SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Any doubts about the Cardinals bringing home their first four-game sweep of the season pretty much disappeared after an inning, and the rest were wiped clean by Randy Arozarena’s bat and Austin Warner’s arm.
The Cardinals put up three runs before an out was recorded Wednesday night, Arozarena finished with a pair of home runs and Warner tossed seven shutout innings in a 10-6 Springfield win over the Naturals in front of 3,997 fans at Hammons Field.
The win secured the third sweep of the season for Springfield and the first at home since a three-game sweep of the Naturals in late April.
Springfield’s four-game winning streak is the longest since taking four in a row from May 24-27 while visiting Corpus Christi and San Antonio.
The Cardinals came a home run short of a team cycle in the first inning before an out was even recorded.
Tommy Edman led things off with a walk and a steal of second, immediately followed by a run-scoring double from Randy Arozarena. The Cardinals lead grew to 2-0 a batter later when Evan Mendoza tripled off a ball into the right field corner and then immediately to 3-0 courtesy of a John Nogowski single.
Warner easily held onto that lead in his fifth and best Double-A start. The lefty didn’t allow a run over seven innings, striking out five to four hits and three walks.
UNLOADING ON ‘EM
The Cardinals put 10 runs on the Naturals for the second time in the four-game set and scored 37 in total in the series.
Nogowski made it 4-0 when his sacrifice fly scored Arozarena in the third. In the fourth, a solo homer from Johan Mieses pushed the lead to 5-0. Arozarena showed up again in the fifth with a solo shot of his own for a 6-0 Cardinals lead.
Two innings later, two-run homers from Arozarena and Lane Thomas pushed the gap to 10-0.
The Naturals scored all six of their runs off Cardinals reliever Ramon Santos in the eighth and ninth innings, including top-ranked Royals prospect Khalil Lee’s first Double-A home run.
ROZIE’S BIG NIGHT
Arozarena put up or tied career highs in runs with four and homers with two, finishing 4-for-4 with a double, a single and four RBIs to go with dingers.
Springfield has won 22 of its last 28 games at Hammons Field against the Naturals since the start of the 2017 season, including a stretch of 14 in a row between May 20, 2017 and April 26, 2018.
The Cardinals hit the road Thursday for a four-game series with the Arkansas Travelers with tomorrow’s first pitch set for 7:10pm.