Cardinals, Naturals Split Wednesday Doubleheader
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals and Springfield Cardinals split a seven inning doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon after Tuesday night's regularly scheduled game was postponed due to inclement weather. After dropping the first game, the Naturals salvaged a split with a 10-3 win in game two.
Game 1: Springfield 8, Northwest Arkansas 1
The Naturals took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on back-to-back doubles by Matt Fields and Roman Hernandez. Springfield got on the board in the third inning on a bases-loaded single by Ruben Gotey with one out and a Chris Swauger sacrifice fly. The Cardinals added a run in the fourth on an Audry Perez groundout that plated Starlin Rodriguez.
Northwest Arkansas had an opportunity to tie the game in the sixth inning after they loaded the bases. After Manny PiÃÂ±a was hit by a pitch, Fields reached on a walk by Springfield reliever Anthony Ferrara. Following a pitching change, Hernandez welcomed Deryk Hooker to the game with a single, but Hooker was able to get out of the inning unscathed thanks to an Angel Franco groundout.
Springfield added five runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a solo home run by Rodriguez and a pair of two-run home runs by Jake Lemmerman and Thomas Pham.
Hernandez was two-for-three with a single, double and RBI. Fields went one-for-two with a double and run scored. Orlando Calixte hit his fifth double of the year in the fifth inning. Rey Navarro saw his three-game, mulit-hit streak end as he was held hitless in four at-bats.
Ferrara earns his first win of the season for Springfield, allowing one hit with two walks and a strikeout in 1.2 scoreless innings. Naturals' starter Sugar Ray Marimon takes his second loss of 2013. Marimon allowed three runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Hooker recorded his second save, striking out two batters while allowing two hits in 1.1 innings of work.
Game 2: Northwest Arkansas 10, Springfield 3
The Naturals got on the scoreboard first for the third straight game, plating five runs in the first inning. Brett Eibner led off with a single, followed by a four-pitch walk by Springfield starter Boone Whiting to Rey Navarro. Eibner scored as Mitch Canham reached on a fielding error by Xavier Scruggs. Yem Prades brought home Navarro with a single, and Matt Fields hit his third home run of the season, a three-run blast to right field to give the Naturals a 5-0 cushion after their first at-bat.
Springfield got a run back in the bottom half of the inning as Mike O'Neil scored on a Scruggs single.
The Naturals added two runs in the third inning. After a wild pitch from Whiting allowed him to advance to third, Navarro scored on a passed ball by Cardinals catcher Juan Castillo. Roman Hernandez followed with a single that scored Canham.
The Cardinals scored their final two runs of the game in the fifth inning. Scruggs hit a one-out double off of Naturals reliever Sam Runion to right field that scored O'Neil. Chris Swauger then hit an RBI single that scored Ruben Gotay. Runion limited the damage by inducing a double play to end the inning.
Eibner, the reigning Texas League Player of the Week, doubled in the sixth inning to score Alex McClure for the first of three Naturals runs in the frame. Angel Franco singled to score Juan Graterol, with Eibner crossing the plate during a double play.
Prades went three-for-four with a double, run scored, two singles and an RBI. Eibner went two-for-four with a single, double, RBI and two runs scored, while Fields' home run earned him three RBI.
Runion earns his first win of the season in relief of Yordano Ventura. Runion gave up two hits with one strikeout in 1.2 inning of work. In his fourth start of 2013, Ventura allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits with three walks and six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. Whiting takes his first loss of 2013 for Springfield, allowing seven runs, four earned, on four hits with two walks and five strikeouts in three innings.
The Naturals and Cardinals will wrap up their four-game series tomorrow night at 7:09 p.m. Justin Marks (1-0, 1.59 ERA) will make his second start of the season for the Naturals. Springfield will send Seth Blair (0-2, 9.22 ERA) to the mound in search of a series win.
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