Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals split the doubleheader before 4,102 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday. The Cardinals took the first seven-inning game, 8-1, before the Naturals claimed the second, 10-3.
After the Naturals (5-13) started the scoring with a run in the top of the second, the Cardinals (10-8) came right back in the bottom of the third. With the bases loaded and no one out, 3B Ruben Gotay tied the game with an RBI base hit to deep right field, bringing home SS Jake Lemmerman from third. After a strikeout, DH Chris Swauger skied an RBI sacrifice fly to right, plating LF Mike O'Neill and lifting the Cardinals in front, 2-1.
Springfield added a third run in the fourth, and then blew the game open with a five-run bottom of the sixth. 2B Starlin Rodriguez started the frame with a solo shot to left field, followed later by two-run homers from SS Jake Lemmerman and CF Tommy Pham, stretching the lead to seven runs.
RHP Deryk Hooker (S, 1) logged 1.1 scoreless relief frames to close the 8-1 victory for the Cardinals. LHP Anthony Ferrara (W, 2-1) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief to register the win.
Click here for the complete box score from Game 1.
The Naturals (6-13) swung in front right out of the gates in the second game, striking for five runs in the top of the first against RHP Boone Whiting (L, 2-1) and the Cardinals. A fielding miscue brought in the first run, before an RBI single by RF Yem Prades and a three-run homer by 1B Matt Fields capped the rally at 5-0.
The Cardinals (10-9) had a quick response, getting on the board in the bottom of the first. LF Mike O'Neill led off with a base hit and then raced to third when RHP Yordano Ventura committed a throwing error on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout, 1B Xavier Scruggs ripped an RBI single to left field, making it 5-1.
After Northwest Arkansas added two more tallies in the top of the third, the Cardinals chipped the deficit back down in the bottom of the fifth. O'Neill again sparked the rally, working a walk to start the frame. A one-out walk by DH Ruben Gotay put two on, and then Scruggs struck again with an RBI double, scoring O'Neill from second. RF Chris Swauger followed with an RBI single to score Gotay and bring Springfield within four runs, 7-3.
However, the Naturals answered with three runs in the top of the sixth, accounting for the eventual final score of 10-3 in the Northwest Arkansas win. RHP Sam Runion registered the win with 1.2 scoreless relief innings for the Naturals.
Click here for the complete box score from Game 2.
The Cardinals host the Naturals for the series finale on Thursday with a 7:09pm First Pitch. Thursday's game features the 2012 Texas League Championship Replica Ring Giveaway, with rings for 2,500 fans. Thursday is also a Johnsonville "Buck a Brat" Night, offering fans delicious bratwursts for just a buck. Gates open at 6:09pm.
The homestand will also feature AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks with 60's British Rock-N-Roll on Friday, the Price Cutter and Bar-S Texas League Championship Jersey T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) on Saturday, the Empire Bank Green Cap Giveaway (2,500) on Sunday and more! Click below to view the full Promotional Schedule for the homestand and to get your tickets right now.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, ordering the new Friday, Saturday, and Promo Items Packs (only 100 available), the custom-designed Championship Packs (only 100 available) or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-0395 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.