The Springfield Cardinals dropped their fourth extra-inning game in the last nine days, falling to the Frisco RoughRiders by a score of 6-5 in 11 innings on Friday night.
Enrique Cruz, who had a tough night in the field, ended up with the last laugh, driving in the game-winning run with a two-out single to right field in the bottom of the 11th.
Cards' reliever Dennis Dove (0-3) hit Nate Gold in the back with the first pitch of the 11th inning. After pinch-runner Tim Hulett stole second base, Dove issued an intentional walk to Jim Fasano. Dove came back to strike out the next two hitters, setting up the match-up with Cruz, who delivered a ground ball to right field. Cards' right fielder Nick Stavinoha's throw to the plate was a bit off the mark, as catcher Gabe Johnson tried to dive and make the tag. Hulett dove in head first and just got his hand under the tag of Johnson, ending the longest game of the year for Springfield at three hours and fifty-eight minutes.
Cards' starter Stuart Pomeranz, making just his second start since coming off the Disabled List with a strained left oblique, lasted only one inning. He was replaced by Kevin Ool, after Pomeranz allowed one run on two hits.
Ool worked a career-high 5 1/3 innings, finally leaving in the seventh after surrendering a two-run homer to Frisco's Ben Harrison, making it 5-3. Ool allowed just a total of two runs on two hits.
Frisco tied it in the bottom of the eighth against Chris Russ. After Kevin Richardson opened the inning by reaching on an error, Travis Metcalf followed with a single. After a sacrifice bunt moved runners to second and third with one out, Kevin Mahar's bad-hop double past shortstop Brendan Ryan tied the game at 5-5.
Brendan Ryan, making his first appearance at the Double-A level in 2006 after spending most the year on the Disabled List with a left wrist injury, went 1-6 with a stolen base.
Frisco's Jesse Ingram (2-0) got the win by working a scoreless 11th.
Shaun Boyd led the Cardinals' offense, with three of their eight hits.
Springfield falls to 22-33 in the second half, still ten games back of Wichita in the North Division. Mike Parisi (8-5) will go for Springfield on Saturday night in the third game of the four-game set. Frisco will throw Eric Hurley (2-1). Game time from Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco will be 7:05pm.
The Cards return home to Hammons Field for the final four-game home stand of the 2006 regular season on Saturday, August 26th. Three thousand fans 18 and under will receive a St. Louis Cardinals Chris Carpenter Growth Poster thanks to Midwest Dairy and JOCK 98.7 FM. Tickets are available for the final four home games of the regular season by calling (417) 863-2143 or online at www.springfieldcardinals.com. We hope to see you at Hammons Field!