It all started early when Midland's lead-off batter, Steve Stanley, hit a solo home run to right field, off newly acquired pitcher Chris Lambert. who was making his Springfield debut. And, as if that weren't bad enough for the pitcher in his first appearance at Hammons Field, he allowed a lead off home run in the second inning as well giving up the long-ball to Casey Myers, his fourth home run of the season and third against Springfield.
Midland's starting and winning pitcher, Dallas Braden (3-1) pitched seven strong innings allowing just one run on five hits, with eight strike-outs and two walks.
In the second inning, the Cards cut the RockHounds 2-0 lead in half when Aaron Herr extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 straight games with a double to right field that drove in Juan Diaz from first.
Another run for Midland came in the third on a sacrifice fly from Jason Perry to make it 3-1, RockHounds. Perry would get a second RBI in the fifth when he singled, driving in Mark Kiger, who Lambert walked with only one out, making it 4-1.
Andre Ethier hit his tenth home run of the year to open the eighth inning, giving the RockHounds a 5-1 lead.
The Cardinals did get a run in the bottom of the eighth when Papo Bolivar singled and sent Shaun Boyd home from third, after Boyd tripled. Springfield had two runners on with the tying run at the plate, as Travis Hanson fouled out to left fielder Ethier, who doubled up Bolivar at first base, ending the not-to-be Cardinal rally and the inning.
The Cards went 1-2-3 in the ninth as Cody Haerther, making his debut after being called up from Palm Beach, went 0-4, and made the final out flying out to left field. Alex Santos, of Midland, picked up his fifth save of the year.
The Cards record fell to 25-28, while Midland's record improved to 33-20.
The Cardinals will send Jordan Pals (2-4) to the mound tonight (Thursday) to face Midland's Steven Bondurant (3-3). Game time is 7:10 p.m., and gates open at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at the Hammons Field ticket office or by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com. The game will be broadcast on KWTO's JOCK 98.7 FM or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.
Cal Eldred, right-hand reliever who pitched for the St. Louis Cardinals last season and went 4-2 with an ERA of 3.76, pitching in 52 appearances out of the bullpen for the National League Champs, is expected to be in uniform tonight. He will be the first St. Louis Cardinal player to join Springfield on a rehab assignment. Eldred has been inactive since April, suffering from a viral infection that has limited him to two games out the St. Louis bullpen this season.
Eldred threw a simulated game on Wednesday at Hammons Field and is expected to throw in Saturday's game against the Frisco RoughRiders.
General Manager Matt Gifford says that the Springfield Cardinals are thrilled to have Eldred in Springfield. "I know that the fans are going to be excited to see a member of the St. Louis Cardinals here at Hammons Field," Gifford said.
On Saturday night, 2500 fans will receive koozies courtesy of American Family Insurance. Fans are also encouraged to bring a canned food item or cash donation to help support National Hunger Awareness Week. Game time with the Frisco RoughRiders is 7 p.m. and gates open at 6 :10 p.m. Tickets are available.
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