Midland, TX – The Springfield Cardinals cruised past the Midland RockHounds, 8-2, before 4,306 fans at Security Bank Ballpark on Friday night.
The Cardinals (4-4, 39-39) jumped in front in the top of the second against RHP Casey Meisner (L, 0-1), making his Double-A debut for Midland. With one away, 1B John Nogowski doubled himself on and was followed by a free pass from SS Tommy Edman. Both runners advanced ninety feet on a wild pitch, before 3B Jacob Wilson skied an RBI double that the wind blew away from RF J.P. Sportman, scoring Nogowski for the 1-0 lead.
Springfield stretched the lead with two more tallies in the top of the third. DH Bruce Caldwell extended the stanza with a two-out walk, and then trotted home on a mammoth two-run home run from RF Anthony Garcia to left field, his team-leading 10th long-ball of the year, increasing the advantage to 3-0.
The Cardinals tacked on a fourth run in the top of the fifth. With one away, C Gabriel Lino singled himself aboard and quickly moved to third on a double from DH Bruce Caldwell. RHP Joel Seddon took over on the mound, but Garcia skied an RBI sacrifice fly to center field, bringing home Lino for the 4-0 lead.
After four scoreless frames from RHP Matt Pearce (W, 8-5) to start, the RockHounds (2-6, 37-41) broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two down, CF B.J. Boyd and LF Jordan Tarsovich knocked consecutive doubles, shaving the Cardinals lead to 4-1.
Springfield, though, countered right away with two runs in the top of the sixth inning. With two away and the bases clear, CF Magneuris Sierra sparked the rally with a bunt single to keep the inning alive. LF Casey Turgeon then torched an RBI double to right-center field, scoring Sierra all the way from first base. Lino followed right away with an RBI base hit, plating Turgeon to increase the Cardinals lead to 6-1.
The RockHounds sliced the deficit by a run in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, RF J.P. Sportman tripled his way to third base. He then stormed home on an RBI base hit from C Sean Murphy. Pearce, though, retired the next two batters in a row, closing his sixth and final frame on the mound with the Cardinals ahead, 6-2.
After a pair of scoreless innings from Springfield RHP Pedro Echemendia, the Cardinals padded the lead with two final runs in the top of the ninth. Nogowski got the charge going with a two-out double, his second two-base hit of the game. One out later, Wilson ripped his second RBI double of the night to left-center field, bringing home Nogowski from second base. 2B Dickie Joe Thon then laced an RBI base hit to left-center, plating Wilson for the 8-2 lead.
RHP Corey Baker took over for the bottom of the ninth and promptly slammed the door with a scoreless final frame, closing the 8-2 win for the Cardinals.