the Springfield Cardinals defeated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals at Hammons
Field, 4-2, with a walk-off home run from Allen Craig, giving him a team-high
15-game hitting streak. Going into the ninth, with the score tied at 2-2, Craig
was 0-for-4 at the plate with his streak in jeopardy. Kyle Crist, Naturals'
reliever, opened the bottom of the ninth by hitting Tyler Greene in the back.
Jose Martinez laid down a perfect bunt to move Greene into scoring position.
Then Craig belted his 15th homer of the year, plating himself and
Matt Pagnozzi also homered, sending a long-ball over the left-field fence, to cut the
Naturals lead to 2-1.
The game remained tied, thanks to some strong pitching. Starter Adam Daniels got into some two-out trouble in the fifth, leaving with the bases loaded. Josh Dew, who retired all four hitters he faced over 1 1/3 scoreless innings, retired Ed Lucas on a grounder to get out of the jam. Marco Gonzalez and Luke Gregerson combined for three scoreless frames behind Dew, with Gregerson (5-5) getting the win.
Naturals starter Blake Johnson allowed ten hits over 6 1/3 innings, but yielded only two runs in the no-decision.
the Cards lost to
With Casey Rowlett at first with a one-out single in the fifth, Greene struck again, this time with an RBI triple to right field, making it a 3-0 game. Jose Martinez scored Greene from third with a sac fly to left-center field, making it 4-0.
Jose Duarte homered to left in the seventh off Jon Mikrut making it a 4-3 game. A two-run eighth inning, highlighted by a steal of home as part of a double-steal for the Naturals, was the difference in the game.
4-3 in the top of the eighth, Naturals catcher Adam Donachie took Cards reliever
Scott Vander Weg (1-1) deep with two outs in the inning, tying the game at
4-4. Jose Duarte followed with a single, then stole second to
move into scoring position. Irving Falu then struck out on a pitch in the
dirt, which bounced wildly away from catcher Matt Pagnozzi. Falu reached
first safely on the wild pitch, while
Allen Craig was unable to set a record, as he saw his 15-game hit streak come to an end with an 0-for-4 effort. Craig and Aaron Herr (2005) are the only Cardinals in franchise history to hit in 15 straight games.
game got off to a rotten start, as
a lead-off single, Ottavino walked the next three hitters, including a
bases-loaded walk, to make it 1-0.
a Naturals tally,
The Redbirds threatened in the ninth, but could only manage one run. Rowlett opened to walk the inning and pinch-hitter Matt Pagnozzi followed with a double, putting runners at second and third and no outs. Greene followed with a ground ball to short. On the play, Rowlett scored to make it 6-5, but Pagnozzi got hung up between second and third and was tagged out. After Jose Martinez flew out to center for the second out, Jon Jay was hit by a pitch, moving Greene up to second base. Allen Craig, who ended Friday's game with a walk-off homer, lined out to center field to end the ninth.
Ottavino (1-5) was hit with the loss, allowing six runs on five hits over six innings.
the Cards found themselves playing a double-header with
Cards and Drillers went a season-long four hours and twenty-four minutes in game
Brown broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI double, knocking in Cody Haerther in the 13th
to make it 4-3. With the bases loaded, Pagnozzi delivered the
back-breaker, a three-run double to make it 7-3 against
Pagnozzi worked a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 13th, finishing the night with just one hit allowed, while striking out two batters in his 2 1/3 innings.
Jay, Cody Haerther and Brandon Yarbrough all had three hits for
Kyle Mura (2-1) came within one out of a complete-game seven-inning victory in game one. Leading 4-2 in the seventh, Mura gave up a two-out walk, then a single. Luke Gregerson came out of the bullpen and threw just one pitch, earning his ninth save of the year by getting Dexter Fowler to ground out.
Allen Craig delivered an RBI single with two outs in the seventh, giving the Cards some insurance at 4-2.
double-header sweep for
the Drillers put it to the Cardinals 14-2, dropping
lack of available arms in the
The Drillers got four in the third to jump out to a 5-0 lead, as Brian Esposito's two-run single with two outs capped the inning.
The Tulsa bats got busy again though, scoring three in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take a commanding 10-1 lead.
The Cards got their final run in the sixth, as Jon Jay singled and later scored on a Shorey RBI single, making it 10-2.
Cards took an early lead, getting a run in the second and another in the third
against former St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Kip Wells. Shorey doubled
and scored on Isa Garcia's
RBI single in the second, putting
But, in the top of the ninth, down to their final strike, Springfield's Shorey delivered a two-run single to center field, plating Tyler Greene and Jon Jay, as the Cards took the lead for good against Tulsa reliever Casey Weathers. Weathers opened the ninth by getting Allen Craig to ground out, but then walked Tyler Greene. Jay followed with a single to left, moving Greene to second. Weathers recovered to fan Cody Haerther for the second out, but followed up by hitting Andrew Brown, loading the bases for Shorey.
In the bottom of the ninth, Cards closer Fernando Salas allowed a lead-off single and a one-out walk, but struck out Tony Blanco for out number two and then got Jeff Dragicevich to fly out to Shorey to end it. The save for Salas is his league-leading 16th of the year.
Daniels pitched into the sixth, allowing two runs on two hits over 5 2/3 innings. The left-hander struck out three and walked five, leaving in a 2-2 tie.
Craig blasted a two-run bomb to left in the first inning, opening the scoring at 2-0. The Drillers got a run back in the bottom of the second inning, as Eric Young Jr. bunted his way aboard, stole second, then scored on an RBI single from Eddie Cornejo, making it 2-1.
Greene popped a solo shot to open the third, giving the Cards a 3-1 advantage.
went long with Mark Shorey aboard to get the fourth inning started, as
The Cardinals capped their scoring in the fifth, as Shorey delivered an RBI double, plating Cody Haerther from first base to give the Cards a 7-1 lead.
Herron (5-4) allowed two runs, only one earned, on five hits in his six innings.
Right-hander Chris Carpenter, who missed most of the 2007 season and all of the 2008 season so far, is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment this Sunday. "Carp" is scheduled to start for the Springfield Cardinals at Hammons Field, as they take on the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in game three of the seven-game home stand.
The 2005 National League Cy Young Award Winner had Tommy John surgery last season on his right elbow and has not pitched since.
Game time on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals Double-A affiliate is 6:10 p.m. and gates open at 5:10 p.m.