SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — If you can walkoff a strikeout, it seemed as if Alex Reyes did so Saturday night.
With his curveball flash-freezing Northwest Arkansas batters all game, twice it nearly looked as if Reyes began walking off the mound split seconds before strike three landed confidently into the mit of Jose Godoy.
The Cardinals top prospect’s rehab start in Springfield couldn’t have been more impressive. Reyes finished with an organization record-tying 13 strikeouts over 7.2 one-hit innings, walking three and not allowing a run in Springfield’s 1-0 win.
Two of Reyes’ three walks came to back-to-back batters in the fourth under a significant rain that briefly fell onto Hammons Field. After both runners were pushed to second and third off a sacrifice bunt, Lane Thomas help Reyes hold the shutout by gunning out Erick Mejia at the plate following a flyout to center.
Reyes retired a game-high 10 in a row after Thomas’ assist.
Over three rehab starts for Class-A Peoria, High-A Palm Beach and Springfield, Reyes has thrown 16 scoreless innings, striking out 31 while allowing just six hits and six walks.
Tyler Lyons, also in town on a rehab assignment, tossed a six-pitch ninth inning to earn the save, striking out one.
The win kept the Cardinals tied for first atop the North with the Tulsa Drillers.
ALL HE NEEDED
Victor Roache homered into some early game storm clouds for the only run the Cardinals would need. The homer was his Texas League leading 13th of the season. No one else in the Texas League has more than nine.
Roache also homered Friday night, making this the third time he’s gone deep in back-to-back games this year.
Reyes’ 13 strikeouts tied Trey Hearns’ record set on May 8, 2009, also against the Naturals. Colton Thomson made his first Double-A appearance, recording the final out of the eighth on one pitch in relief of Reyes. Springfield is now a league-best 15-4 at home.
The Cardinals and Naturals are set for a doubleheader Sunday with Game 1 starting at 4:10 pm.
Make sure your dogs are well rested because Sunday at the ballpark is Purina Bark in the Park & the St. Louis Cardinals Pet Treat Jar Giveaway (2,000). In addition, Sunday is a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases, where all kids receive free ice cream before the game and get to run the bases after.
Sunday is also a Family 4-Pack Theme Ticket Day. For just $44, you get 4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 sodas and 4 Cardinals caps. Head to www.SpringfieldCardinals.com or call 417-863-2143 for tickets.