August 19, 2017 - Texas League (TL) - Springfield Cardinals
Springfield, MO - DH Eliezer Alvarez drove in a career-high six RBIs to help lead the Springfield Cardinals to the 12-5 win against the Corpus Christi Hooks before the sellout crowd of 7,458 fans at Hammons Field on Saturday evening. With the win, the Cardinals remain 1.0 game in front of the Tulsa Drillers for 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings.
Alvarez's career night with six RBIs lands one shy away from tying the Springfield Cardinals all-time record of seven RBIs in one game. Four different Cardinals have driven in seven runs in one game, most recently Andrew Brown on 4/18/10 vs. Midland.
The Cardinals (36-19, 71-54) came out swinging with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first against RHP Josh James (L, 4-6). James retired the first two batters in order, but 2B Darren Seferina extended the inning with a two-out single. He then raced in all the way from first base on an RBI double from RF Adolis Garcia. LF Anthony Garcia followed with a walk, putting two Cardinals on. Both runners came home on a two-run double from Alvarez, who then scored on an RBI single by 1B John Nogowski. 3B Jacob Wilson capped the rally with an RBI double off the left field fence, plating Nogowski and opening the lead to 5-0.
The Hooks (23-31, 57-67) began chipping away in the top of the second against RHP Zac Gallen. With runners at the corners and two away, CF Ramon Laureano pulled an RBI single through the left side, scoring SS Antonio Nunez from third and advancing DH Jason Martin around to third. Laureano and Martin then executed a delayed double steal, with Laureano swiping second base and drawing a throw, enabling Martin to dart home from third and bring the Hooks within three runs, 5-2.
Springfield, however, got the runs right back in the bottom of the second. Facing RHP Nick Hernandez, Seferina kept the inning alive with a two-out base hit. Adolis Garcia worked a walk and Anthony Garcia was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with two down. Alvarez then struck again with a two-run single, scoring Seferina and Adolis Garcia to stretch the lead back to five runs, 7-2.
The Hooks, though, once again raced back with three runs in the top of the fourth inning. A solo home run from 2B Ryne Birk led off the inning, followed by a double from SS Antonio Nunez. Two outs later, an RBI triple from Laureano and an RBI double by RF Kyle Tucker shaved the Hooks deficit to 7-5.
The Cardinals padded the lead against LHP Alex Winkelman in the bottom of the fifth. With one down, Alvarez walked and Nogowski singled, putting two runners on board. After a strikeout, C Jesse Jenner drove an RBI double to right-center field, scoring Alvarez and leading to an error that also allowed Nogowski to come home, opening the Cardinals advantage to 9-5.
Springfield dealt the final blow with three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth, again with two outs. Seferina once again extended an inning and sparked the rally with a walk. Base hits by Adolis Garcia and Anthony Garcia loaded the bases. Alvarez then chopped a two-run double down the left field line, driving in his fifth and sixth RBIs of the night. A walk from Nogowski reloaded the bases and led to RHP Ralph Garza entering on the mound. However, Wilson worked an RBI walk, forcing home Anthony Garcia and increasing the Cardinals lead to 12-5.
While the Cardinals pulled away, they also received 5.1 scoreless innings from the bullpen. RHP Tyler Bray entered for the final out in the fourth and dealt 1.1 innings without a run, followed by 3.0 scoreless stanzas from LHP Corey Littrell (W, 1-2) and the final scoreless inning from RHP Landon Beck, closing the 12-5 win for Springfield.