hate it when my wife is right; especially when it involves baseball, and even
more so when it involves the Springfield Cardinals. On Wednesday, I decided to
be a good sport and take her to the ballpark with me to watch
But the week had not started out on such a sour note, as the Cards won their second game in a row of what would turn out to be a season high streak of six straight wins. And the Cards did it in style too, as they dropped the Tulsa Drillers 12-4 at Drillers Stadium. The win brought them to within two games of the Texas League North-leading Drillers.
Mark Mulder made the second start of his rehab assignment, but got into a little trouble when he walked three batters in the first inning. Mulder's first walk was followed by a single and then two more walks to force in the first run. Matt Miller's bases-loaded walk, was followed by a two-run single from Daniel Carte to give the Drillers a 3-0 lead. With the bases still loaded and only one out, in the first, Mulder managed to get Neil Wilson out on strikes, and then get Alan Johnson to ground out to first to end the inning.
But it was innings like the fourth that gave me the confidence to say "No, of course we can't leave," to my wife on Wednesday, as Springfield scored six times in the fourth inning to give the Cards a 6-3 lead. Mark Hamilton and Jose Martinez each hit RBI singles to start the scoring marathon. Mulder did his part offensively by blasting a double off the top of the center field wall, scoring Luke Gorsett to tie the game at 3-3. Bryan Anderson and Allen Craig both hit run-scoring hits to give the Cards a 6-3 lead.
In the fifth, Mulder gave up a solo home run to Matt Miller to bring the Drillers within two runs, Except for Miller, Mulder retired five of the final six men he faced, to complete a five inning outing.
Shane Robinson scored from third base on a wild pitch in the eighth to give the Cards what looked to be an important insurance run, making it 7-4, but the hot Springfield team would break the game open by scoring five more runs in the ninth to take a commanding 12-4 lead. Allen Craig hit a three-run blast after Robinson and Anderson both got RBI singles. Craig's home run was his second of the season and would wind up highlighting a four-hit, four RBI night.
allowed four runs on six hits over five innings to earn the win. The tall
left-hander struck out five and walked four to earn his second straight win for
Robinson picked up four of
Cards came from behind on Saturday night in
pitcher Adam Daniels, making his second start since coming off the disabled
list, was pulled from the mound in the fourth after giving up an infield single
and issuing a walk with two outs. Cory Rauschenberger came in out of the bullpen
and gave up an RBI single to Jeff Dragicevich, giving
winning streak continued on Sunday afternoon as the Cards beat the Drillers 5-2.
The win put
Cards took an early lead as
the sixth inning,
Jaime Garcia, Cards starter, earned his team-leading third win of the year, as he
allowed only two runs on two hits over six innings. Garcia opened up the seventh
inning issuing back-to-back walks, as
Springfield Cardinals rode out of
the first inning, Jose Martinez hit a two-run single to give
Springfield picked up three more runs in the third as Brandon Yarbrough got a ground-out RBI and Tyler Greene lined a two-run homer over the wall in left-center field, driving in Yarbrough, to give Springfield a 5-4 lead.
But, Mortensen couldn't hold that lead as Daniel Carte smacked a double off the center field wall in the bottom of the inning, to tie the game 5-5.
Gorsett's first Double-A home run couldn't have come at a better time. In the
fifth inning, Gorsett hit a line-drive down the left-field line to give
Springfield the lead for good, 6-5--but the game did not end without some
excitement (good thing my wife wasn't there or I would have missed it). Reliever
Luke Gregerson, who pitched two innings in Monday's winning game, came out of
the bullpen to battle his way out of an eighth-inning jam, and after doing so,
got himself into his own jam in the ninth. With only one out, Gregerson walked
one and then another. Josh Dew was called out of the bullpen to finish the
inning. He retired Jeff Dragicevich, getting him to hit a deep line drive to
left field. Then Brian Esposito hit into a force out to end the game. The save
was the first for Dew since his promotion from
Springfield Cardinals moved to two games in front of second place
Springfield picked-up a pair of runs in the first inning off starter Blake Johnson as Mark Hamilton and Brandon Yarbrough both collected RBI with ground balls, giving the Cards a 2-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Kila Kaaihue smacked his seventh home run of the season, a team best, three-run blast, to give Northwest Arkansas a 4-3 lead. That lead wouldn't hold up though, as Tyler Greene evened things up with this third homer of the year, tying the score at 4-4.
Taking the mound in the ninth, Walters got into some trouble issuing a one-out walk and a throwing error, which led to his being pulled and replaced by Fernando Salas. Facing Geraldo Valentin, pinch-hitter, and tying run, Ovandy Suervo stole third base and Salas was issued ball four putting men on the corners. Salas then got Ed Lucas to ground-out to end the inning.
With the game tied at 4-4 in the ninth Jarod Plummer (0-1) came out of the bullpen for the Naturals and allowed Mark Shorey to hit a double. Shorey then moved to third on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Tyler Greene. Shane Robinson, ignoring all the times he has heard "never swing at the first pitch," drove that initial delivery into deep center field. It was almost a replay of Saturday's St. Louis Cardinals win over Houston, as the Natural's center fielder, Jose Duarte, went back to make the catch, but didn't bother throwing the ball home, as Shorey practically walked home to score the game's winning run.
Salas (2-0) earned the win. Walters pitched 8 2/3 innings and got a no-decision.
It was no wonder my wife was right on Tuesday, as the decision took off in her favor when Cody Clark hit a solo home run against starter Cory Rauschenberger to make it 1-0. The score jumped to 3-0 in the fifth when Brian McFall hit the first of his two homers, a two-run blast. McFall hit his second of the game in the sixth, a grand-slam to left-center, making it 8-0 (that was when someone said "Can we go now?").
Casey Rowlett's two-run homer in the seventh gave me hope and cut the score to 8-2. In the eighth, Bob Zimmerman gave up three un-earned runs, to make it 11-2. Shane Robinson tried to keep me in the ballpark as he drove a home run off Greg Antencio to left-center field in the eighth to make it 11-3. In the ninth, (following my exit) Casey Rowlett hit his second home run of the game to make it 11-5 and that was followed by a back-to-back home run by Matt Pagnozzi to make it 11-6.
The good news: Jon Jay, Jose Martinez and Shane Robinson al extended their hitting streaks, to 11, nine and seven games respectively.
On Thursday night, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals beat the Springfield Cardinals 9-6 at Hammons Field. Mario Lissons hit a grand slam off Cards reliever Josh Dew (0-2) to break a 3-3 tie, as part of a six-run seventh inning.
9-3 in the bottom of the eighth,
Crist allowed a base hit to Jay in the ninth, but earned his first save by retiring Craig on a ground ball to end it.
Springfield Cards were then 12-15, and in first place tie with
AVG: Shane Robinson SPR, .418
HR: Chris Davis FRI, 6
Kila Kaaihue NWA, 6
Max Ramirez FRI, 6
Jon Zeringue MID, 6
RBI: Jesus Guzman MID, 27
SB: Ovandy Suero NWA, 14
ERA: Will Inman SAN, 1.05
K: Jaime Garcia SPR, 36
IP: Jaime Garcia SPR, 29.0
completed his rehabilitation assignment and rejoined the St. Louis Cardinals
after being activated from the 15-day disabled list.
© 2008 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.