Springfield, MO - The Arkansas Travelers took the series opener, 9-3, against the Springfield Cardinals before 4,893 fans at Hammons Field on Saturday night.
The Travelers (10-11) got out to a quick start, tallying the game's first run in the top of the first against RHP Richard Castillo (L, 1-3). After a one out walk put LF Matt Long on base, he quickly moved to second on a wild pitch. 1B CJ Cron then drove an RBI single to center field, scoring Long and making it 1-0.
Arkansas stretched the lead with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. One out after C Jett Bandy was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, Long drove an RBI triple to right-center field, scoring Bandy from first. After a ground out, DH Robbie Widlansky placed an RBI infield single inside the first base line, lifting the Travs into the 3-0 lead.
Springfield (10-11) started chipping away in the bottom of the sixth against RHP Matt Oye (W, 3-1). With one down, 3B Ruben Gotay singled his way on to get the Cards going. A walk by 1B Xavier Scruggs and an infield single by DH Chris Swauger loaded the bases with only one down. 2B Starlin Rodriguez got Springfield on the board with an RBI sacrifice fly to right field, plating Gotay to cut the deficit to 3-1.
However, Arkansas responded with four runs in the top of the eighth. A pair of two-run homers by 3B Kaleb Cowart and CF Travis Witherspoon swung the Travelers ahead, 7-1.
The Cardinals responded with a run in the bottom of the eighth. With Swauger at first base and two outs, C Audry Perez lined an RBI double to left-center, scoring Swauger and making it 7-2.
After the Travelers scored two runs on a throwing error in the top of the ninth, the Cardinals tried one last rally in the bottom of the ninth. With two down, Gotay worked a walk to keep the game going. Scruggs followed with a free pass, before Swauger ripped an RBI double to right-center, scoring Gotay. However, RHP Ryan Chaffee struck out Rodriguez in the following at-bat, closing the 9-3 win for Arkansas.
Click here for the complete box score from Saturday's game.
Sunday's doubleheader between the Cardinals and the Travelers features back-to-back seven-inning games, starting at 2:09pm. One ticket is good for both games. Gates open at 1:09pm.
Sunday is the Empire Bank Green Cap Giveaway, with specialty green Cardinals caps for 2,500 fans.
Sunday is also a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with a free ice cream party for kids before the first game. All kids can then run the bases just like the Cardinals after the second game.
Additionally, this Sunday will feature the Cardinals Bat Auction. Fans may bid on bats signed by Cardinals players to benefit Cherish Kids.
Escape to morning baseball this Monday with an 11:09 a.m. First Pitch against the Travs. At least join us on your lunch break! Gates open at 10:09am. Additionally, Monday will be a Missouri Department of Conservation Educational Day, with a pre-game lesson in conservation for school groups. Monday will also be a High School Career Day, offering high school students an inside look at what it is like to work in professional sports.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, ordering the new Friday, Saturday, and Promo Items Packs (only 100 available), the custom-designed Championship Packs (only 100 available) or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-0395 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.