Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. The Cards are playing very well, sitting at a franchise-best 13 games over .500.
The Springfield Cardinals had a
six-game winning streak end Wednesday night with a 5-2 loss to
the Wichita Wranglers at Lawrence Dumont Stadium in Wichita. But, they bounced right back and
beat the Wranglers 6-2 the very next night.
off to a good start for the Cards when they won their fourth straight game on Saturday night (July 7), shutting out
the Frisco RoughRiders 3-0 at Hammons Field. Cards' starter Jaime Garcia had one
of his best outings of the year, firing seven scoreless innings to help
Springfield record their fifth shutout of the
The Redbirds got some early
offense, scoring three times in the first two innings. Mark Hamilton's
run-scoring single in the first knocked in Sean Danielson to make it 1-0. The
Redbirds made it 3-0 in the second, as Danilo Sanchez took Frisco starter
Edinson Volquez deep for his first home run in a
Springfield uniform, a two-run shot to
Jason Motte got into some
eighth-inning trouble, but with runners at first and third and only one out,
Casey Benjamin hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.
Chris Perez worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 23rd save of
the year. Garcia (4-8) snapped a personal three-game losing streak, by working
seven shut-out innings, scattering five hits, while striking out seven men.
Volquez (7-1) settled down, retiring the final 13 hitters he faced, but still
took his first loss in a Frisco uniform. Volquez worked seven innings, allowing
three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Mark Hamilton had two of
Springfield's six hits on the night.
On Sunday night, Cory Rauschenberger threw
the first complete game for the Springfield Cardinals this year, as the Redbirds
beat the Frisco RoughRiders by a final of 5-1. Rauschenberger, who had allowed
16 runs on 17 hits in just four innings against Frisco so far this year, was in
total control all night long. Rauschenberger (7-5) gave up just one unearned run
on six hits over nine innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked just
one, lowering his ERA from 6.05 to 5.53.
The Cardinals' offense did all
their damage in the first two innings, just like in Saturday's win over the
RoughRiders. Juan Richardson's RBI double put Springfield on the board, chasing home Sean
Danielson to make it 1-0. Mark Shorey followed with a two-run blast to right
field, his seventh homer of the year, giving the Cards a 3-0 lead.
In the second, Frisco starter
Ken Chenard (1-5) walked Matt Pagnozzi, then served up a two-run homer to Jose Martinez, his first since joining Springfield from Palm Beach, making it 5-0.
That lead would be more than enough for Rauschenberger, who carried a shutout
into the eighth inning. Tony Roth led off the inning with a double then advanced
to third on a throwing error by left fielder Mark Shorey. Roth scored on an
Anthony Webster sacrifice fly, giving Frisco their first run in 17 innings of
Rauschenberger worked a
1-2-3 ninth to earn the first complete
game since former Cards' left-hander Rich Rundles went nine innings in an 8-1
win at Frisco on June 6,
2006. Also on Sunday,
Springfield outfielder Colby Rasmus and
catcher Bryan Anderson both played in the Futures Game held in
Francisco as part of Major League
Baseball's All-Star festivities. Anderson, who started and hit ninth, went 0-2.
He threw out one of three base runners attempting to steal. Colby Rasmus also
went 0-2, taking over for Justin Upton in center field midway through the game.
the World Team defeated the US Team by a score of 7-2.
On Monday night, The Cardinals won their
sixth straight game, an 8-3 victory over Frisco at Hammons Field. The win
for Springfield accomplished a couple of firsts,
as it gave the Redbirds their first-ever home stand sweep, as they went a
combined 6-0 against Midland and Frisco. The victory also took
Springfield 13 games over the .500 mark at
49-36, the first time they have ever been that far over .500 in
Juan Richardson's three-run
homer in the third gave Springfield a lead they wouldn't relinquish,
although they needed some good pitching to hold on. Leading 4-3 in the seventh,
Cards' reliever Nick Webber got into some trouble. After allowing the first two
hitters to reach to open the inning, Frisco's Adam Fox sacrificed the runners up
to second and third with only one out. After an intentional walk to Brandon Boggs loaded the bases, Kyle McClellan was called out of the bullpen. McClellan
needed just one pitch to record the final two outs of the inning, as Salomon Manriquez grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.After McClellan walked Steve Murphy with
one out in the eighth, he got Kevin Richardson to ground into a 6-4-3 inning-ender. Chris Perez worked
a scoreless ninth to earn his 24th save in 25 chances, including 24 straight.
The Cards took the lead with a run
in the first, as Casey Rowlett scored from third on a passed ball, making it
1-0. Frisco evened the game against Cards' starter Eric Haberer in the second,
as they tallied an unearned run. Emerson Frostad's fielder's choice brought home
Manriquez to make it 1-1. Richardson went yard in the third to break
the 1-all tie, crushing a three-run blast, his 13th, over the wall in
left-center to make it 4-1 against Frisco starter Armando Galarraga (7-5).
