell opening the scoring with a two-run double on an at-bat that began with an 0-2 count. Jacob Wilson and Casey Grayson followed with back-to-back RBI singles to complete the four-run inning.

The RockHounds rallied back on Max Schrock's first home run of the season, a two-run shot high over the right field wall in the fourth. Argenis Raga, who went 2-for-3 (plus a walk) doubled to reignite the inning and scored on B.J. Boyd's two-out RBI single, cutting the Springfield lead to 4-3.

Video: Midland's Schrock smacks two-run homer

The 'Hounds got a one-out double from Tyler Marincov in the fifth and had two men on base in the sixth, seventh and eighth, but could not produce the tying run. 

Springfield added an insurance run on Alex Mejia's ground rule double to deep left-center and Blake McKnight retired the side in order to close the game.

Springfield, as they did at Security Bank Ballpark (April 9-11), took two-of-three in the series.  

Quick Notes:

The RockHounds finished 2-4 on their six-game road trip (1-2 at Tulsa and 1-2 at Springfield) and enter division play with a 4-6 record.

J.P. Sportman lost a 10-game hit streak, longest in the Texas League so far in 2017, going 0-for-5. The "oh-fer" was made all the tougher as Sportman's first-inning drive to right was mishandled by Blake Drake, but the Cardinal right fielder was at the wall when the ball escaped him, and whether or not the play was "ordinary effort" is, well … judgement.

Kyle Finnegan lowered his earned run average to 1.50 with two perfect innings of relief (one earned run in six innings for the season). In his first three outings, Finnegan had four walks against three strikeouts, but he added three whiffs on Tuesday, striking out the side in the fifth.

Next Game: Following Wednesday's travel / off day, the RockHounds open a four-game homestand Thursday night at Security Bank Ballpark, hosting the San Antonio Missions (Padres affiliate). The series, which marks the beginning of division play, includes a "Thirsty Thursday," Schedule Pen Giveaway (Friday) and T-Shirt Night (Saturday) before concluding the series with a Sunday (Family Day) matinee. Start times are 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2:00 p.m. on Sunday.

In Thursday's series opener with San Antonio, the RockHounds will send the tandem of Brandon Mann (LH, 1-1, 7.04 in 3 G / 1 GS) and Corey Walter (RH, 1-0, 0.82 in 3 G / 2 GS) to the mound. Mann tossed seven scoreless innings in his first two appearances, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out six. In his last outing on April 15 at Tulsa, the lefty was roughed up by the Drillers for six runs on four hits and two walks (two strikeouts) in two-thirds of an inning. Since allowing a run to Tulsa in the top of the first on opening night on April 6 at Security Bank Ballpark, Walter has now gone 10.1 scoreless innings. Of the six hits he has allowed to this point in the season (11.0 innings total), half came in the first inning of the April 6 game.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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