The Springfield Cardinals Report – Week 19

Our exclusive weekly report on the 2007 edition of the Double-A Springfield Cardinals of the Texas League. Outfielder Colby Rasmus leads the team with 20 home runs.

It's been a new game in Springfield Cardinal country this past week as Reid Gorecki and Rico Washington are back in Double-A uniforms as the Cards continued their three-game home series with the San Antonio Missions, completed a three game series with Corpus Christi, then went on the road to play both teams in Texas, suffering a rain out on Thursday due to Tropical Storm Erin. The game was scheduled to be made up as a double-header on Friday (August 17).


Friday, August 10


Despite a late rally, the Cardinals fell short on Friday night (August 10), losing to the Missions in front of a sell-out crowd of over 8,000 fans, by a score of 5-3 at Hammons Field.  The win for the Missions (25-19) gave them two of three in the series and kept them in first place in the Texas League South Division.  The Springfield (25-21) loss, combined with an Arkansas win on Friday night, saw the Cards lead in the North Division drop to just one game. 


Back-to-back homers for the Cardinals brought them to within two in the eighth inning.  Trailing 5-1, Jose Martinez ripped a solo home run to left field, his seventh in a Springfield uniform, to make it 5-2.  Colby Rasmus followed with a shot down the right-field line, bringing the Cards to within two at 5-3.  For Rasmus, the homer was his team-leading 19th of the year.  Juan Richardson followed and nearly made it three straight, taking one deep to left-center field.  San Antonio center fielder Drew Macias made an unbelievable catch reaching over the fence to prevent Richardson from going deep, saving a run for reliever Dirk Hayhurst, who allowed the first two home runs. 


The Cards put two men on with two outs, as Amaury Marti drew a walk and Bryan Anderson reached with an infield single.  But with the tying runs on base, San Antonio reliever Edwin Moreno got Juan Lucena to pop up to end the threat. In the ninth, the Cards loaded the bases with two outs, but Moreno got Cody Haerther to ground out, giving him his second save of the year. San Antonio starter Mike Ekstrom (6-8) was strong on Friday night, pitching seven innings for the win.  Ekstrom allowed one run on seven hits, fanning eight while issuing just one walk.


The Missions grabbed the lead for good in the first, as Will Venable singled and later scored on a two-out single from Nick Hundley, making it 1-0.  Venable then homered off of Cards starter P.J. Walters in the third, his fifth of the year, to make it 2-0.  San Antonio added another in the third on a Drew Macias RBI hit, giving them a 3-0 lead.


Mark Hamilton put Springfield on the board against Ekstrom, doubling off the top of the wall in the fifth inning to drive home Juan Lucena, cutting the deficit to 3-1. Cards reliever Zack Zuercher gave up a two-run double to Chase Headley in the sixth, as San Antonio made it a 5-1 game. Walters (1-3) took the loss in his first game at Hammons Field, allowing three runs on six hits over five innings. Jose Martinez paced the Cards 12-hit night, going 4-5 to extend his hitting streak to seven straight games. 


Saturday, August 11


Springfield dropped their second straight home game on Saturday evening, falling to the Corpus Christi Hooks by a score of 13-5 at Hammons Field.  The Springfield pitching staff had a rough go of it, tying their season-high by allowing 19 hits.


The Hooks jumped on Cards starter Eric Haberer for three runs in the first inning.  Francisco Caraballo put the Hooks on the board with an RBI single, plating Neil Sellers for a 1-0 lead.  A two-run single off the bat of Edwin Maysonet gave Corpus Christi a 3-0 edge. Springfield responded in the second inning, getting two back against Hooks starter Brad James.  Juan Lucena's sac fly put Springfield on the board, scoring Cody Haerther from third to make it 3-1.  With two on and two outs, Eric Haberer delivered an RBI single to score Amaury Marti, bringing the Cards to within a run at 3-2. James didn't make it out of the third though, taking a Juan Richardson come-backer off his pitching hand.  James gave up two runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings in the no-decision. 


