For much of Thursday night, the Tulsa Drillers looked to be cruising to a win in Springfield, Missouri in their road trip finale against the Cardinals. The Drillers eventually got the victory, but it was anything but easy. Tulsa blew a four-run lead, but still escaped with a 5-4 victory at Hammons Field thanks to a tenth-inning home run from Matt Beaty.
Beaty's homer was the fourth of the night for the Drillers and put an exclamation point on a big offensive trip that produced a 6-2 record. Tulsa scored a total of 53 runs in the eight games and hit 14 home runs.
The Drillers took an early lead in Thursday's finale with four runs in the second inning, and they used three of their four home runs to produce it. Johan Mieses led off the second with his sixth home run of the year and his fifth on the road trip to open the scoring.
One out later, pitcher Scott Barlow singled. He came home on Mike Ahmed's two-out homer, his third of the season. The power surge continued as Edwin Rios followed Ahmed with the third homer of the inning. It was the 8th of the year for the third baseman and gave the Drillers a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals got one of the runs back in the bottom half of the second. Jacob Wilson drew a walk from Barlow and moved into scoring position on an errant pickoff throw from the Tulsa pitcher. From there, Wilson scored on a two-out base hit from Jesse Jenner.
It remained 4-1 until the Cardinals used a home run of their own to pull closer. In the bottom of the sixth, Alex Mejia drew a one-out walk from Barlow in front of Anthony Garcia's second home run of the year.
Springfield completely erased the Tulsa lead in the eighth inning. Colt Hynes retired the first two Cards batters of the inning before the Drillers called on Yaisel Sierra from the bullpen. Garcia greeted Sierra with a double, before things unraveled for the Tulsa reliever. Sierra uncorked a pair of wild pitches that allowed Garcia to come home to tie the score at 4-4.
Neither team scored in the ninth, sending the game into extra innings and setting the stage for Beaty to be the hero. Leading off tenth inning, Beaty hit the second pitch from Springfield closer Pedro Echemendia deep over the right field fence for his third homer of the season.
Reliever Layne Somsen, who had just re-joined the Drillers earlier in the day, made sure this lead held. Somsen pitched around a two-out single from Mejia to close out the game and secure the win.
The Drillers now return home for the first time in over a week, and will open a four-game series with the Arkansas Travelers Friday night at ONEOK Field. The pitching matchup for the opener will feature Ivan Vieitez (1-2, 2.93 ERA) for the Drillers against Brett Ash (2-2, 4.63 ERA) for the Travs. Starting time for the News On 6 Friday Night Fireworks game is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.