Cardinals hold off Maple Leafs

TORONTO – The Hamilton Cardinals built an early seven-run lead and then held off a late Toronto rally to beat the Maple Leafs 8-6 Wednesday night at Christie Pits.

Hamilton led 8-1 after six innings, but the Leafs chipped away with one run in the seventh and four in the eighth. Cards reliever Kelvin Pichardo entered the game and picked up his first save by striking out five in 1.2 innings. He walked one and allowed a hit.

Zackary Gonzalez (1-2) earned the win with four strikeouts in 6.2 innings. He yielded two runs on five hits with a walk.

Jake Foden hit a three-run homer to lead Hamilton's offence. Chris Beer, Laine Renault and Connor Patterson all went deep with solo blasts.

The Cardinals improved to 11-12.

For Toronto (9-15), Jonathan Solazzo homered twice and drove in five. Damon Topolie had the other RBI, and Marcus Knecht went 1-for-3 with two runs.

Marek Deska (1-3) took the loss, giving up seven runs (six earned) on eight hits over four innings. He walked one and struck out eight.