Springdale, AR - 1B Jonathan Rodriguez belted a go-ahead, three-run home run in the top of the 12th inning, lifting the Springfield Cardinals to the 8-5 win in extra frames against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals before 4,712 fans at Arvest Ballpark on Thursday night. With the win, the Cardinals have won five games in a row, 11 of their last 14 and five consecutive series.
The Cardinals (28-30, 62-66) jumped in front right away, striking for an early run against RHP Matt Murray in the top of the first. Leading off the game, CF Charlie Tilson reached base safely on a throwing error charged to 2B Justin Trapp. RF Rafael Ortega singled Tilson to third base, before DH Cody Stanley brought him home with an RBI single for the 1-0 advantage.
Springfield RHP Sam Gaviglio kept the lead intact through his first three scoreless innings, but the Naturals (26-32, 51-77) rallied in the fourth. SS Orlando Calixte doubled to start the inning, followed by a walk from 3B Hunter Dozier. RF Jorge Bonifacio got the Naturals on the board with an RBI single, before Gaviglio battled back with a strikeout and a groundout. However, 2B Justin Trapp floated a two-run single to shallow center field, bringing in both runners for the 3-1 advantage.
Both Gaviglio and Murray dealt the remainder of their six-inning starts in scoreless fashion, before the Cardinals rallied against RHP Ali Williams in the top of the seventh. SS Alex Mejia and LF David Popkins sparked the bats with consecutive singles to start the stanza. One out later, 2B Greg Miclat scorched an RBI double inside the left field line, bringing in Mejia and moving Popkins to third. C Travis Tartamella tied the game with a run-scoring grounder to short, enabling Popkins to dart home from third base. Miclat moved to third on the Tartamella grounder, before streaking home when Williams uncorked a wild pitch, lifting the Cardinals back in front, 4-3.
The Naturals, though, dealt the next blow in the bottom of the eighth inning. With one on and one down, 1B Mark Threlkeld knocked a pinch-hit, two-run homer to left field, leapfrogging the Naturals back in front, 5-4.
Springfield refused to give in, however, evening the score in the top of the ninth inning. Mejia started the inning with a single, before being replaced on the bases by pinch-runner 2B Breyvic Valera. After a sacrifice bunt from Popkins moved Valera to second, 3B Patrick Wisdom lined a base hit to center field. Valera tried to score on the single, but CF Lane Adams dealt a perfect throw home that was just in time to retire Valera at the plate and keep the Naturals ahead. With Wisdom on at second base and two down, Miclat pulled an RBI single through the right side of the infield, bringing Wisdom in from second base to tie the game at 5-5.
With one on and one down in the bottom of the ninth inning, RHP Jeremy Berg (W, 2-0) took over on the mound and navigated through the final two outs in the ninth in scoreless fashion, forcing extra frames.
Berg kept it tied with scoreless stanzas in the 10th and 11th as well, before Springfield reclaimed the lead in the top of the 12th. Naturals LHP Tripp Davis (L, 0-1) retired the first two outs to begin the 12th, but Ortega kept the inning alive with a single. Stanley followed Ortega's knock with a walk, and then Rodriguez demolished a three-run home run over the center field fence, driving the ball more than 400 feet, to lift the Cardinals back in front, 8-5.
Berg re-toed the rubber for the bottom of the 12th, dealing a three-batter, scoreless frame to close the 8-5 win for the Cardinals in 12 innings.
Click here for the complete box score from Thursday'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.
The Cardinals kick off the final homestand of the Regular Season on Saturday, August 23
The Cardinals conclude the four-game road trip this Friday against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at 7:35pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
The Cards then come home for the final homestand of the 2014 Regular Season from Saturday, August 23 - Friday, August 29. The homestand will feature:
-AT&T St. Louis Cardinals Replica Jersey Giveaway (2,500), AT&T Dreams Come True Night and a Specialty Jersey Auction to benefit GYNCA on Saturday, August 23. First Pitch is 6:10pm, gates open at 5:10pm.
-Purina Bark in the Park and St. Louis Cardinals Fleece Blanket Giveaway (2,500), Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases on Sunday, August 24. First Pitch is 5:10pm, gates open at 4:10pm.
-Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day on Tuesday, August 26. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
-Budweiser Commemorative 10th Season Beer Stein Giveaway (2,500, ages 21+) and "Buck a Brat" Night with $1 bratwursts all game on Thursday, August 28. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
-Fan Appreciation Day Free Vouchers for a 2015 Game and AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring the Top Hits of 2014 on Friday, August 29. First Pitch is 7:10pm, gates open at 6:10pm.
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.
Escape to Cardinals Baseball!
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.