In this inaugural season, the firsts just keep on coming. The first two-homer game, first grand slam and first five-RBI night all go to Tyler Minges. The Springfield Cardinals used a season-high seven-run eighth inning, to rally for a 9-6 win over the Wichita Wranglers on Monday night at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium in Wichita.
Minges' second homer was the back-breaker, a grand slam in the eighth inning, giving the Cards their first lead of the game at 6-5. The Cards added three more in the inning, as Springfield took a commanding 9-5 lead.
Jeremy Cook and Brian Bass were engaged in a pitcher's duel for the first three-plus innings. The Wranglers finally got to Cook, scoring three times in the fourth, to take a 3-0 lead. Andy Cavazos came on for the Cards with the bases loaded and only one out, with Wichita up by three runs, and ready to add more. Cavazos struck out Josh Pressley and then got Corey Aldridge to line out to left, leaving all three runners stranded.
The Cards only had two hits in the first six innings against Bass, but finally broke through with two runs in the seventh. Minges' one-out solo shot in the seventh put them on the board, making it 3-1. After Dan Moylan walked, Andy Schutzenhofer advanced him to second with a single. Molan later scored to make it 3-2, on an RBI single by Milko Jaramillo, who finished the night with three hits.
Wichita reclaimed their three-run lead with two in the bottom of the seventh against reliever Tony Rawson. Pressley led off the inning with his first homer of the year, a solo shot to straight-away center. Donnie Murphy's RBI single put the Wranglers in front 5-2, scoring Shane Costa, who walked earlier in the inning.
The seven-run eighth inning began by Wichita sending Royals prospect Ambiorix Burgos (1-1) to the hill. The right-hander had not allowed a hit, nor a run in six innings and four appearances. Reid Gorecki started the inning with a walk and Travis Hanson followed with a single. Papo Bolivar walked to load the bases, setting the stage for Minges' second homer of the night, and third of the year.
The Wranglers got a run back in the bottom of the eighth, but Josh Kinney was summoned on to record the final two outs of the eighth. He finished the ninth as well, picking up his team-leading fourth save of the season in the process.
Nate Cotton (1-1) pitched just two thirds of an inning, but recorded his first win of the year with the scoreless effort.
With the win, the Cards have now won two straight, and are now 5-6, four games back of East Division leading Arkansas. The Wranglers have dropped five straight and fall to 2-9.
The Cards and Wranglers hook up for the third game of the five-game series on Tuesday night. Buddy Blair (1-1) goes for the Cards, while the Wranglers send Mike Stodolka (0-1) to the mound. Game time from Wichita is 7:00. The Cards return to Hammons Field on Thursday, April 28th to face the Corpus Christi Hooks. Great seats are still available by calling the Springfield Cardinals ticket office at (417) 863-2143.
Tickets for all regular season games are on sale now by calling the Springfield Cardinals ticket office at (417) 863-2143, or by visiting www.springfieldcardinals.com. All Cardinals games are broadcast live on JOCK 98.7 FM and online through the Cards website at www.springfieldcardinals.com.