Springfield, MO - RHP Zach Petrick struck out eight batters through six innings in his Double A debut, helping pace the Springfield Cardinals to the 5-2 win against the Arkansas Travelers before 4,823 fans at Hammons Field on Tuesday night.
Springfield (13-12, 46-47) swung in front right away with a powerful first inning against RHP Drew Carpenter (L, 1-1). With one away, CF James Ramsey and 3B Ruben Gotay launched back-to-back solo home runs, lifting the Cardinals into a quick 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals continued the early barrage with two more tallies in the bottom of the second. After Carpenter retired the frame's first two, SS Jake Lemmerman extended the inning with a double to left field. C Casey Rasmus then placed an RBI single to shallow left, plating Lemmerman from second base. Rasmus swiped his way to second, before darting home on an RBI base hit by LF Mike O'Neill, increasing the advantage to 4-0.
Petrick (W, 1-0) dealt the first two frames in scoreless fashion, before the Travelers (15-10, 48-46) got on the board in the third. Petrick struck out the first batter, but LF Jimmy Swift followed with a base hit to left-center. Swift stole second base, before being brought in by Rolando Gomez's RBI single. However, Petrick struck out the next two in order, striking out the side and getting the Cardinals out of the inning with a 4-1 lead.
Petrick dealt the remainder of his six-inning outing in scoreless fashion, surrendering just the one run while striking out eight before giving way to LHP Justin Wright for the top of the seventh.
Starting off the seventh, Cowart and CF Travis Witherspoon worked a pair of walks against Wright to get two men on. After a fly out to center field advanced Cowart to third base, RHP Kevin Thomas took over for the Cards. He induced a pop out against C Jett Bandy, retiring the second out of the frame. With runners at the corners and Thomas dealing to Swift, the Travelers pulled off a successful double steal with Cowart streaking in from third to cut it to a 4-2 deficit for Arkansas.
Springfield, though, stretched it back out with an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth. C Cody Stanley got to first base on a one-out walk, before racing all the way home on a fielder's choice and a throwing error. 2B Luis Mateo bounced a grounder to Gomez at short, who tried to throw out Stanley at second base. However, Gomez fired an errant throw into right field, enabling Stanley to score on the miscue for the 5-2 lead.
RHP Deryk Hooker (S, 7) then slammed the door with a perfect top of the ninth inning, striking out two and closing the 5-2 win for the Cardinals.
Click here for the complete box score from Tuesday's game.
The Cardinals go for the series win against the Travelers with some Wednesday night baseball at Hammons Field. First Pitch on Wednesday is 7:09pm with gates opening at 6:09pm.
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