With only four games left on the 2008 season, the Springfield Cardinals are bringing it right down to the wire. The Cards sit at two games back in the Texas League North Division, behind the division-leading Northwest Arkansas Naturals. If the two teams finish in a tie, the Naturals win the tie-breaker due to a better head-to-head record against the Cardinals.
Friday, August 22
Cardinals moved back into a first place tie with the Naturals on Friday night,
as they beat Northwest Arkansas by a score of 5-1 at Arvest Ballpark in
Justin Fiske pitched a strong game, throwing 6 1/3 innings of one-run baseball, getting his third win of the year.
Cardinals went through the first four innings with no hits off Naturals' starter
Julio Pimentel, before Pimentel misplayed Brandon Buckman's ground ball for an
error. Brandon Yarbrough, who had three hits and an RBI in Friday's game,
Fiske (3-0) carried a shutout into the seventh inning, but with one out, left after loading the bases. Luke Gregerson came out of the bullpen and retired Jose Duarte on a ground ball to shortstop Donovan Solano. On the play, Mario Lisson scored to break up the shut-out at 5-1. Gregerson then fanned Marc Maddox with the tying run in the on-deck circle, ending the threat. Gregerson went on to work a 1-2-3 eighth inning, before turning it over to Marco Gonzalez, who worked a scoreless ninth.
the end of the night,
Saturday, August 23
The Cardinals returned home to Hammons Field on Saturday night to face the Arkansas Travelers, first-half season winners, in a three-game series, to be followed by a four-game series with the Tulsa Drillers.
Cards pounded the Travs 16-8, starting big in the first inning with a whopping
six runs. It was the Redbirds third win in a row and kept
Jones and new Palm Beach call-up Daniel Descalso aboard in the first, Wallace
connected for his first homer at Double-A and his sixth home run since being
drafted 13th overall this past June by St. Louis, giving the Cardinals a 3-0
lead. Run-scoring hits from Mark Shorey, Isa Garcia and Matt Pagnozzi
would follow, putting
The Cardinals got single runs in the fourth and the sixth. Andrew Brown''s RBI double in the fourth made it 10-2. A sac fly from Garcia drove home Donovan Solano from third in the sixth, putting the Redbirds in front 11-2.
Sunday, August 24
Josh Kinney, the first
The Cards did their best to blow the game as Cards' reliever Fernando Salas wasn't able to hold a three-run ninth inning advantage. After surrendering his fourth straight hit, the latter tying the game, Salas was lifted in favor of eventual winner Marco Gonzalez (7-0). After walking Brian Stavisky on four pitches to load the bases, Gonzalez got Ben Johnson to line out to send the game to the bottom of the ninth.
Brett Wallace hit his second homer of the night, a walk off blast off Rafael Rodriquez, to lift the Cards to a 6-5 victory.
Cards' starting pitcher Brad Furnish turned in quite a performance, firing six shutout innings in just his third Double-A start. Furnish pitched around a pair of first-inning walks, allowing just three hits and two walks over six frames.
The Redbirds' offense backed Furnish with three runs in the third, as Daryl Jones and Donovan Solano each had an RBI single. Mark Shorey's sac fly to right field capped the inning at 3-0.
Jones and Wallace both homered for the second consecutive night against the
sixth in a
An eighth-inning solo homer off the bat of Cards' reliever Zack Zuercher, broke up the shut-out. The Travs would tack on another run in the eighth against Luis Perdomo, making it a 5-2 game.
Monday, August 25
Brown gave the Cards the lead in the first inning at 3-0, blasting a long
three-run homer to left field, his 12th in a
doubled in the third with a man aboard to put
Ottavino was chased in the sixth with two outs, after back-to-back singles. Jon Mikrut worked out of trouble, but gave up a game-tying homer to Brian Stavisky in the seventh, making it 5-5.
With two outs in the bottom of the eighth against Travs'' reliever Francisco Rodriguez (5-5), Andrew Brown walked, then moved to third on Brandon Buckman''s single. With runners at the corners and two away, pinch-hitter Brandon Yarbrough hit a hard grounder off the glove of Travs' second baseman Nate Sutton. By the time Sutton recovered, Yarbrough had beaten the throw to first, as Brown scored to give the Cards a 6-5 lead.
Luke Gregerson, who worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, retired the side in order in the ninth. Gregerson (7-6) struck out four of the six hitters he faced, including Ryan Leahy to end it.
Tuesday, August 26
The Tulsa Drillers came into Hammons Field on Tuesday night having lost their last four games, but they would not lose a fifth in a row, as they beat the Cardinals 4-2, putting the Cards a full game back of division leading Northwest Arkansas with just six games left to play in the regular season.
The Drillers pecked away at the Cards and starter Kyle Mura (3-4), getting RBI singles in the third and fourth innings with solo homers in the next two.
Redbirds got to the
Wednesday, August 27
score was tied 1-1 until the sixth inning when
The Drillers answered with two in the eighth against Marco Gonzalez, making it a two-run game at 5-3. Fernando Salas came on and not only got the final two outs of the eighth, but retired the side in order in the ninth, earning his league-leading 25th save of the year.
Cards starter, Justin Fiske (4-0), earned his second straight win, allowing one run on five hits, striking out five batters over six innings. It was his fourth win of the season.
Kinney, made his second rehab appearance with
Thursday, August 28
Cardinals fell two games back of the division leading
The Cardinals took a 1-0 lead in the first, as Brett Wallace drove home Daniel Descalso with an RBI single.
starter Brandon Dickson (3-2) gave up a two-run triple and an RBI single as
Craig homered in the eighth inning, his team-leading 22nd of the year, making it 9-4.
The Drillers capped the scoring with a pair off of Luis Perdomo in the ninth, giving them an 11-4 advantage.
Cards will send Brad Furnish (1-1) to the mound against