heart, Springfield Cardinals fans! Though the Cards are four games out of first
place, they could come back and win it all. And though, it seems as likely as
lightning striking twice in the same spot, even that is possible. Last week, I
was unable to submit a report because for the second time this season, my modem
took a direct lightning hit and knocked me completely out of the game. So if
lighting can strike twice at my place--why can't it do the same in
Friday, July 25
was no second lighting strike on Friday, as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals beat
the Cardinals 2-1 at
first inning showed promise of a storm brewing, as
got the equalizer in the third, as Isa Garcia delivered a one-out single to
right field with the bases loaded, scoring Tyler Greene to tie the game at
1-1. After Garcia's
Kaaihue struck again in the bottom of the third. Irving Falu got the rally started with a one-out double, then scored on Kaaihue's RBI single, as the Naturals took the lead for good at 2-1.
Tyler Greene extended his franchise-record hitting streak to 17 games, finishing the night with a game-high four hits.
Saturday, July 26
is it about former Cardinals? Anyone remember Steve Carlton? Well in
Cards' starter Justin Fiske was strong, but allowed a pair of runs in the fourth, as the Naturals tied the game at 2-2. Fiske was removed after walking a two-out batter in the fifth. Scott Vander Weg retired Marc Maddox though, getting Fiske off the hook and forcing him to settle for a no-decision. Fiske allowed just two runs on four hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Isa Garcia earned a one-out walk in the ninth, but Tyler Greene struck out and Jon Jay grounded into a fielder's choice to end the game. Greene finished 3-for-5, extending his hitting streak to a franchise-best 18 straight games.
The Cardinals fell to two back of the Naturals with two games yet to play in the four-game series.
Sunday, July 27
third time is not always the charm as the Cardinals learned on Sunday, as the
Naturals beat them 11-7. Once again
Kila Kaaihue put it to the Cards, launching his league-leading 26th homer of the
season, and drove in five runs on the night. He started his tremendous game in
the first inning by hitting a two-run single off starter Tyler Herron. He struck
again in the fourth inning, at a time when
Irving Falu capped the scoring in the bottom of the eighth, homering off Luke Gregerson to make it 11-7.
Monday, July 28
brooms came out in
The Naturals rolled to a 10-4 win, giving Jess Todd (3-5) his second straight loss, on eight runs on eight hits over five innings.
Mario Lisson hit his second grand-slam homer of the year against
The Cardinals didn't go down without giving it a good effort. Allen Craig ripped his team-leading 19th of the year to open the fourth, making it 4-1. Jim Rapoport cracked his first Double-A homer to bring the Cards to within a run, making it 4-3 in the fifth.
Kila Kaaihue, who was promoted to Triple-A Omaha immediately after the game, responded in the bottom of the inning, as the Naturals blew it open. Kaaihue ripped an RBI double to make it 5-3. Former Cardinal Juan Richardson, another bane in the Cardinals' side, who had a four-hit game, followed with a two-run homer, giving the Naturals a 7-3 lead. Lisson followed two batters later with a solo shot to make it 8-3.
Lisson struck again in the seventh against Cards' reliever Marco Gonzalez, ripping an RBI triple off the top of the center field wall to make it 9-3. Lisson capped the inning at 10-3, scoring on an RBI groundout off the bat of Ovandy Suero.
The Redbirds got their final run in the ninth inning, as Brandon Yarbrough plated Daryl Jones with an RBI single, making it a 10-4 game.
Cardinals moved down the state of
Tuesday, July 29
straight losses on the road, and except for an outstanding performance by a
newly acquired outfielder to the Springfield Cardinals line-up, the Arkansas
Travelers completely embarrassed the Cards in an 8-2 slapping at
Jones, recently promoted from
homer, his eighth of the year, but first in a
Ottavino (2-6) allowed eight runs on the night, five earned, on eight base hits in the loss.
Wednesday, July 30
Finally the losing streak came to an end Wednesday night as the Cardinals beat the Travelers 3-2 in a come-from-behind victory.
That lead held up until the eighth inning when Daryl Jones opened the inning by getting hit by Travs' reliever Francisco Rodriguez (2-3). After Isa Garcia reached on a fielder]s choice, Mark Shorey reached on a bunt single, putting the tying runs at first and second. Jose Martinez followed with a single to left, loading the bases for Yarbrough, who followed with a two-run single to right field.
Tied 2-2 in the ninth, Andrew Brown reached on a throwing error to open the inning. After a wild pitch moved Brown to second, Daryl Jones reached with a one-out infield single, sending Brown to third base. Garcia stepped to the plate and delivered a fly ball to right field, scoring Brown from third with what turned out to be the winning run.
left after the sixth inning, and Fernando Salas came out of the bullpen and
worked a scoreless ninth, maneuvering around a leadoff single from Chris Pettit. Salas got pinch hitter Corey Smith to fly out to center field to
end the game, giving Salas his league-leading 19th save of the season.
reliever Luis Perdomo (1-0), in just his second game since coming over from
Thursday, July 31
The Cardinals put it to the Travelers on Thursday night, as they blanked them 7-0 to end their seven-game, week-long road trip with a 2-5 record.
was due in large part to the fine pitching from Justin Fiske, who pitched seven
shut-out innings. Fiske earned his first win of the year in a
A costly error by Travs' third baseman Corey Smith led to four unearned runs in the fifth. Smith's fielding error with two outs and the bases loaded allowed Andrew Brown to score, making it 4-0. Yarbrough was then hit by a pitch, the third batter in the inning to be hit by Rodriguez, forcing in another run to make it 5-0. Casey Rowlett followed with a two-run single, capping the score at 7-0.
Travs loaded the bases in the eighth, taking advantage of a Cardinals error and
two base hits, but Luke Gregerson was able to work around the trouble, leaving
the bases loaded. Gregerson also tossed a scoreless ninth, working around
another error and a single, completing