One Down, Two to Go

Springfield starting pitcher Chris Lambert stepped up on Friday night, pitching the biggest game of his Double-A career. Lambert fired seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Tulsa Drillers in front of the largest crowd of the season at Hammons Field.

Springfield starting pitcher Chris Lambert stepped up on Friday night, pitching the biggest game of his Double-A career. Lambert fired seven shutout innings in a 2-0 win over the Tulsa Drillers in front of the largest crowd of the season at Hammons Field. With the victory, Springfield stays alive in the race for the North Division first half title, pulling to within one game of Tulsa with two games remaining in the first half.

Lambert was in total control throughout, allowing just two hits over seven innings. In getting his second straight win, Lambert (6-5) struck out eight, while allowing just two walks.

The only offense of the entire evening came in the third inning with two outs. Tulsa starter Steven Register issued a two-out walk to Juan Richardson. That proved to be costly, as Rico Washington followed with a double off the top of the wall in left-center field. Richardson scored all the way from first base on the double, making it 1-0. After Terry Evans was hit by a pitch, Nick Stavinoha followed with a clutch RBI single to center field, scoring Washington to make it 2-0.

Register (1-5), who threw seven innings on the night, went on to retire the final ten men he faced, as the Cards never threatened again offensively.

Springfield's bullpen was up to the challenge as Cory Doyne and Mark Worrell both worked a scoreless inning each. Doyne issued a two-out walk, but fanned Joe Gaetti to end the eighth. Worrell struck out Ian Stewart, Joe Koshansky and Alvin Colina a perfect ninth, tying Tulsa's Manuel Corpas for the league-lead with 18 saves.

The Cardinals (38-28), who went their first 62 games in 2006 without recording a shutout, now have their second in the last five games.

The win for the Cardinals means Saturday night's game at Hammons Field is just as important. A victory for Springfield on both Saturday and Sunday, and the Cardinals would qualify for a September playoff spot by virtue of winning the first half North Division title. Stuart Pomeranz (7-2) looks to keep the Springfield momentum alive on Saturday night, taking on Tulsa's Juan Morillo (5-3). On Saturday night, 5,000 fans will receive a free White Cardinals Cap thanks to Coca-Cola. Game time on Saturday night is 6:10pm. The Cards and Drillers will conclude their four-game series on Sunday afternoon at Hammons Field at 2:10pm. Tickets are still available for both Saturday and Sunday by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com.


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