John Nogowski and Andrew Knizner hit back-to-back, fourth-inning home runs Thursday, but the Springfield Cardinals could not hold off the RockHounds, losing the season opener 6-5.
Former Cardinals first-round draft pick Jacob Woodford struggled in his Double-A debut, allowing four earned runs in four innings, scattering seven hits and striking out one.
The Cardinals got Woodford off the hook with another two-run rally in the sixth. Granden Goetzman’s triple brought tied the game at 4, and Tommy Edman’s single gave Springfield its first lead of the season.
However, a sacrifice fly and a Skye Bolt double put the RockHounds back in front in the eighth inning, and J.B. Wendelken nailed down the save for Midland.
The opening series continues Friday in West Texas at 7 p.m. Ryan Helsley will make his first start for the Cardinals in 2018.