July 16, 2013 - Texas League (TL) - Arkansas Travelers
Springfield, Mo.-- Tuesday night at Hammons Field the Springfield Cardinals jumped out to and early lead and beat the Arkansas Travelers, 5-2. Springfield scored four runs in their fist two innings at the plate, while Arkansas struggled to generate offense against five different Springfield pitchers. The Travelers look to salvage a split in the series on Wednesday night.
Springfield jumped out to a four-run lead after two innings against Arkansas RH Drew Carpenter. The Cards did damage in the first-inning by hitting back-to-back solo home runs with one out. James Ramsey opened the scoring with an opposite field homer to left, and Ruben Gotay followed by hitting a homer of the wall in right. The back-to-back home runs were the first allowed by the Travelers this season.
Carpenter retired four straight after the two home runs, but found trouble against the bottom of the order with two outs and the bases empty in the second. Jake Lemmerman doubled, and then scored on a single by Casey Rasmus. The run batted in for Rasmus marked the first of his Double-A career. Rasmus stole second to move into scoring position, and then came home one batter later when Mike O'Neill singled to put the Baby Birds up 4-0.
Offensively the Travelers were left trying to figure out Zach Petrick. Petrick was making his Double-A debut. Petrick, who entered the game having allowed only four earned runs in 66 innings this season between two levels, allowed only a single to Kaleb Cowart in his first two innings.
Arkansas finally put something together in the third inning when Jimmy Swift singled with one out. After stealing second, Rolando Gomez singled to score Swift. The hit pulled the Travs within three, 4-1. However, Petrick rebounded by striking out Taylor Lindsey and C.J. Cron to end the inning.
Petrick added two more strikeouts in the fourth inning as he retired the Travs in order, and then got some help from his defense in the fifth. Petrick walked Ryan Jones to open the inning. Jones advanced to second on a wild pitch, but was then erased when Jett Bandy hit a liner to first. The ball was snared by Xavier Scruggs, and Scruggs flipped to second to double off Jones for a second out.
Petrick returned to pitch the sixth inning, and allowed only a two-out single to C.J. Cron. Immediately after allwoing the single, Petrick forced Robbie Widlansky to fly out to deep right to end the inning.
The Travelers took advantage of two walks issued by Justin Wright at the start of the seventh inning. Wright walked Cowart and Travis Witherspoon to start the seventh, and exited after retiring Ryan Jones on a fly ball to center. Wright left in favor of Kevin Thomas. Thomas entered with runners on the corners after Cowart tagged for third on the fly out by Jones, and although Thomas retired both batters he faced, he still allowed an inherited runner to score. That's because Witherspoon and Cowart executed a double-steal that scored Cowart and pulled the Travs within 4-2.
Drew Carpenter recovered after the shaky start and allowed only two hits over the final 4.1 innings of his start. Carpenter allowed a walk and a sacrifice bunt before exiting with one out in the seventh inning. Lefty Carmine Giardina took over and walked the first two that he faced to load the bases. However, after a mound visit by Pitching Coach Mike Hampton, Giardina struck out Ruben Gotay and Chris Swauger to end the inning with the Travs still down by two.
Springfield did add to their lead in the eighth inning. Ryan Chaffee relieved Giardina at the start of the inning, and issued a one out walk to Cody Stanley. After Stanley walked, Luis Mateo hit a bouncing to ball to shortstop. Rolando Gomez tried to start a double play but threw wildly to second. The error allowed Stanley to score on the play and for Mateo to get to third.
Springfield had a chance for more with a runner at third ahead 5-2. Jake Lemmerman hit a grounder to shortstop, and this time Gomez came home to get Mateo at the plate on the fielder's choice. Chaffee proceeded to allow a singled to Rasmus, but kept the Travs within three by retiring Mike O'Neill to end the inning.
Down to their final three outs in the ninth inning, Arkansas was unable to put a rally together against Springfield closer Deryk Hooker. Hooker struck out two in the ninth, and Springfield's bullpen combined to retire the last eight Travs to bat in order.
Petrick earned the win, as he limited the Travs to four hits in six innings, and also struck out eight. Drew Carpenter took the loss and fell to 1-1, while Hooker saved his seventh game.
Arkansas was limited to four hits in the game offensively.
Arkansas and Springfield conclude their four-game series Wednesday at Hammons Field at 7:09 p.m. Arkansas RH Manny Correa starts the game for the Travs. Coverage of the game begins at 6:45 p.m. with the Travs Dugout Show on Sports Animal 920.