Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals ran away with an 10-5 win against the Midland RockHounds before a sellout crowd of 6,784 fans at the Home Opener at Hammons Field on Thursday night.
Edmundo Sosa, Lane Thomas, Darren Seferina and Victor Roache all drove in two runs and Estarlin Arias earned the win in relief in a 10-5 Cardinals win. Sosa, Thomas, Andrew Knizner, Roache and Thomas Spitz all recorded two hits.
The win was the first for the Cardinals (2-5) in a home opener since 2011, a 9-4 win over the Frisco RoughRiders.
Arias (1-0) tossed 1.2 scoreless innings of relief after appearing in the top of the fourth for starter Ryan Helsley.
The Cardinals wasted no time grabbing a lead. After Tommy Edman walked and Sosa advanced him to third on a double, Thomas put the Cardinals up 1-0 in the bottom of the first with an RBI groundout. Still with zero outs, Sosa came home on a wild pitch from Midland starter Corey Walter, putting Springfield up 2-0.
THE GAME TURNED WHEN
Springfield scored six in the third inning, surpassing any single-game run total the Cardinals had scored all season.
The rally began with Seferina breaking out of an 0-for-22 start to open the season with a two-RBI double, driving in Thomas and Knizner and putting the Cardinals up 4-1.
Two batters later, a Roache single scored John Nogowski and an RBI single from Spitz, scoring Seferina, made it 6-1 Cardinals.
Springfield padded its lead even more to 8-1 when an Edmundo Sosa single brought home Roache and Spitz.
The Cardinals bullpen continued to excel, with Arias, Ramon Santos and Chris Ellis allowed one run and struck out five in 4.2 innings.
Roache hit a 420-foot bomb off Walter in the fifth. The homer was his second in as many games and gave Springfield a 9-4 lead.
Thomas hit his second homer of the year and put the Cardinals up 10-4 when he hooked one just inside the left-field foul pole in the bottom of the sixth.
MIDLAND: The RockHounds briefly pulled within a run on Eli White’s second home run of the season in the top of the third … A Brett Siddall single in the top of the fourth scored Sean Murphy with the RockHounds trailing 8-1 … J.P. Sportman hit his first homer of the season in the eighth, pulling Midland within 10-5.
SPRINGFIELD: The Cardinals won their home opener for the first time since 2011, a 9-4 win over Frisco … Helsley allowed four runs on five hits over 4.1 innings, striking out three and walking four … Thomas extended his hit streak to seven games with a single in the third. He’s batting .429 this season.
The RockHounds and Cardinals are scheduled to play Game 2 of this three-game series Friday at 7:10 pm at Hammons Field. Conner Greene (0-1) will start for Springfield. Greene allowed three runs in 1.2 innings in his first start of 2018 in Midland on April 7. Midland will counter with RHP Ben Bracewell (1-0).