Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals clubbed nine runs on nine hits, blowing by the Arkansas Travelers, 9-5, before 4,207 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night. Springfield has won four in a row, going for their third straight series win on Saturday.
After Arkansas (6-8) opened an early lead with an RBI double by DH Zach Borenstein in the first, the Cardinals (7-7) seized the lead in the bottom of the second. Travelers LHP Kramer Sneed (L, 1-2) struck out the first four batters he faced, but DH Curt Smith ended the streak with a one-out single to get the bats going in the second. RF Rafael Ortega and C Cody Stanley followed with consecutive walks, before a game-tying RBI sacrifice fly from 3B Patrick Wisdom. After a double steal by Ortega and Stanley, 2B Luis Mateo worked a walk to reload the bases for LF Mike O'Neill. The leadoff man came through with a two-run base hit up the middle, opening a 3-1 lead for Springfield.
The Cardinals added one run on an error in the third, before stretching the lead further in the fifth. With one away and the bases clear, 1B Jonathan Rodriguez hammered a solo home run to make it 5-1.
Arkansas countered with a two-run homer by 1B Michael Snyder in the top of the sixth, but the Cardinals responded with a four-run frame in the bottom of the inning. With Mateo at second base and two down, CF James Ramsey ripped an RBI single. SS Aledmys Diaz then followed with a towering two-run home run to left, stretching the lead to 8-3. Rodriguez kept the frame going with a walk and quickly stole second base. He then came in on a fielding error charged to 3B Kaleb Cowart, increasing the lead to 9-3.
An RBI double by 2B Alex Yarbrough and a sacrifice fly from Cowart in the top of the seventh brought Arkansas within four runs. However, RHP Joey Donofrio took over with two down in the seventh and dealt five straight strikeouts, carrying the Cardinals a third of the way through the ninth. After a walk, LHP Dean Kiekhefer slammed the door with the final two outs, closing the Cardinals 9-5 win. RHP Sam Gaviglio (W, 1-2) dealt a season-high 5.2 innings to earn his first Double-A win.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
Flight Crew T-Shirts and Easter Celebration coming up this weekend
The series continues on Saturday, April 19 with a 6:10pm First Pitch and the Branson Zipline Flight Crew T-Shirt Giveaway for 2,500 fans. Gates open at 5:10pm, so come early and get one of these one-of-a-kind t-shirts!
The Cards and Travs wrap up the series with a 4:10pm First Pitch on Sunday, April 20. Start the day and your Easter celebration with us at the annual Sunrise Service at Hammons Field at 6:15am. Then in the afternoon, there will be the Easter Egg Hunt EGGstravaganza for 1,000 kids 10-and-under before the game. Gates open at 3:10pm.
Sunday is also a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with free ice cream for kids before the game. All kids can then run the bases just like the Cardinals after the game in The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases Promotion.
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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.