After the Drillers (16-22) struck for an early run in the bottom of the first against RHP Richard Castillo (W, 3-3), the Cardinals (21-16) responded right away. With one down in the top of the second, Melker clobbered his first home run of the day, a solo shot to right field that tied it, 1-1.
Melker struck again in the top of the fourth against RHP Dan Houston (L, 0-4). SS Jake Lemmerman started the frame with a free pass, and then trotted home on Melker's two-run home run over the right field wall, lifting Springfield in front, 3-1.
Springfield stretched the lead further in the sixth. With the bases loaded and one away, Castillo helped his cause with an RBI single through the right side of the infield, making it 4-1.
After Castillo wrapped up his seven-inning outing, at one point retiring 13 in a row, the Drillers attempted a comeback against LHP Nick Greenwood in the bottom of the eighth. 3B Jayson Langfels led off with a double, followed by a base hit from OF Kent Matthes. An RBI ground out by CF Rafael Ortega and an RBI single from SS Joey Wong brought home Langfels and Matthes, respectively, bringing the Drillers within one run. RHP Keith Butler (S, 6) took over after the Wong base hit and struck out 1B Kiel Roling, ending the frame and keeping the Cardinals up, 4-3.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the top of the ninth against RHP Juan Gonzalez. 2B Starlin Rodriguez singled to start the inning, and then raced to second on a sacrifice bunt by LF Mike O'Neill. After Rodriguez moved to third on a wild pitch, CF James Ramsey brought him home with an RBI single, stretching the lead to two runs.
With rain coming down, Butler worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth, closing the 5-3 win for Springfield.
Click here for the complete box score from Wednesday's game.
The Cardinals continue the eight-game road trip in Tulsa on Thursday at 7:05pm. Catch all the action on JOCK 98.7 FM and SpringfieldCardinals.com, and tune in 15 minutes early for the Coyote's Sports Cafe Pregame Show.Springfield returns home to begin an eight-game homestand on Wed., May 22 with a 7:05pm First Pitch against the Frisco RoughRiders. The homestand will feature the St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Championship Replica Ring Giveaway (2,500 fans) on Thurs., May 23, AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks featuring Country Music on Fri., May 24, the Yadier Molina Gold and Platinum Glove Award Giveaway (2,500 fans) on Sat., May 25