Cardinals Reel in Series Win against Hooks with 5-4 Victory
Springfield, MO - The Springfield Cardinals nailed down the series win with a 5-4 victory against the Corpus Christi Hooks before 2,960 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night.
The Cardinals (27-23) jumped on RHP Rogelio Armenteros (L, 2-2) in the bottom of the first inning. With one away, LF Magneuris Sierra battled out a walk to reach base. RF Adolis Garcia promptly moved Sierra to third with a base hit. With runners at the corners, 1B Casey Grayson pulled an RBI single through the right side, scoring Sierra for the 1-0 lead.
Cardinals RHP Dakota Hudson (W, 3-2) kept the one-run lead intact with three straight scoreless innings to start, before Springfield doubled the lead in the bottom of the third. CF Oscar Mercado started the stanza with a single, prior to stealing his way to second base. One out later, RF Adolis Garcia chopped an RBI single through the right side of the infield, enabling Mercado to race home for the 2-0 lead.
After four scoreless frames from Hudson, the Hooks (26-26) scratched across an unearned run against him in the top of the fifth. C Garrett Stubbs opened the inning with a single to center field that led to a throwing error on CF Oscar Mercado, allowing Stubbs to get to second on the play. A base hit from SS Jack Mayfield moved Stubbs to third base, putting runners at the corners with no outs. Hudson got the next batter, CF Ramon Laureano, to chop into a 4-6-3 double play, though it did allow Stubbs to scamper home from third. With nobody left on and two away, Hudson struck out DH Trent Woodward to guide the Cardinals out of the frame with a 2-1 lead.
Springfield stretched the lead right back out in the bottom of the sixth inning against RHP Josh James. Sierra again served as the catalyst with a single to start the frame, before stealing second base. One out later, Grayson rocketed an RBI double into the left field corner, bringing in Sierra to extend the lead back to two runs. A groundout moved Grayson to third base, before 3B Danny Diekroeger brought him in with a two-out RBI single to left-center. SS Alex Mejia followed with an RBI double to left field, scoring Diekroeger all the way from first base to cap the rally and stretch the Cardinals lead to 5-1.
The Hooks worked the deficit back down with two runs in the top of the seventh. A walk, a single and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs. Hudson dug in and induced a double play ball to SS Alex Mejia that did bring in Singleton from third base, but recorded two outs in the process. With a runner at third and two down, Woodward muscled a broken-bat RBI single to shallow right field, plating Stubbs to bring the Hooks back within two runs, 5-3.
A solo shot from RF Kyle Tucker in the top of the eighth made it a one-run game, but LHP Chandler Hawkins avoided further damage in the frame to keep the Cardinals ahead, 5-4.
RHP Tyler Bray (S, 1) then slammed the door with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth, closing the 5-4 win for the Cardinals.
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