Cardinals Fall to RockHounds 7-5

by Springfield Cardinals Media Relations

LF Juan Yepez and RF Johan Mieses both homered in the top of the ninth for the Springfield Cardinals (28-32, 58-72), but the Midland RockHounds (31-29, 65-64) hung on for the 7-5 win to start the series on Friday night.

W: RHP Matt Milburn (7-9)
L: RHP Johan Oviedo (6-7)
S: RHP James Naile (1)

-The RockHounds opened a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first, striking on three hits, three walks and two run-scoring wild pitches.

-LF Juan Yepez got the Cardinals on the board with an RBI sac fly in the second, scoring DH Lars Nootbaar and shaving the deficit to 4-1.

-Midland, though, padded the lead in the third with a solo home run from C Jonah Heim and an RBI base hit from RF Chase Calabuig, extending the lead to 6-1.

-An RBI single from SS Rayder Ascanio in the fifth kept the Cardinals within striking distance, while RHP Merandy Gonzalez provided 4.0 scoreless innings of relief from the 4th – 7th.

-After one Midland run in the eighth made it 7-2, the Cardinals had one last charge in the ninth. With one away, Yepez scorched a solo home run to left field. One out later, Ascanio singled to keep the game going for RF Johan Mieses, who rocketed a two-run homer to left to bring the Cardinals within two runs. C Brian O’Keefe then worked a two-out walk to bring up CF Conner Capel. Capel hit the ball to deep left field, but LF Tyler Ramirez ran it down for the final out with Midland clinging to the 7-5 win.

-LF Juan Yepez’s solo home run marked the second straight game in which he has homered in the ninth inning. He has an extra-base hit in each of his last three games, going 5×11 with two homers, a double and five RBIs during that stretch.

-SS Rayder Ascanio went 3×5 with three singles and an RBI, and has hit safely in 11 of his last 12 games.

-1B Chris Chinea also tallied three hits, going 3×4.