Corpus Christi added to their lead in the fourth, getting a solo home run to open the inning from Lou Santangelo.  An infield single from Sellers brought home another, making it a 5-2 game.  Three runs in the sixth broke it open, as Corpus Christi finally chased Haberer.  Tommy Manzella's RBI double made it 6-2. 


Haberer was removed in favor of Chris Russ after 5 1/3 innings.  After Russ struck out a man for the second out of the inning, an error prolonged the inning and allowed an unearned run to score, making it 7-2.  With the bases loaded, Russ walked Francisco Caraballo to force in another unearned run, making it 8-2. 


The Hooks rounded out their scoring against Cards reliever Nick Webber and infielder Casey Rowlett, who became the first Cards' position-player to pitch this year.  Webber allowed three in the eighth, while Rowlett gave up a pair in the ninth, as the Hooks took a 13-2 lead. 


Jose Martinez capped Springfield's scoring in the bottom of the ninth, crushing a three-run homer to left field.  For Martinez, the homer was his second in as many days, third in four games and eighth in a Springfield uniform.  Martinez finished the night with two hits, extending his hitting streak to eight straight games. Cody Haerther led the Cards with three hits and a run scored.


Haberer (11-6) suffered his second straight loss with the defeat, allowing eight runs, five earned in 5 1/3 innings. Corpus Christi reliever Josh Miller, who came on in the third, earned the win with solid relief.  Miller (4-4) fired 5 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, leaving the Redbirds with a 25-22 record for the second half of the season.


Sunday, August 12


On Sunday, Colby Rasmus ripped his team-leading 20th homer of the year in the bottom of the eighth inning, snapping a 6-6 tie to give the Cardinals a come-from-behind 7-6 victory over Corpus Christi at Hammons Field. The Cards (26-22) scored the game's final six runs, as they snapped a two-game losing streak and increased their lead in the North Division to two games over Arkansas (24-24).

Trailing big in the sixth, Springfield struck for five runs over the next two innings against Hooks' reliever German Melendez to even things up. Henry Guerrero ripped his first career Double-A home run, bringing the Cards to within four, at 6-2 in the sixth. In the seventh, Juan Richardson knocked in his league-leading 77th run of the year with an RBI single, making it a three-run game at 6-3. After a Cody Haerther double pushed Richardson along to third, Amaury Marti ripped a pinch-hit three-run homer to left-center field, tying the game at 6-6. The homer for Marti gives him three this season.

One out into the eighth, Rasmus drilled a Sammy Gervacio (1-2) offering deep over the fence in right field for his 20th homer of the year, giving the Redbirds the lead for good at 7-6. Rasmus is now one homer away from tying Aaron Herr's single-season record of 21 home runs, set back in 2005.


Cards' closer Jason Motte worked around a lead-off double in the ninth, getting pinch hitter Michael Johnson to ground out to end the game, giving Motte his seventh save of the year.


Corpus Christi starter Miguel Asencio walked Cody Haerther with the bases loaded in the first to force in Springfield's first run, but settled down to work five strong innings in the no-decision. Asencio allowed only the one run on four hits, striking out four while walking two.


The Hooks scored six times in the sixth inning to take a commanding 6-1 lead. Cards' starter Cory Rauschenberger, who allowed just two hits in five shut-out innings prior to the sixth, surrendered five of the six. Tommy Manzella opened the inning with a solo home run, tying the game at 1-1. Ray Sadler knocked in a run with an RBI single three batters later, giving the Hooks their first lead at 2-1. Edwin Maysonet's two-run triple made it a 4-1 game.


Rauschenberger was chased after 5 1/3 innings, giving way to Kyle McClellan, who allowed a two-run homer to Lou Santangelo, capping the inning at 6-1. Cards' reliever Mike Sillman (1-0) earned his first win since joining the club, throwing a scoreless eighth inning.


Monday, August 13


The Hooks took two of three from the Cardinals, winning the series finale at Hammons Field on Monday night by a score of 6-1. Corpus Christi starting pitcher Josh Muecke (7-5) allowed just one run on five hits over seven strong innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked none in earning his seventh win of the year.


Cards starter Adam Daniels wasn't as fortunate, giving up four runs on seven hits in five innings. Daniels (4-6) issued five walks and struck out just one in dropping his third straight decision.


