- The Cardinals got a game-winning RBI single from Jamie Romak in the bottom of the 10th to beat Tulsa 4-3 in the series opener.
For the fifth straight game, the Cardinals struck for the first run of the game. In the bottom of the 2nd with two outs, Jose Garcia scored from second base on an RBI single by Travis Tartamella to give Springfield a 1-0 lead.
Redbirds' starter Carlos Martinez retired the first two batters in the 3rd, but then allowed three straight singles before giving up a two-run single to Mike Zuanich to give the Drillers a 2-1 lead after two and a half innings.
Tulsa added another run in the 5th, again with two outs, as Jimmy Cesario collected an infield single, Nolan Arenado walked and Zuanich doubled down the left field line to score a run making it 3-1.
The Cardinals answered in the bottom of the 5th getting two straight singles from Jose Garcia and Tartamella before pinch hitter Vance Albitz doubled into right center field scoring Garcia to bring Springfield within a run, 3-2. With no one out and the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position the Springfield top of the order went strikeout, strikeout, groundout to keep the Redbirds down a run.
Still down a run into the 7th, Jose Garcia blasted the first pitch thrown by reliever Tim Sexton out to left field to tie the game 3-3.
Kevin Thomas and Deryk Hooker tossed four scoreless innings out of the bullpen to keep the game tied moving into the 10th inning. Keith Butler would throw a perfect 10th.
Springfield had not had a hit since the Jose Garcia homer in the 7th, but Kolten Wong changed that with a two-out single in the 10th inning. After a passed ball moved Wong to second, the Drillers intentionally walked Greg Garcia and Jermaine Curtis was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jamie Romak came up and fell behind in the count 1-2 before hitting a single into shallow left field to score Wong from third to win the game for the Redbirds, 4-3.
The Cardinals will continue their four-game series with the Drillers Saturday night at 6:08. Major League rehabber Jaime Garcia will start for Springfield against Tyler Chatwood of Tulsa.
Saturday, the Cardinals will be giving away 2,500 Red Cardinals Dry-Fit T-Shirts thanks to our friends at Mercy Hospital. Great tickets are still available, so visit the Hammons Field Ticket Office, go online at springfieldcardinals.com or call (417) 863-2143.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.