Cardinals take the opener in Arkansas, 3-2

By Springfield Cardinals | April 26, 2014 12:01 AM ET

North Little Rock, AR - The Springfield Cardinals struck for two runs in the first inning and never looked back, taking the 3-2 win against the Arkansas Travelers before 7,532 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park on Friday night.

The Cardinals (11-10) jumped on RHP Mark Sappington (L, 0-3) right away in the opening inning. LF Mike O'Neill and CF James Ramsey started the game with back-to-back walks, putting two on with no outs. Sappington, though, battled back to retire the next two batters. However, DH Cody Stanley sliced a two-run double to left-center field, scoring both runners for the 2-0 lead.

After RHP Kurt Heyer (W, 2-1) kept the Travelers (8-13) off the board through the first two innings, Arkansas struck for one run in the bottom of the third. With runners at the corners and one away, LF Zach Borenstein skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, making it 2-1.

Heyer, though, kept the Travelers at just one run through the remainder of his six-inning start. It marks his fourth consecutive one-run outing, spanning 26.0 innings with just four total runs allowed.

Meanwhile, the Cardinals stretched the lead back to two runs in the top of the sixth against LHP Carmine Giardina. RF Rafael Ortega worked a one-out walk, before moving to second base on a ground out. 2B Luis Mateo then placed an RBI single to shallow right-center, bringing in Ortega for the 3-1 advantage.

After RHP Ronnie Shaban dealt a scoreless seventh, the Travelers again pulled within one run of tying it against LHP Justin Wright in the eighth. A walk and a single started the inning, before a sacrifice bunt advanced both runners into scoring position. Former Cardinal and current Travelers RF Adam Melker then bounced an RBI groundout to second, bringing in 3B Kaleb Cowart from third base to make it 3-2.

Wright, though, got out of the rest of the eighth with no further damage being done, stranding the tying run away from third base. LHP Dean Kiekhefer (S, 3) then took over for the bottom of the ninth, slamming the door with a 1-2-3 frame to close the 3-2 win for the Cardinals.

Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.

Cardinals return for 8-game homestand starting on Tuesday, April 29

The Cardinals continue the road trip against the Travelers on Saturday at 6:10pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7FM and, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.

The Cardinals return home to start an eight-game homestand on Tuesday, April 29 with a Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day at 7:10pm. The homestand will feature three educational days (4/30, 5/5, 5/6), the 2013 St. Louis Cardinals National League Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and a "Buck a Brat" Night on Thursday, May 1, AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Music from the 90s on Friday, May 2, the Price Cutter and Bar-S Foods 10th Season T-Shirt Giveaway (2,500) on Saturday, May 3 and much, much more. Click below to view the complete schedule.

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

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.

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