Springfield, MO - LHP Marco Gonzales struck out 10 batters through six dominant frames, helping lead the Springfield Cardinals to the 2-1 win against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals before 6,372 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
After a quick top of the first worked by Gonzales (W, 2-2), the Cardinals (32-35) jumped in front in the bottom of the first inning against RHP Andy Ferguson (L, 4-6). A groundout started the frame, but then 2B Jacob Wilson ripped a double inside the left field line. He moved to third on a wild pitch, before darting home on an RBI sacrifice fly from All-Star C Cody Stanley for the 1-0 lead.
Gonzales kept rolling on the mound, striking out five of the first nine batters he faced through three scoreless innings to begin his outing.
The Naturals (24-43) managed to even it in the top of the fourth, scratching across an unearned run. With runners at the corners and two down, Gonzales bent a curve ball into the dirt that got C Juan Graterol to chase for strike three. However, the pitch bounced away from C Cody Stanley far enough to enable everyone to move up ninety feet, including RF Jorge Bonifacio coming in from third to tie the game. Gonzales responded by striking out DH Mark Threlkeld for his eighth strikeout to get out of the frame with it even, 1-1.
The Cardinals did not let it remain tied for long, moving right back in front in the bottom of the fourth. All-Star 1B Jonathan Rodriguez led off the frame with a double blasted off the left field fence. A groundout advanced Rodriguez to third, before a wild pitch from Ferguson got away from Naturals C Micah Gibbs during the at-bat of RF David Popkins, enabling Rodriguez to race home for the 2-1 advantage.
Gonzales kept the Cardinals one-run lead intact throughout the remainder of his six-inning outing, allowing only the one unearned run on two hits with no walks. He struck out 10 of the 21 batters that he faced overall.
The Cardinals bullpen picked up right where Gonzales left off, facing the minimum nine batters through the final three innings. LHP Ryan Sherriff and LHP Justin Wright both logged a perfect inning apiece. RHP Joey Donofrio (S, 6) took over for the ninth and allowed a one-out base hit, before inducing a game-ending double play to quickly close the Cardinals 2-1 win.
Click here for the complete box score from Friday's game.
Guarantee Individual Promo Items with the brand-new Promo Seats
The brand-new Promo Seats Package includes one Diamond Box Ticket for a game featuring a Promotional Item and guarantees that you receive one of that night's Promotional Items, plus a portion of the ticket sales will benefit the Hamels Foundation Cardinals Youth Initiative to provide tickets for area youth and non-profit organizations.
By purchasing the Promo Seats, fans will have an item reserved for them regardless of where they are in line or what time they arrive at the game. And, for the first time, out-of-town fans that order a Promo Seat Package can choose to have their Promotional Item mailed to them for an additional shipping and handling charge of $10 per item. Both out of town fans and those unable to make the game may donate their game ticket to the Hamels Foundation Cardinals Youth Initiative.
Promo Seat Packages are just $28 each and there are only 61 available for each game. Call the Ticket Office at (417) 863-2143 right now to order yours!
Click here for more information on Cardinals Promo Seats.
Military Appreciation Night, Military Appreciation Fireworks, Camo Jerseys and more this weekend
The homestand wraps up with the Mid Missouri Credit Union / Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night with Military Appreciation Fireworks after the 6:10pm game on Saturday, June 14, as well as a Camo Themed Jersey Auction during the game to benefit Missouri State University's ROTC. Gates open at 5:10pm.
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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