RHP Arturo Reyes dealt a stifling eight one-run innings, helping lead the Springfield Cardinals to the 11-1 blowout win against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals before 5,889 fans at Arvest Ballpark on Friday night.
Reyes (W, 7-6) shut down the Naturals (12-22, 52-52) by dealing his first seven innings in scoreless fashion, finishing with only one run allowed on five hits through eight total innings. He rattled off seven strikeouts throughout the night, walking only three.
After Naturals RHP Brooks Pounders (L, 0-1) had kept up with Reyes through his first three scoreless innings, the Cardinals (19-16, 49-56) broke through in the top of the fourth. Following a leadoff walk from LF Mike O’Neill, DH Anthony Garcia ripped an RBI double inside the left field line to bring O’Neill all the way in from first base. Garcia scooted to third on a wild pitch, before trotting home on an RBI single from 1B Jonathan Rodriguez to double the early lead to 2-0.
Springfield stretched the advantage with four runs in the top of the sixth. Facing RHP Aroni Nina, Rodriguez worked a walk to start the stanza. C Michael Ohlman followed with a single, before RF David Washington worked a walk one out later to load the bases. With three on and one down, SS Aledmys Diaz chopped a groundball up the middle that was misplayed by 2B Raul Mondesi, enabling Rodriguez and Ohlman to score on the error. After 2B Breyvic Valera worked a walk to reload the bases, CF Charlie Tilson placed an RBI infield single to the left side, scoring Washington. O’Neill then forced in the frame’s final run with an RBI bases-loaded walk, making it a 6-0 lead for Springfield.
The Cardinals kept pouring it on with five more runs in the top of the eighth inning against LHP Sam Selman. Washington and Diaz started the stanza with singles, before Valera was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs. Tilson then bounced a grounder back towards the mound that Selman fielded but threw wide of the plate, enabling both Washington and Diaz to score on the throwing error. Two outs later with runners at second and third, Rodriguez struck with an RBI single to bring in Valera and move Tilson to third. With runners at the corners, Ohlman dealt the final blow with a two-run double off the right-center field wall, increasing the advantage to 11-0.
Reyes came back out for the bottom of the eighth and promptly retired the frame’s first two batters. However, a walk by RF Bubba Starling extended the inning, followed by an RBI double from CF Lane Adams to bring in Starling and get the Naturals on the board. However, Reyes induced a groundout from the next batter, closing his eighth inning of work with the Cardinals ahead, 11-1.
RHP Kurt Heyer took over for the bottom of the ninth and worked around an error and a single, striking out a pair in the scoreless final frame to close the decisive 11-1 win for Springfield.