Yepez go-ahead HR in 8th gives Springfield Cardinals win, 1st in 616 days
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (Springfield Cardinals/KY3) - After trailing 5-1 and briefly letting a 6-5 comeback and lead slip away, Cardinals left fielder Juan Yepez smashed a leadoff 8th-inning home run to help Springfield (1-2) to a 7-6 win over the Wichita Wind Surge (2-1) on Thursday night at Hammons Field.
The win was the first for the Cardinals in 2021 and the first for the organization overall since August 29, 2019, ending a 616-day stretch due to the cancelled 2020 Minor League season.
The No. 20 prospect in the St. Louis system, Yepez finished 1-for-4 and continued his hot start. Through three games the 23-year-old is 4-for-10.
Cardinals starting pitcher Connor Thomas tossed 5.0 shutout innings in his Double-A debut, striking out five and allowing just five hits and one walk while exiting with a 1-0 lead.
The Wind Surge rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh off Cardinals LHP Jacob Patterson, but Springfield answer with five runs in the bottom half capped by a two-run go-ahead broken-bat single by Cardinals No. 3 prospect Ivan Herrera.
An RBI double by Wind Surge designated hitter Damek Tamscha off Cardinals right-hander Jake Walsh (W, 1-0) pulled Wichita even at 6-6 in the eighth before Yepez’s home run in the bottom half of the inning.
Springfield center fielder Justin Toerner gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the fifth.
Cardinals right-hander Salvador Justo (S, 1) worked out of a jam with runners on second and third with no outs in the ninth.
The Cardinals host the Wind Surge for the fourth game of a six-game series Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Hammons Field. Gates open at 6:05 p.m. Friday’s game is Springfield’s first Friday Fireworks show of the season with fireworks following the final out.
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