Haberer gave up a run in the fifth
on an Adam Fox homer and another in the sixth, but got through the sixth,
clinging to a one-run advantage at 4-3. Haberer (7-4) earned his third straight
win, giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits in six frames. The Cards got
four insurance runs to blow it open in the eighth, as Sean Danielson capped the
inning with a two-run single, after Frisco reliever Kea Kometani walked a man
and hit a man with the bases loaded to force in a pair of runs.
Then Wednesday came and the streak ended.
Three Wichita hurlers combined to limit the
Springfield offense to two runs on only five
hits, as the Wranglers ended their own seven-game winless streak.
Wichita starter Greg Atencio earned his
third straight winning decision, working into the sixth inning. Atencio (4-4)
gave up just two runs on four hits in 5 2/3 innings. Cards' starter Adam Daniels, who had a personal three-game winning streak coming into Wednesday's
game had just one bad inning.
With the Cards up 1-0 in the
third, Daniels allowed five straight Wranglers to reach with one out, as Wichita
scored four times in the inning to take a 4-1 lead. Mike Stodolka, Jorge Padilla
and Kila Kaaihue all had run-scoring hits. Jeff Nettles capped the inning with a
sac fly to make it 4-1.
Daniels (3-2) allowed four
runs on six hits over six innings, taking his first loss since his first start
Springfield got a run back in the sixth, as
Casey Rowlett doubled to open the inning and eventually scored from third on a
ground ball by Juan Richardson, making it 4-2. For
Richardson, the RBI is his league-leading
57th of the year. The Cards chased Atencio with two on and two away, as Gabe DeHoyos came out of the Wichita bullpen. DeHoyos walked Juan
Lucena on four pitches to load the bases, but got Mark Shorey on just one pitch,
as he broke his bat and lined out to third to end the threat.
The Wranglers got an unearned
insurance run in the seventh against Matt Scherer, taking a 5-2 advantage. Jarod Plummer worked two scoreless innings to get the save, his eighth. Bryan Anderson
had two hits to lead the Cardinals' offense.
The Cardinals got back in the win
column on Thursday night, defeating
the Wranglers by a score of 6-3 in Wichita. Mark Hamilton's second Double-A
homer put Springfield ahead to stay, as his three-run
blast in the sixth put the Cards on top 4-2. The Cards took the early lead in
the second, as Bryan Anderson led off the inning with a single and eventually
scored from third on a Mike Ferris RBI groundout, making it 1-0. That lead
didn't last long though, as Wichita made some two-out noise. An error
by Casey Rowlett opened the door for the Wranglers to score two unearned runs,
as Adam Greenberg and Geraldo Valentin both picked up RBI hits to make it 2-1.
Wichita's lead held up until the sixth,
as Wichita starter Carlos Rosa pitched five
solid innings, allowing just one run on five hits. Wichita reliever Gilbert de
la Veran (0-1) struggled in that sixth inning, allowing the first two Cardinals'
hitters to reach before surrendering Hamilton's three-run shot to right-center
to put Springfield up 4-2.
Boggs settled into a nice groove
to finish his night, retiring the final 11 men he faced. Kyle McClellan replaced
Boggs out of the pen, retiring all six men he faced in two perfect innings. Sean
Danielson helped add some insurance, as his two-run single in the eighth put the
Cards up 6-2.
Chris Perez came on in a non-save
situation, with the Cards up 6-2 in the ninth. Perez allowed the Wranglers to
load the bases, issuing two walks while surrendering a base hit. With two outs,
Perez walked his third man of the inning, as Adam Greenberg pushed home
Wichita's third run to make it 6-3. With
the bases loaded and the winning run at the plate, Jason Motte was summoned from
the bullpen to face Wichita's Geraldo Valentin, the reigning
Texas League Hitter of the Week. Valentin ended it, by fouling out to Mark
Hamilton, who made a great catch in the Cardinals' bullpen down the right field
line, giving Motte his fourth save of the year.
Boggs picked up his seventh
straight winning decision, giving up two unearned runs on four hits over six
innings. With the win, Boggs earned his team-leading ninth victory of the year,
tying him for most in the Texas League with San
Antonio's Josh Geer and Frisco's Luis Mendoza. Hamilton finished the night with three
hits and three RBIs, finishing a triple shy of the first cycle in Springfield
The Cards (50-37) again matched
their best record in franchise history at 13 games over .500 with the win. Jaime
Garcia (4-8) who was brilliant in his last outing, will try to make it two in a
row on Friday night. Wichita will go with Danny Christensen
(2-8). Game time from Wichita on Friday is . The Cardinals return to Hammons
Field on Thursday, July 19th, taking on the Wranglers in a brief four-game home