Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals struck for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, swinging past the Arkansas Travelers for the 7-4 win before 6,194 fans at Hammons Field on Saturday evening.
Making his Double-A debut, LHP Marco Gonzales started off with a 1-2-3 first inning and a scoreless second, but the Travelers (20-21) broke through in the top of the third. With the bases loaded and one away, LF Zach Borenstein brought in two runs with a double to left-center field. DH Alex Yarbrough tried to score from first on the play, but was thrown out at the plate by the relay man, SS Greg Miclat, keeping it just a 2-0 deficit for Springfield.
The Cardinals (19-23) answered right away with one run in the bottom of the third against RHP Yeiper Castillo. LF Mike O'Neill led off with a walk to reach first base. He then took off for second on ball four to 2B Jacob Wilson. Despite the walk, C Zach Zaneski misfired a throw to second base that allowed O'Neill to get all the way to third on the play. C Cody Stanley then skied an RBI sacrifice fly to right-center field, cutting it down to a 2-1 lead for Arkansas.
Springfield battled it back even in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one down, CF Rafael Ortega and RF David Popkins knocked back-to-back base hits, before SS Greg Miclat placed an RBI single to left-center, evening it at 2-2.
After the Travelers reclaimed the advantage with an RBI single by Borenstein in the top of the fifth, the Cardinals jumped in front in the bottom of the frame. A pair of walks from Stanley and 1B Jonathan Rodriguez got two men on to start the stanza. 1B Curt Smith then brought in Stanley with a slicing RBI double inside the right field line, moving Rodriguez to third. Rodriguez raced home for the go-ahead run on an RBI fielder's choice from 3B Patrick Wisdom to short, lifting Springfield into the 4-3 lead.
However, the Travelers took their turn to tie the game in the top of the sixth. With 2B Chance Ross at third base and two away, CF Kyle Hudson bounced an RBI single through the right side of the infield, squaring the score at 4-4.
The Cardinals, though, raced in front with three runs in the bottom of the eighth against LHP Buddy Boshers (L, 0-1). With one away, Ortega sparked the charge with a bunt single, before quickly stealing his way to second base. After a strikeout, Miclat ripped an RBI double to left field, bringing in Ortega for the 5-4 lead. O'Neill then scorched an RBI triple down the right field side, bringing in Miclat from second base. 2B Jacob Wilson dealt the final blow with an RBI double to left, stretching the lead to 7-4.
RHP Joey Donofrio (S, 2) then posted a scoreless top of the ninth, closing the 7-4 win for the Cardinals. LHP Anthony Ferrara (W, 1-1) dealt two-thirds of a scoreless inning to log the victory.
Click here for the complete box score from Saturday's game.
Free Ice Cream for Kids and Kids Race the Bases this Sunday
Sunday is a 2:10pm game at Hammons Field, as well as a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with free ice cream for kids before the game. All kids can then run the bases just like Cardinals after the game with The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases promotion. Gates open at 1:10pm.
The series then wraps up on Monday, May 19 with a 7:10pm First Pitch against the Travelers. 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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.