RockHounds Drop Opener to Cardinals
You don't have to be Tim Kurkjian (one of my baseball heroes) to discern the difference in Tuesday's series opener between the RockHounds and Cardinals at Hammons Field.
One club had 16 whiffs ... the other had three RBI swings on 0-2 counts.
A 16-K performance from a trio of Springfield pitchers was backed by a 10-hit attack ... including the three key hits on 0-2 ... as the Cardinals took a 4-1 decision in the first of a three-game series.
The RockHounds took a 1-0 lead in the third when Brallan Perez walked and Luis Barrera followed with a double, putting runners at second and third with no outs. Tyler Ramirez sent a line drive single to right to drive home Perez but Springfield starter Austin Warner struck out three batters, limiting the rally to a single run.
Irving Lopez tied the game with a solo home run in the home half of the third and narrowly missed his second homer of the game leading off the fifth. Barrera, with a perfectly-timed leap at the wall in the right field, reached over the wall and brought Lopez' drive back in, but couldn't hang on. Lopez, while robbed of the dinger, was at third with a triple and no outs.
From there, the Cardinals broke the tie and added insurance runs on three 0-2 swings. Dylan Carlson singled to right, scoring Lopez to break the tie, and Randy Arozarena brought Carson home with an 0-2 RBI single to center, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead after five. Chris Chinea then led off the sixth with a solo home run to left-center, again on an 0-2 pitch from 'Hounds starter Brian Howard.
Warner struck out 10 batters in six innings, earning his third win of the season (4-5, 3.88). Kodi Whitely faced and retired six batters in the seventh and eighth, striking out four of them, for the hold. Junior Fernandez the slammed the door, retiring the side in order in the ninth, and adding the last two of the 16 K's, to earn the save.
The Pennant Race
The most intriguing part of all remaining games being cross-division came into play Tuesday night as the North swept the South, meaning that the standings, for all intents and purposes, did not budge (only the percentages).
Frisco (32-32) leads Corpus Christi and the RockHounds (both 31-32) by a half-game with Amarillo (30-32) just one game back.
Springfield has been "Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Cardinal" at home and on the road in 2019. The Cardinals, including Tuesday's win, are 18-14 at Hammons Field and 7-25 on the road ... amazing.
Luis Barrera went 2-for-4 (double), extending his hit streak to seven games (13-32, .406) and his on-base streak to a dozen games (21-50, .420)
Wednesday, June 12 vs. Springfield Cardinals
Hammons Field Springfield, Missouri
First pitch 11:10 a.m.
- Second of a three-game series and a six-game road trip (at Arkansas, June 14-16)
- No radio broadcast (last of the weekday / day games for 2019)
SPR: Williams Perez (RH, 6-3, 5.61)
RH: Kyle Friedrichs (RH, 5-2, 2.84)
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