Maronde Struggles in Debut; Cardinals Complete Sweep
NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The highly-anticipated double-A debut of left-handed starting pitcher, Nick Maronde, was spoiled by the Springfield Cardinals on Thursday night at Dickey-Stephens Park as the Cards shutout the Arkansas Travelers by a final score of 5-0 to complete a three-game sweep of the Travs.
Maronde's (0-1) debut as a Traveler started off very well as the power lefty displayed a live fastball early, striking out two while retiring the first five Cardinals he faced. From the sixth batter faced on, however, Maronde would struggle with giving up extra-base hits as the Cardinals tallied five doubles off him before he exited the game with two outs in fifth inning. The bevy of doubles would prove to be the undoing for Maronde as four of the five he surrendered came around to score.
The Cards started their two-bag hitting in the second inning when Greg Garcia and Alan Ahmady hit back-to-back doubles. Both Garcia and Ahmady would score in the inning to put the Cardinals up 2-0. A Travis Tartamella double to lead off the third inning eventually became the Cardinals' third run of the game as Kolten Wong drove in Tartamella on a RBI double in the ensuing at-bat. Two innings later in the fifth, Tartamella followed a leadoff single by Adam Melker with his second double off Maronde. Both Melker and Tartamella would score in the inning as the Cards extended their lead to 5-0.
For the Travs offensively on Thursday night, it was much of the same from a night ago as the men they were able to put on base did not last long on the base paths thanks to three more double plays grounded into by the Travs. For the three-game series with the Cardinals, the Travs grounded into eight double plays.
Richard Castillo (6-4) was the beneficiary tonight of the twin-killings as he pitched seven strong innings against the Travs. In his seven innings of work, Castillo allowed five hits and issued a pair of walks, but he only allowed multiple base runners in an inning twice during his time on the bump.
Left-handed reliever Justin Wright would pick up for Castillo in the eighth inning and limited the Travs to a pair of hits in two innings as he closed out the shutout win for the Cardinals.
The Travs will now turn their attention the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, who are coming into Dickey-Stephens Park for a four-game series starting on Friday, August 3rd and ending Monday, August 6th. First pitch for the opener of the series is set for 7:10 pm.
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