Corpus Christi, TX - The Springfield Cardinals withstood a late Corpus Christi Hooks comeback attempt to hang on for the 6-5 win before 6,320 fans at Whataburger Field on Saturday night. The Cardinals claim the series win and improve their lead to 2.0 games over the Tulsa Drillers for 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings with 21 games remaining.
The Hooks (22-26, 56-62) seized the early lead right away in the bottom of the first against RHP Sandy Alcantara (W, 7-5). With the bases loaded on a pair of walks and an error, DH Jason Martin lined a two-out RBI single to left-center field, scoring RF Ramon Laureano from third base for the 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals (32-17, 67-52) countered immediately with two runs in the top of the second inning. DH Anthony Garcia and 1B John Nogowski worked walks to start the charge, before a base hit by 3B Jacob Wilson loaded the bases with no outs. 2B Bruce Caldwell brought in Garcia to tie the game with an RBI fielder's choice, though it retired Nogowski at third. With two on and one away, C Andrew Knizner reached on an error to reload the bases. SS Tommy Edman then worked an RBI walk, forcing home Wilson from third base for the 2-1 Cardinals lead.
The Hooks, however, evened it right back out in the bottom of the second. With one away, a base hit and back-to-back walks loaded the bases, before CF Kyle Tucker sent an RBI sacrifice fly to left field to tie the game, 2-2.
After a 1-2-3 bottom of the third from Alcantara, the Cardinals powered back into the lead in the top of the fourth. Leading off the inning, C Andrew Knizner and SS Tommy Edman belted back-to-back solo blasts, swinging Springfield into the 4-2 advantage.
Springfield kept swinging in the top of the sixth against RHP Ralph Garza. CF Oscar Mercado worked a walk to start the stanza, followed by an infield single from LF Magneuris Sierra. One out later, DH Anthony Garcia brought both runners home with a two-run double to right field, increasing the Cardinals lead to 6-2.
Alcantara came back out to start the bottom of the sixth and closed his outing with consecutive strikeouts, finishing with just the two runs allowed (only one earned), five walks and eight strikeouts in 5.2 innings. After needing 49 pitches to navigate through his first two innings, Alcantara needed just 50 pitches in his subsequent 3.2 scoreless stanzas.
LHP Corey Littrell took over for Alcantara and closed the sixth with a quick strikeout, before tossing a scoreless seventh. However, the Hooks began the comeback in the bottom of the eighth. With one away, DH Jason Martin worked a walk and took second on a wild pitch. Former Springfield Cardinal and current Hooks 2B Collin Walsh brought in Martin with an RBI double, before moving to third on a wild pitch. Walsh then darted home on an RBI groundout from SS Antonio Nunez to shave the deficit to 6-4. With two away and the bases empty, RHP Andrew Morales took over but lost 3B Arturo Michelena to a walk. LF Rico Noel singled to move Michelena to second, before Morales tossed a pair of wild pitches that resulted in Michelena scoring and the Hooks pulling within one run. After a walk put runners at the corners with two away, LHP Jacob Evans came in and struck out Tucker, getting the Cardinals out of the jam with a 6-5 lead.
Evans retired 1B Jon Singleton with a fly out to start the frame, before giving way to RHP Tyler Bray (S, 2). However, a hit batter, a single and a walk loaded the bases with one down. Bray, though, induced a fielder's choice that recorded an out at home plate, keeping the Cards ahead by one run. He then got pinch-hitting 1B Dexture McCall to ground out to short, and the Cardinals escaped with a 6-5 win.
1987 National League Championship Replica Rings, Charlie Brown Bobbleheads, St. Louis Cardinals 2018 Ticket Vouchers, Friday Night Fireworks and more during August 15 - 20 Homestand
The Cardinals conclude the road trip in Corpus Christi at 6:05pm on Sunday night. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield then returns home for the next fun-filled homestand from Tuesday, August 15 - Sunday, August 20. Don't miss any of the upcoming fun, including:
-Tuesday, August 15, 6:30pm - Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Wednesday, August 16, 6:30pm - Wednesday Night Baseball vs. San Antonio Missions. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Thursday, August 17, 7:10pm - St. Louis Cardinals Replica 1987 National League Championship Ring Giveaway (2,000) and Klement's "Buck a Brat" Night. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Friday, August 18, 7:10pm - AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks highlighting 20th Anniversary of 1997 Hits. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Saturday, August 19, 6:10pm - St. Louis Cardinals Charlie Brown & Peanuts 50th Anniversary Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000) and Missouri State Bears Night with a Specialty Cardinals & Bears Themed Jersey Auction. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Sunday, August 20, 2:10pm - Matt Gifford Day with the St. Louis Cardinals 2018 Ticket Voucher Giveaway (2,000), Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 1:10pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a 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 2017 Promotional Schedule and to order your tickets right now.
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