Jordan Pals, Cardinals' starter, gave up five consecutive hits in the fourth as the Oakland A's Double-A franchise took a 5-1 lead. Melillo hlt a two-run double making it 3-1, and Jeremy Brown hit a two-run homer, his 17th of the year, to make it 5-1.
It was not Pals' night as the tall right-hander worked just four innings, surrendering six runs on 10 hits and walking five on the night. Pals (5-11) walked the first two batters in the fifth inning and was replaced on the mound by Josh Axelson, who took over with runners on first and second. Axelson retired the first two batters, but then gave up a home run to Steve Stanley, making it 6-1. Axelson pitched three innings, allowing one unearned run.
Alan Benes followed Axelson with a 1-2-3 eighth inning and gave the Cards a slight ray of hope for the chance of a rally. But, the only run the Cards could manufacture was a lone run scored by Tyler Minges after he and Aaron Herr hit back-to-back doubles to make it 7-2.
In game two of the series on Friday, Springfield will send Randy Leek (12-6), who was named Texas League pitcher of the week for his complete-game shutout of Frisco at Hammons Field last week, to the hill to face Midland's Jeff Lynch (7-6). Game time is 7 p.m. The game can be heard live on KWTO JOCK 98.7 FM or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.
The Cardinals return home Tuesday, August 23, to face the Tulsa Drillers in a four-game series. Tickets are available at the Hammons Field Ticket Office, by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.
You can write John Brayfield at email@example.com