Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals won their fourth straight series with a 6-3 victory against the San Antonio Missions before 3,367 fans at Hammons Field on Wednesday night. Winners of 11 of their last 12 games, the Cardinals lead the Tulsa Drillers by 3.0 games for 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings.
Cardinals RHP Ryan Helsley struck out the side in the top of the first to start the game, before Springfield (35-17, 70-52) swung in front in the bottom of the frame against RHP Jacob Nix. CF Magneuris Sierra worked a walk to start the inning, before stealing his way to second base with his 14th swipe of the season. After taking third base on a groundout, Sierra streaked home on an RBI single from 3B Darren Seferina to open the 1-0 lead.
Helsley struck out two more in a perfect second inning, before the Cardinals doubled the lead in the bottom of the second. LF Anthony Garcia started the inning with a single and took second with a stolen base. One out later, C Jesse Jenner brought in Garcia with an RBI single, increasing the Cardinals lead to 2-0.
The Missions (29-22, 70-51) broke through in the top of the third to cut the deficit in half. C Webster Rivas led off with a single. After Helsley retired the next two Missions, 2B Luis Urias reached on an infield single that led to a throwing error on SS Tommy Edman, advancing Rivas to third base on the play. SS Javier Guerra then came through with a two-out RBI single, plating Rivas to decrease the Cardinals lead to 2-1.
Springfield got the run back in the bottom of the fifth. Helsley worked a walk to open the inning. One out later, consecutive singles from Edman and Seferina loaded the bases with one down. RF Adolis Garcia chopped into an RBI fielder’s choice that did retire Seferina at second, but allowed Helsley to dart home and stretch the Cardinals lead back to two runs, 3-1.
San Antonio squared the score in the top of the sixth. Helsley put down the first two Missions of the frame, but lost RF Franmil Reyes to a two-out walk to extend the inning. 3B Ty France then took advantage of the opportunity, pulling a two-run home run to left field and evening the score, 3-3.
After a scoreless top of the seventh from RHP Andrew Morales (W, 2-1), the Cardinals reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the seventh against RHP Yimmi Brasoban (L, 0-1). With one away, Seferina launched a go-ahead, solo home run to right field, lifting Springfield back into the lead. One out later, 2B Eliezer Alvarez reached on an infield single with a throwing error by SS Javier Guerra on the play, allowing Alvarez to get to second. LF Anthony Garcia wasted no time bringing home Alvarez, ripping an RBI single through the middle to open the advantage to two runs, 5-3.
The Cardinals added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning. With Jenner at second base and two away, Edman placed an RBI single to shallow left-center field, bringing home Jenner for the 6-3 lead.
LHP Corey Littrell and RHP Landon Beck (S, 6) combined for a scoreless final frame in the top of the ninth, closing the 6-3 win for Springfield.