North Little Rock, AR - The Arkansas Travelers claimed the series opener with a 5-2 win against the Springfield Cardinals before 3,076 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (L, 7-4) and Travelers RHP Dylan Unsworth (W, 8-6) dueled back and forth through four scoreless innings to start, before Arkansas (9-10, 41-48) broke through in the bottom of the fifth. RF Kyle Waldrop opened the inning with a double, followed by a single from 1B Ryan Casteel. With runners at the corners, a passed ball charged to C Andrew Knizner brought in Waldrop from third base, opening the 1-0 lead. After a walk from 2B Nelson Ward, a bunt single by SS Joey Wong loaded the bases with no outs. After a fielder's choice led to 1B John Nogowski throwing out Casteel at the plate, LF Chuck Taylor brought in Ward with an RBI fielder's choice to second base. 3B Seth Mejias-Brean worked a walk that reloaded the bases and chased Hudson from the mound, leading to RHP Tyler Bray taking over. Bray's first pitch hit DH Dario Pizzano, forcing in Wong, before Bray retired C Tyler Marlette to get the Cardinals out of the inning with Arkansas only ahead, 3-0.
Unsworth kept the Cardinals at bay through his seven scoreless innings, but Springfield rallied against rehabbing Seattle Mariners RHP Shae Simmons in the top of the eighth. 1B John Nogowski and SS Tommy Edman started the frame with back-to-back base hits, before an infield single from RF Magneuris Sierra loaded the bases with no outs. However, Simmons induced a run-scoring double play ball from 2B Darren Seferina that brought in Nogowski but left only Edman at third base with two outs. Edman darted in from third on a wild pitch, but Simmons got CF Oscar Mercado to ground out, closing the frame with the Travs clinging to a 3-2 lead.
Arkansas got the two runs right back in the bottom of the eighth against RHP Pedro Echemendia. After a leadoff single from Marlette, Waldrop powered a two-run home run to right field, increasing the Travelers lead back to three runs, 5-2.
LHP Zac Curtis (S, 10) took over for the top of the ninth and dealt a scoreless final frame to close the 5-2 win for the Travelers.
Replica 1942 World Championship Rings, Free Pregame Ice Cream for Kids and Kids Run the Bases on Sunday, July 16
The Cardinals continue the quick four-game series in Arkansas at 7:10pm on Thursday, July 13. 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.
The Cardinals then return home for the next fun-filled homestand at Hammons Field from Sunday, July 16 - Wednesday, July 19. Don't miss any of the upcoming fun, including:
-Sunday, July 16, 6:10pm - St. Louis Cardinals Replica 1942 World Series Championship Ring Giveaway (2,000), Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Monday, July 17, 6:30pm - Monday Night Baseball vs. NW Arkansas Naturals. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Tuesday, July 18, 6:30pm - Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Wednesday, July 19, 6:30pm - Wednesday Night Baseball vs. NW Arkansas Naturals. Gates open at 5:30pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a 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 2017 Promotional Schedule and to order 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.