Springfield rode Carlos Martinez' arm and the flight of the long ball to a 5-0 victory over visiting Frisco in Game 1 of the Texas League Championship Series.
Player of the Day Martinez stifled the RoughRiders on four hits and a walk over seven. He tossed 87 pitches, 57 for strikes.
The RoughRiders mounted two serious threats in the third and fourth innings but the 20-year-old quashed both. A lead-off base-on-balls and missed catch error by shortstop Greg Garcia put the first two runners aboard in the third. The first out was produced by a force out at third but the runners advanced on a wild pitch. Martinez then fanned the next two batters swinging to end the frame.
The right-hander notched another of his seven strikeouts to start the fourth but consecutive singles and a fielder's choice loaded the bases with only one out. Martinez fielded a come-backer to the mound to induce a 1-5-3 double play, one of three on the evening for the Cardinals. Martinez, who turns 21 on the 21st, had his sinker going for a dominating 12 ground outs to one fly out.
All of the S-Cards' tallies came via home runs. Greg Garcia blasted one over the right field wall to give his team a 1-0 lead in the third. That tenuous lead remained until the seventh when Jamie Romak began with his own solo shot. Mike O'Neill chose an opportune time for his first bomb of 2012, a three-run shot that knocked in Garcia (hit-by-pitch) and Xavier Scruggs (free pass).
The postgame clubhouse featured a surprise visit by former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, acting in his role of assistant to Commissioner Bud Selig. The future Hall-of-Famer spoke on one of his favorite topics, staying focused.
Wednesday's game: vs. Frisco, 7:08 pm CT, Seth Maness (0-0, ---)
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