SPRINGDALE, Ar. — In just his second-career Double-A start, RHP Mike O’Reilly dominated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals with six one-hit innings, striking out nine and helping lead the Springfield Cardinals to the 7-2 win before 6,504 fans at Arvest Ballpark on Wednesday afternoon.
With only one unearned run allowed through his six one-hit frames, O’Reilly improved to 2-0 with a perfect 0.00 ERA through his first two starts and 12.1 innings with Springfield. He did not allow a run or a hit after the first inning, at one point retiring 10 in a row.
After the Naturals (8-17) plated an unearned run in the first, the Cardinals (14-10) raced in front with a six-run outburst in the top of the second against LHP Emilio Ogando (L, 2-2). DH Victor Roache led off with a game-tying solo home run to right field, his third homer in the last three games and seventh on the season. One out later, a walk from SS Edmundo Sosa and a fielder’s choice by 2B Luke Dykstra that led to an error put runners at first and second. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third. A groundout to short recorded the second out of the inning, but SS Tommy Edman worked a walk to extend the frame with the bases loaded. CF Lane Thomas then laced a two-run single up the middle, propelling the Cardinals in front, 3-1. C Andrew Knizner followed with an RBI base hit through the right side, before 1B John Nogowski capped the rally with a two-run double to left, extending Springfield’s lead to 6-1.
O’Reilly made sure the lead lasted through his six innings, retiring 16 of his final 18 batters with just a hit batter and a walk after the opening inning.
Following a scoreless bottom of the seventh by RHP Landon Beck, Springfield extended the lead with an RBI double from Edman in the eighth to make it 7-1.
Naturals 1B Alex Liddi knocked a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, but Beck closed his second inning with the Cardinals ahead, 7-2.
RHP Hector Mendoza took over for the ninth and worked around a two-out walk, nailing down the 7-2 win for the Cardinals.