SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Yadier Molina’s appearance in Springfield was a spectacle in the purest of forms.
Lines to see the living icon on the first night of a two-day rehab assignment began growing three hours before the game. With all the seats full, crowds gathered on benches, along the fences and on any available blades of grass to watch Molina on their home turf.
In all, a season-high 8,571 fans walked into Hammons Field on Saturday to witness an 11-6 Cardinals win over the Texas League South-leading San Antonio Missions.
Molina played five full innings, as expected. His fourth-inning sacrifice fly put the Cardinals up 4-0 in a game that got to 7-0 before the Missions got on the scoreboard. In the third, Molina was hit by a pitch from Colin Rea, drawing boos from the sea of red.
Saturday’s subplot came in the form of Anthony Shew, the Best Supporting Actor in the evening’s first film in a double feature picture show that included ‘The Sandlot’ played on the video board for fans after the game.
Shew was called up from High-A Palm Beach to Springfield under two weeks ago, and after a pair of road starts, made his Hammons Field debut tonightthrowing to a future Hall of Famer.
And Shew delivered, tossing seven innings of five-hit baseball, striking out four, walking just one and giving up a pair of home runs for the Missions only two runs against the 24-year-old Oregonian.
The North-leading Cardinals improved to 4-1 against the Missions with the win and hold a game lead over Arkansas in the division.
THE LANE TRAIN RIDES ALONG THE BAYOU
There was Molina and there was Shew, but the show didn’t stop with the battery.
Lane Thomas powered two home runs out of the park for his first two-homer game of the season and finished with four RBIs.
And then there’s Louisiana native Stefan Trosclair, who knocked five hits in five at-bats, tying a single-game Springfield hit record held by six other Cardinals and last done by Oscar Taveras on June 4, 2012.
HOW IT ALL HAPPENED
Thomas put the Cardinals up 1-0 with a solo dinger in the first inning. An inning later, Trosclair singled to push that to a 2-0 advantage.
The Cardinals piled on five runs in the fourth, starting with Victor Roache’s 15th homer of the season. Molina’s sac fly made things 4-0 and Thomas’ second homer added three more runs.
Michael Gettys ended Shew’s shutout bid with a solo shot in the fifth and Austin Allen pulled the Missions within 7-2 in the sixth.
A two-run Granden Goetzman double and a sac fly from Roache erased any dreams of a Missions comeback as the Cardinals lead ballooned to 10-2 in the sixth and then 11-2 after Tommy Edman drove in Thomas Spitz in the seventh.
The Missions added four runs off Conner Greene in the eighth, all of which were unearned.
The Cardinals and Missions close their three-game series Sunday night at 6:10pm. Yadier Molina is expected to start and play a full nine innings on Sunday.
Sunday is a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday, where kids receive free ice cream before the game. After the game is Kids Run the Bases.