The San Antonio Missions hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth inning to escape with a 7-6 victory over the Springfield Cardinals on Saturday at Wolff Stadium.
Graham Pauley’s third hit of the night was a solo home run that put the Missions in front 6-5 in the bottom of the eighth. Nathan Martorella followed with another homer, giving the Missions a 7-5 lead and an insurance run they would need.
The Cardinals scored a run in the ninth to make it closer.
The Missions scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a 5-4 lead. Springfield bounced back with a run in the top of the eighth to tie it 5-5.
The Missions’ seventh-inning rally included a two-run homer by Michael De La Cruz and an RBI sacrifice bunt by Ripken Reyes that scored Cole Cummings.
San Antonio starting pitcher Jairo Iriarte didn’t get a decision but had a solid outing. He went five innings and allowed three runs, three hits, two walks and struck out nine batters.
Jason Blanchard pitched two innings in relief, Lake Bachar worked the eighth inning and got the win and Efrain Contreras handled the ninth inning to pick up his fourth save.
The San Antonio Missions managed just five hits in a 4-1 loss to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Saturday at Wolff Stadium.
Jackson Merrill scored the Missions’ only run in the bottom of the eighth inning after the Naturals had a 3-0 lead. Merrill doubled, went to third after walks by Marcos Castanon and Daniel Johnson, and then came home on a passed ball. Merrill is the top prospect in the San Diego Padres organization and made his Missions debut on Friday.
Missions right-hander Jairo Iriarte made his Double-A debut. The 21-year-old pitched the seventh and eighth innings and didn’t allow a run, hit or walk and struck out five batters. Before being promoted, he pitched in 14 games for the high Class A Fort Wayne TinCaps, all starts, with a 3-3 record and 3.10 ERA.
Gabe Mosser also pitched in relief for the Missions in his first appearance after being promoted from Fort Wayne. He started the sixth inning and got two outs before being replaced. He allowed two runs and three hits with no walks and one strikeout. Mosser pitched in five games for the Missions in 2022.
Missions starting pitcher Jackson Wolf had a solid night but took the loss. He completed five innings and gave up one run on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts.