Kruczynski’s Arm Helps Cards Snap Six Game Losing Streak

by Springfield Cardinals Media Relations

The Springfield Cardinals (22-26, 52-66) snapped a six-game losing streak behind strong pitching by LHP Evan Kruczynski to beat the first-place Arkansas Travelers (28-20, 71-45) 3-2 on Saturday night in front of 7,337 fans at Hammons Field.

DECISIONS:
W: RHP Merandy Gonzalez (2-3)
L: RHP Jake Haberer (1-2)
S: RHP Connor Jones (5)

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED:
– Cardinals 2B Irving Lopez led off the seventh inning with a single and CF Dylan Carlson’s 23rd double of the year followed, placing the runners on second and third with no outs. Next, rehabbing St. Louis Cardinals C Yadier Molina sent a fly ball into center that was deep enough to allow Lopez to score and put Springfield ahead for good at 3-2.

– With Nick Zammarelli on first in the top of the ninth with one out, it appeared that the Travelers were set to tie things 3-3 when Jordan Cowan sent a double all the way to the corner in left field. But a perfect relay sequence by LF Lars Nootbaar to 2B Irving Lopez to C Julio Rodriguez gunned out a sliding Zammarelli on a bang-bang play at the plate. Jones got SS Donnie Walton to ground out on the next play to end the game and strand Cowan at third.

– C Brian O’Keefe put Springfield ahead 1-0 in the second on his 12th homer of the year and second in as many games.

– Springfield extended its lead to 2-0 when O’Keefe scored on a throwing error by Travelers 1B Evan White on a Nootbaar ground ball.

– Arkansas tied the game 2-2 in the fifth when a pair of runs came home on a throwing error by Cardinals 1B Zach Kirtley. One of the runs was earned.

NOTABLES:
– Kruczynski struck out a career-high 11 batters over 6.2 innings, allowing two runs (1 ER) on six hits and a walk. He finished with 101 pitches. It was the second straight game that Kruczysnki finished with double-digit strikeouts after striking out 10 Tulsa Drillers on August 5 at ONEOK Field.

– Molina was 0-for-2 with an RBI in his third rehab appearance with Springfield. He was hit by a pitch from Travelers RHP Justin Dunn in the fifth inning.

– Carlson led Cardinals batters with two hits (2-for-4) and swiped his 15th and 16th bases of the season.

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