The Hooks struck for a run in the first, as Michael Johnson's sacrifice fly put them on the board at 1-0.  Johnson then led off the fourth with a single, his first of three hits. He later scored on a bases-loaded walk issued to pitcher Josh Mueke, making it 2-0. The Hooks made it a 4-0 game in the fifth, as Johnson doubled home a pair. Corpus Christi capped their scoring by getting two runs against reliever Matt Scherer in the sixth, making it 6-0.


Springfield tallied their only run in the bottom of the sixth inning against Muecke. After Amaury Marti singled with one out, a Cody Haerther double to left field brought him home, putting the Cards on the scoreboard at 6-1. That would be it for the Cardinals offensively, who managed just seven hits on the night.


Corpus Christi closer Kyle Middleton pitched two scoreless innings to finish off the Hooks 4-2 road trip.  Cards' center fielder Colby Rasmus was hit in the right elbow in the first inning by Corpus Christi starter Josh Muecke. After remaining in the game to run the bases, Rasmus was later lifted in the top of the second. Rasmus later went for x-rays, which came back negative, showing no damage to the arm.


Springfield fell to 26-23 in the second half, after going just 2-4 on the six-game home stand.


Wednesday, August 15


After a day off on Tuesday, the San Antonio Missions took the opening game of a three-game series, dropping the Cardinals by a final score of 6-4 on Wednesday night at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium in San Antonio.


The Missions led from start to finish, as they tagged Cards' starter Mitchell Boggs for a couple of runs in the first, for a total of five in six innings. San Antonio got RBI hits from Colt Morton and Nick Hundley in the first, taking a 2-0 advantage.  Will Venable knocked in a run with a second-inning single, giving the Missions a 3-0 lead.


The Cards couldn't do anything against Missions' starter Cesar Ramos (11-8), who scattered six hits over five scoreless innings. They did break though for a run in the sixth, scoring without the aid of a hit, when Juan Lucena's RBI groundout plated Reid Gorecki, making it 3-1 against reliever Dirk Hayhurst. Drew Macia clubbed a two-run homer to right field in the sixth, putting the Missions in front 5-1 against Boggs.


Springfield rallied for three runs in the seventh against Missions' relever Paul Abraham, making it a one-run game.  Jose Martinez reached on an error to open the inning.  Colby Rasmus followed with a bunt-single, putting runners at the corners with no outs.  Juan Richardson singled to right field to drive home his league-leading 78th run of the year, scoring Martinez to make it 5-2.  Amaury Marti was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Rico WashingtonWashington saw just one pitch, lining a run-scoring single to center field to make it 5-3.  Reid Gorecki followed with a fielder's choice, bringing in another run to make it 5-4. 


The Cards got no closer though, as left-hander Kyle Stutes was summoned out of the bullpen, striking out Bryan Anderson and getting Juan Lucena to line out to end the inning. San Antonio got an insurance run against Cards' reliever Jason Motte in the eighth, as Nick Hundley ripped his 19th homer of the year to open the inning, making it 6-4.


The Cards got a lead-off single from Washington to open the ninth, but San Antonio closer Edwin Moreno earned his fourth save of the year by retiring the final three hitters. Boggs (10-6) took the loss, allowing five runs on 11 hits in six innings.  He struck out five and didn't walk a batter.


Thursday, August 16


Thursday's game between the Springfield Cardinals and the San Antonio Missions was postponed due to continuous heavy rain in the San Antonio area.  Thursday's game will be made up as part of a double-header on Friday night at Nelson Wolff Municipal Stadium.


P.J. Walters (1-3) will start game one for the Cards, taking on Mike Ekstrom (6-8) of the Missions.  Scheduled to start game two for the Cardinals is left-hander Eric Haberer (11-6).  San Antonio was slated to throw left-hander Wade Leblanc (3-3).


The Cards were 26-24 after Wednesday night's loss, only one-half game in front of Arkansas and two ahead of Tulsa in the Texas League North race for the second-half championship. The Cardinals return to Hammons Field on Tuesday, August 21st, as they take on the Tulsa Drillers in the opener of a four-game series. 



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