The Springfield Cardinals opened up a crucial five-game home series against first-place Wichita with an 8-2 loss on Tuesday. The Cardinals, which now trail the Wranglers by three games, were trying to make some ground in the East Division race.

The Cardinals couldn’t get anything going against Ryan Baerlocher (3-2), who took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. Mike Jamarillo led off the sixth ininng with an infield single to break up the no-hit bid, but by that time the Cardinals had already dug themselves an 8-0 hole.

Papo Bolivar’s two-run single in the seventh inning accounted for Springfield’s only runs of the game.

Springfield starting pitcher Randy Leek (10-5) was blasted for seven runs on nine hits, a walk and three strikeouts in five innings of work. He allowed four home runs on the night.

Thursday night’s game against the Wranglers will be a special one for the Cardinals. It will be televised on Fox Sports Net Midwest.