Thursday's game had a wild finish, as Cards' catcher Tony Cruz threw out the Texas League's leading base stealer for the final out of the game. With two outs in the ninth and the Cards up 5-4, Springfield closer Francisco Samuel walked Luis Durango, the league's stolen base leader with 24, which included two on Thursday. With Eric Sogard at the plate, Durango broke for second base, attempting to put himself into scoring position. Cruz's throw was perfect, as shortstop Pete Kozma applied the tag of the oncoming Durango for the game's final out, giving Samuel his 11th save.
Springfield starting pitcher David Kopp made his Double-A debut on Thursday night, and after struggling in the first inning, settled in nicely to earn the win.
The Missions jumped on Kopp with a pair of first-inning runs, taking a 2-0 advantage.
Matt Arburr jump-started the Cards in the fourth, as he led off the inning with his first career Double-A homer, taking Missions' starter Stephen Faris (2-7) deep to left-center field, making it a 2-1 game. With two outs, Jim Rapoport reached with an infield single, then advanced to second on a hit by Kozma. With two outs and two on, Kopp connected for his first career hit, a two-run double to put the Cards in front for good at 3-2. Daryl Jones followed with an RBI hit to chase home Kopp, making it 4-2.
The Redbirds took advantage of a pair of errors in the fifth, as Donovan Solano reached via an error, then scored on a throwing error later in the inning, putting the Cards in front 5-2.
Kopp (1-0) finished the fifth inning with a 5-2 lead, giving up two runs on three hits.
Brad Furnish came out of the bullpen and was victimized by some outfield miscommunication, as the Missions got a run in the sixth, to tighten up the game at 5-3. Furnish threw a scoreless seventh, before handing the ball off to Tyler Norrick.
Norrick struggled in the eighth, as the first three Missions reached against Norrick, pulling to within a run at 5-4. Pete Parise came on and earned the final two outs of the eighth inning, keeping the Cards in front by a run.
The Cards will look for their first-ever three-game sweep in San Antonio on Friday night, as they send Tyler Herron (2-3) to the mound against Missions' right-hander Mat Latos (0-0). Game time from San Antonio on Friday will be 7:05pm.
The Redbirds will return to Hammons Field on Wednesday, June 3rd, when they open a six-game home stand. Tickets are available for the upcoming home stand, by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at springfieldcardinals.com.