- It was Discovery Center Day at Hammons Field as hundreds of kids filled the seats on a gorgeous Monday afternoon.
Out on the mound, Cardinals' pitcher Kevin Thomas looked to help lead Springfield to a win in game four to even the series at two apiece. Thomas, a righty from Texas, was 1- for-6 with a 6.71 ERA going into today's game. He would face Tulsa's Cory Riordan with a 5.42 ERA
A pitching dual for the first two innings was broken up in the top of the third with a lead-off walk from Thomas to Cory Riordan. That took us back to the top of the line-up as Tim Wheeler grounded into a force out at second. Wheeler promptly stole second with two outs. With a 3-2 count, Paulsen jumped on the next pitch singling to right field for an RBI single to give the Drillers the lead, 1-0.
After what would seem to be a harmless fifth inning for Kevin Thomas, shortstop Tommy Field would step to the plate to score the second run of the game with a two out homerun over the left field wall to put the Drillers up by two.
The Cardinals turned things around in the bottom of the sixth with a five-run rally to give them the lead. Thomas started the sixth with a double to right. The hit was his first as a professional. Chris Swauger followed with another double, this one to left, scoring Thomas to put the Birds within one. Ryan Jackson would hit the third consecutive double to right to bring Swauger around the bases, tying the game 2-2. The hitting streak continued with a single up the middle from Matt Adams as Jackson crossed the plate, to give the Cardinals the lead 3-2. A pop up to short from Eric Duncan brought Jermaine Curtis to the plate with two outs. Curtis connected on the pitch from Riordan with a line drive to center to place runners at the corners. Charlie Cutler followed Curtis with a walk to load the bases for D'Marcus Ingram. Ingram came up big at the plate with a line drive single to left, scoring two and widening the lead, 5-2 Springfield going into the top of the seventh.
Lars Davis led the top of the seventh for the Drillers with a solo homerun over the right field wall to put the lead back at two for the Cardinals, 5-3. Erick Wetzel then drew a walk and Thomas was taken out of the game in favor of Nick Greenwood. The lefty got out of the inning with a double play with Springfield still in front 5-3.
After a scoreless 8th from Greenwood, Jorge Rondon stepped out of the bullpen in the top of the ninth looking to finish the game for the Cardinals. He would hit the lead-off batter, Jimmy Cesario, to put the tying run at the plate. A strike out to Davis was followed by a walk to Erick Wetzel, placing runners at first and second. Another strike out from Rondon placed the Birds one out away from the win. With a one ball, two strike count on Tim Wheeler, he would hit a three-run homer just over the left field wall to give Tulsa the lead, 6-3.
The Cardinals would come up short in the bottom of the ninth and Tulsa would take the series 3-1 going into the All-Star break.
Springfield will have two days off before heading south to Frisco, TX to begin a three game series with the RoughRiders at 7:00pm Thursday night. Starting pitchers are to be determined
The Cardinals will return home to Hammons Field Thursday, July 7th for a six-game homestand against the Firsco RoughRiders and Midland RockHounds. Thursday, as always, will be "Buck a Brat" Night featuring $1 Johnsonville Bratwurst all night long! Great tickets are still available by visiting the Hammons Field Ticket Office, online at springfieldcardinals.com or by calling (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.