The Springfield Cardinals Report: 06/27/08

It was a tough week for Springfield, with three losses plus a Texas League All-Star Game defeat, too. Right-handed starters Adam Ottavino and Jess Todd were among the bright spots.

In one week, the Springfield Cardinals have gone from a second half 3-0 record to a record of 3-3. Ups and downs, twists and turns and rainy days and Sundays have made for a very interesting week in Springfield, including the 72nd Texas League All-Star Game that was held at Hammons Field (as reported on Wednesday here at The Birdhouse by Dustin Mattison).

 

Friday, June 20

 

The Cards improved their second half record to 3-0, beating the Tulsa Drillers 5-2 at Drillers Stadium. They improved to 39-34 on the season and marked their first time in 2008 to be five games over .500. It seemed like a good start to the week, but it would prove to be all downhill from there.

 

Saturday, June 21

 

The Cardinals lost their first game in Drillers Stadium this year on Saturday night as Tulsa beat them by a whopping 8-1. The Cards had won their previous nine outings in Tulsa, but this one proved too much for Springfield as Tulsa scored six runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach and leave the Cards with their first loss of the second half of the 2008 season.

 

Andrew Brown did get his fourth home run of the season in the fourth inning, giving the Cards a brief lead. However, leading 2-1 against Cards starter Tyler Herron in the bottom of the fifth, Drillers right fielder Daniel Carte reached on an error to start the rally.  Herron then walked a batter, hit a batter and then walked pitcher Xavier Cedeno, forcing Carte home from third to make it 3-1.  Eric Young Jr. then picked up an infield single to chase home another run, making it 4-1.  Dexter Fowler followed with a two-run double and Matt Miller capped the inning with a two-run single, breaking it open at 8-1. Not a pretty sight.

 

Sunday, June 22

 

The Cards barely avoided a shut-out on Sunday as they lost their second consecutive game to Tulsa, 7-1. Springfield managed to break-up the shut-out in the eighth inning when Mark Hamilton hit a grounder that would score Tyler Greene from third base.

 

This would put Springfield on the board for the first and only time that night, but not before Dexter Fowler and Matt Miller had back-to-back RBI hits, giving Tulsa a 2-0 lead in the first inning, and the Drillers getting two more in the third, highlighted by Fowler's seventh homer of the year, making it 4-0. Eric Young Jr. drove home a run off of Cards reliever Scott Vander Weg in the sixth, as the Drillers took a 6-0 lead. Tulsa would finish the scoring by getting a run in the eighth against Justin Fiske, as a sac fly from Jeff Dragicevich scored Daniel Carte from third to make it 7-1. 

 

Monday, June 23

 

Monday's game between the Springfield Cardinals and the Tulsa Drillers was postponed due to early Monday morning rain in Tulsa.  The game will be made up as part of a double-header the next time the Cardinals visit Drillers Stadium in July. 

Tuesday, June 24

No game on Tuesday due to the All-Star break and 72nd Texas League All Star Game on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 25

More than 8,400 fans were on hand Wednesday evening to take in the 72nd Texas League All-Star Game at Hammons Field in SpringfieldFrisco RoughRiders outfielder Steven Murphy's solo home run sparked a four-run tenth inning, as the Texas League South Division All-Stars defeated the Texas League North All-Stars by a final of 7-3.

Murphy, who took home MVP honors, homered to open the tenth against Springfield closer Luke Gregerson (0-1).  Gregerson also gave up tenth-inning run-scoring hits to Jon Zeringue and Tommy Everidge of Midland, as well as an unearned run due to a pair of errors behind him. 

The North got a game-tying sac fly in the seventh from Northwest Arkansas' Ovandy Suero and a go-ahead home run from Tulsa's Tony Blanco in the eighth to take a 3-2 lead to the ninth inning.

The South Division got an unearned run to tie the game at 3-3 in the ninth though, against Springfield closer Fernando Salas.  With runners at first and third and one out, Salas struck out Frisco's Elvis Andrus swinging for the second out of the inning.  On the play, the runner at first base, Tommy Everidge, was on the move to second base.  Springfield catcher Brandon Yarbrough threw down to second to try and end the inning, but no one covered the second base bag.  Yarbrough's throw sailed into center field, allowing Zeringue to score the tying run. 

Scoring was limited early, as both divisions displayed strong pitching.  Springfield's Jess Todd gave up a lead-off double to open the game, but fanned five of the next six hitters over two scoreless innings. 

The North got on the board first, getting a run in the fourth as Northwest Arkansas' Juan Richardson knocked in Springfield's Jon Jay with a single to make it 1-0. 

The South Division responded with a pair in the fifth, taking the lead at 2-1.  Zeringue doubled to open the inning, his first of four hits on the night.  After a Tommy Everidge single, Zeringue scored on a throwing error, tying the game at 1-1.  Midland's Anthony Recker followed with an RBI single off of Arkansas' Dan Denham, scoring Everidge to make it 2-1. 

San Antonio closer Greg Burke (1-0) faced six batters over two scoreless innings, getting the win for the South Division.

Springfield's Jon Jay led the Cardinals representatives by going 2-for-3 with a run scored.  Allen Craig, Brandon Yarbrough and Tyler Greene all went hitless.

To kick off the evening, Tulsa's Tony Blanco defeated Frisco's Ben Harrison in the Bass Pro Shops Home Run Derby.  Blanco hit a grand total of 21 homers over the course of three rounds, 14 of which came in the second round.  Springfield's Allen Craig hit two home runs and didn't advance out of the first round. 

Thursday, June 26

Another sell-out crowd in Springfield saw the Cardinals drop their third game in a row to the Frisco RoughRiders, in the first of a three-game series at Hammons Field, by a score of 5-3.

Springfield starter, Adam Ottavino, pitched his best outing of the season, staying on the mound until the seventh inning and leaving with a 3-0 lead, when he was pulled for reliever Marco Gonzalez. The 3-0 lead lasted until the eighth inning when Gonzalez walked Thomas Berkery to open the inning. With two outs, Elvis Andrus singled off Cards reliever Kyle Sadlowski to score Berkery, making it a two-run game at 3-1. Majewski's home run followed Ben Harrison's lead-off single in the ninth, tying the game at 3-3.  With two outs in the tenth, Mikrut walked back-to-back hitters, then gave up Harrison's two-run game-winning double. 

The Cards went 1-2-3 in the tenth, as Joselo Diaz picked up his third save of the year.  Frisco reliever Andrew Laughter picked up the win with two scoreless frames. 

Looking Ahead

Springfield (3-3) will send Adam Daniels (1-1) to the hill on Friday night, as he takes on Frisco right-hander Tommy Hunter (3-2). The Cardinals will remain at home through the 1st of July, playing the RoughRiders on Friday and Saturday, followed by a three-game series with the Midland RockHounds. The Cards will then travel to Texas for two three-game series with Frisco and Midland before returning home on July 10, to take on the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a four-game series at Hammons Field.

 

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