Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals scored one run in each inning from the sixth through the eighth, including a pair of home runs, but the Northwest Arkansas Naturals evened the series with a 7-4 win before 5,696 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
RHP Sam Gaviglio (W, 4-10) entered action with a miniscule 0.69 ERA through his first two starts in July, but the Naturals (13-15, 38-60) offense got going right away with two unearned tallies in the first. SS Angel Franco started the game with a leadoff single, before CF Ethan Chapman laid down a sacrifice bunt. Gaviglio fielded the bunt, but misfired the throw past first base, enabling Franco to take third on the play. Gaviglio then battled back with a strikeout and a pop out, but two-out RBI singles from 3B Hunter Dozier and C Micah Gibbs opened the early 2-0 lead for the Naturals.
Northwest Arkansas added another unearned run to the advantage in the top of the second. LF Justin Trapp started the inning by reaching on a throwing error from SS Alex Mejia. A sacrifice bunt from 2B Logan Davis advanced Trapp to second, before he took third on a groundout from Franco. After a walk, Gaviglio was dealing to RF Jorge Bonifacio when a balk was called against the Cardinals right-hander, which resulted in Trapp coming home to make it 3-0.
Gaviglio settled in with a scoreless top of the third, before the Cardinals (10-18, 44-54) strung together a two-out rally in the bottom of the third to get on the board against RHP Matt Murray. After a pair of groundouts, LF Mike O'Neill extended the inning with a two-out single. DH Cody Stanley, the league leader with a .309 batting average, followed with a base hit of his own, before RF James Ramsey worked a walk to load the bases. 1B Jonathan Rodriguez then shot a sharp grounder to third that was misplayed by 3B Hunter Dozier. On the error, everyone ended up being safe with O'Neill scoring to slice it to just a 3-1 deficit.
Northwest Arkansas, though, stretched the lead back out in the top of the fifth inning. The stanza started with four consecutive singles from Cuthbert, Dozier, Rincon and Gibbs, with Rincon and Gibbs both picking up RBIs. After Gaviglio battled back with a 5-4-3 double play, 2B Logan Davis placed an RBI single to shallow right field to increase the advantage to 6-1.
The Naturals kept swinging in the sixth against LHP Iden Nazario, who had retired the final out in the fifth. Chapman started the inning with a triple, quickly then coming home on an RBI sacrifice fly by RF Jorge Bonifacio to make it 7-1.
Springfield countered in the bottom of the sixth inning against RHP Ali Williams (W, 4-1). Leading off the inning, Ramsey crushed his team-leading 13th home run of the year, a solo shot to left field to make it 7-2. With the long-ball, Ramsey moves back into a tie for third among the league's top home run hitters.
After a scoreless top of the seventh from rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals LHP Kevin Siegrist, the Cardinals kept chipping away with another home run in the bottom of the seventh against RHP Angel Baez. Again it was the leadoff hitter that struck, with SS Alex Mejia swatting his first Double-A home run, a solo blast, to further decrease the deficit to 7-3.
The Cardinals refused to go down without a fight, pulling one run closer in the bottom of the eighth. 1B Jonathan Rodriguez led off with a single, before CF Rafael Ortega laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Rodriguez to second. 3B Patrick Wisdom brought Rodriguez home with an RBI single up the middle, cutting it down to just a 7-4 lead for the Naturals.
The Naturals, though, turned to their closer, RHP Andrew Triggs (S, 14), for the bottom of the ninth. Ramsey momentarily extended the game with a two-out single, but Triggs induced a fielder's choice to find the final out and close the 7-4 win for the Naturals.
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!
Click here for more information on Cardinals Promo Seats.
Commemorative 10th Season Rings on Saturday, Replica Batting Helmets on Sunday!
The Cardinals and Naturals continue the series with the Great Southern Bank Commemorative 10th Season Ring Giveaway (2,500) on Saturday, July 19. First Pitch is 6:10pm, gates open at 5:10pm.
The homestand will also feature -
-Hiland Dairy Replica Batting Helmet Giveaway (2,500), Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases on Sunday, July 20. First Pitch is 6:10pm, gates open at 5:10pm.
-Pasta Express $1 Kids Ravioli Night (All kids, 12-and-under) on Monday, July 21. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
-St. Louis Cardinals 2004 National League Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day on Tuesday, July 22. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
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.
Click here for the complete 2014 Promotional Schedule and to get your tickets right now.
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