SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — It feels like recently it’s been the Cardinals opposition that has provided the late-game magic.
On Saturday, it was Springfield’s turn.
The Cardinals scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Northwest Arkansas 5-4 at Hammons field.
The win also ended a 7-game losing streak.
Kevin McGovern made his home debut and got off to a rocky start.
Home runs off the bats of Bobby Witt Jr. and Nick Pratto lifted the Naturals (27-24) to an early lead.
Springfield’s (17-36) Alec Burleson responded with a home run of his own in the third to knot the game back up at 3-3.
Dennicher Carasco then hit the Naturals’ third home run of the game in the sixth inning, putting NWA back on top 4-3.
McGovern would leave later in the inning, finishing with a stat line of 5.2 IP, 7H, 4 ER and 6 Ks in a no decision effort.
“The biggest thing that I am taking away from it is that it’s not any different,” McGovern said before his first home start. “It’s still 60-feet, it’s still the same baseball, still the same strike zone and I know that my team has been with me the past two weeks, so I know nothing is going to change. It’s going to be great having guys supporting me and to have fans, I miss it. I’m excited but hopefully it’s not going to be anything different, hopefully the results stay.”
Nick Dunn provided the fireworks in the penultimate inning, smacking a ball off the wall in right field. The hit scored Nick Plummer and Brendan Donovan while Dunn was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple.
Ramon Santos picked up the win for Springfield improving his record to 3-1.
The two will finish the series on Sunday.