North Little Rock, AR - The Arkansas Travelers claimed the series opener with a 9-1 win against the Springfield Cardinals before 4,239 fans at Dickey-Stephens Park on Thursday night. The Cardinals have won eight of their last 11 games.
The Travs (1-2, 35-38) got the bats going in the bottom of the first against All-Star LHP Kyle Hald (L, 6-2). After a leadoff single from LF Maikol Gonzalez, 3B Kaleb Cowart knocked a two-run home run over the left field fence, swinging the Travelers into the 2-0 advantage.
After a solo home run by DH Jimmy Swift in the second, Arkansas struck with another long-ball in the third. With two on and two down, C Jett Bandy pulled a three-run shot inside the left field foul pole, increasing the advantage to 6-0.
The Cardinals (2-1, 36-37) battled their way onto the board against All-Star LHP Michael Roth (W, 6-4) in the top of the fifth. After a DH Curt Smith walk, RF David Popkins and 2B Luis Mateo both ripped singles to load the bases with no outs. 3B Matt Williams chopped an RBI fielder's choice to short, enabling Smith to race home for the Cardinals first run. However, Roth worked out of the rest of the inning unscathed with a pickoff and a strikeout, escaping further trouble with a 6-1 Travelers lead.
Arkansas then stretched the advantage with two runs in the sixth. With two on and two down, RHP Logan Billbrough gave way to RHP Chris Thomas, the Liberty, MO native making his Double-A debut. All-Star 2B Alex Yarbrough and All-Star 1B Brian Hernandez, though, struck with consecutive RBI singles to increase the advantage to 8-1.
A final RBI base hit from Hernandez in the bottom of the eighth capped the scoring, accounting for the 9-1 final score in the Travelers win.
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.
Cards kick off a six-game homestand on Wednesday, June 25
The Cardinals continue the road trip on Friday against the Arkansas Travelers at 7:10pm. Catch all the action live on Jock 98.7FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.
Springfield returns home for a six-game homestand from Wednesday, June 25 - Monday, June 30. The homestand will feature -
-St. Louis Cardinals 1964 World Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500) and $1 bratwursts on Thursday, June 26 at 7:10pm.
-AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Music from the Jacksons on Friday, June 27 at 7:10pm.
-CoxHealth Fireworks at the Field Celebration on Saturday, June 28 at 5:10pm.
-Cline Dental Joe Kelly "Standoff" Champion Bobblehead Giveaway (2,500), Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and The Track Family Fun Parks Kids Race the Bases on Sunday, June 29 at 6:10pm.
-AM Pyrotechnics Bonus Fireworks featuring Fan's Vote Music and a Specialty Cap Auction to benefit Horses of Hope on Monday, June 30 at 7:10pm.
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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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.