Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals closed the homestand with a 5-3 win against the Midland RockHounds before 5,994 fans at Hammons Field on Tuesday afternoon. The Cardinals wrapped up the series win, 2-games-to-1, taking three of the first four series to start the season.
The Cardinals (7-5) came out on fire, batting around in the bottom of the first inning against RHP Ben Bracewell (L, 0-1). CF Oscar Mercado extended his 10-game on-base streak right away with a leadoff infield single, followed by a base hit from DH Nick Martini. Both runners advanced on a groundout, before 2B Bruce Caldwell brought them both in with a two-run single through the right side. Caldwell swiped second and then raced home on an RBI double drilled by 3B Jacob Wilson. 1B Casey Grayson then lined an RBI single to center field, scoring Wilson from second base for the final blow in the first inning, increasing the Cardinals lead to 4-0.
Cardinals RHP Sandy Alcantara (W, 2-1) preserved the early advantage through his first three scoreless innings, but Midland (5-7) broke through in the top of the fourth. With one down, DH Joe Bennie worked a free pass to reach base. He then trotted home when 2B Max Schrock lasered a two-run home run to right field, slicing the Cardinals lead to 4-2. C Argenis Raga followed the long-ball with a double, taking third on a single from SS Richie Martin. With runners at the corners one out later, CF B.J. Boyd lined an RBI single to left field, scoring Raga and bringing the RockHounds within one run, 4-3.
Alcantara bounced back with scoreless work in the fifth before retiring two outs in the sixth. With one on and one down, LHP Chandler Hawkins took over and dealt 1.1 scoreless frames, before RHP Daniel Bard posted a zero in the top of the eighth.
Still ahead by one run heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Cardinals added an insurance tally against RHP Kyle Friedrichs. With two down, Wilson and Grayson connected on back-to-back base hits to extend the inning. SS Alex Mejia then skied an RBI ground-rule double to left field, scoring Wilson for the 5-3 advantage.
RHP Blake McKnight (S, 1) took over for the top of the ninth and promptly dealt a 1-2-3 final frame, closing the 5-3 win for the Cardinals.
Cardinals kick off the road trip on Thursday in Arkansas
The Cardinals begin an eight-game road trip in Arkansas this Thursday at 7:10pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield then returns home for an eight-game homestand from Friday, April 28 - Friday, May 5. For all of the information about the upcoming fun, view the 2017 Promotional Schedule by clicking the link below.
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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