Springfield, MO - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals held off the Springfield Cardinals for the 3-1 win before 4,408 fans at Hammons Field on Friday night.
Cardinals LHP Kyle Hald (L, 7-3) and Naturals RHP Jason Adam (W, 4-8) battled back and forth through the first four scoreless frames of their duel, before Northwest Arkansas (11-10, 36-55) scratched across the first run of the game in the top of the fifth.
DH Max Ramirez sparked the Nats bats with a leadoff double to start the fifth, before scurrying to third on a wild pitch. Hald dug in with a grounder to short and a liner to short, both handled by SS Alex Mejia for the first two outs of the inning. However, CF Justin Trapp struck with an RBI single to plate Ramirez and lift the Naturals into the 1-0 lead.
Hald kept Northwest Arkansas at only the one run through the rest of his seven innings, but Adam countered with seven scoreless innings of his own to keep the narrow Naturals lead intact.
Northwest Arkansas padded the lead in the top of the eighth inning, striking with two outs against RHP Ronnie Shaban. After Shaban had retired the frame's first two batters, 3B Hunter Dozier extended the inning with a walk. DH Max Ramirez then struck with a two-run homer to right-center, increasing the advantage to 3-0.
The Cardinals (8-13, 42-49) refused to go down quietly, attempting a rally in the bottom of the eighth inning against LHP Scott Alexander. CF James Ramsey started the inning with a single, one of his three hits on the night. After a strikeout, 1B Curt Smith and DH Jonathan Rodriguez ripped back-to-back singles to load the bases. RF Rafael Ortega then laced an RBI base hit to left, bringing in Ramsey to bring the Cardinals within two tallies of tying it. Alexander, though, escaped further damage with a strikeout and a flyout, keeping the Naturals ahead, 3-1.
After Cardinals LHP Iden Nazario tossed a scoreless top of the ninth in his Springfield season debut, RHP Andrew Triggs (S, 13) closed the door with a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth, wrapping the Naturals 3-1 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!
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Kevin Siegrist Rehab Appearance and U.S.A. Jersey Auction wrap up the homestand
The Cardinals wrap up the homestand with a 6:10pm First Pitch against the Naturals on Saturday. St. Louis Cardinals LHP Kevin Siegrist is set to make a Rehab Appearance for Springfield during the game. The Cardinals will also be suiting up in the Specialty U.S.A. Jerseys, which will be auctioned off during the game to benefit the Humane Society. 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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