Springfield, MO - The Tulsa Drillers capitalized on a 9th inning error to take a 7-6 comeback win against the Springfield Cardinals, before the sellout crowd of 9,799 fans at Hammons Field. It marked the 11th sellout of the season, second-largest crowd of the season and fifth-largest regular season crowd in team history.
The Drillers (32-36, 66-70) jumped in front with a pair of unearned runs in the top of the first inning against RHP Seth Blair. CF Delta Cleary, Jr. started the inning by getting all the way to third base on a missed catch error when LF Starlin Rodriguez couldn't quite reel in a fly ball in left field. He then came home on an RBI groundout by SS Cristhian Adames, cracking the scoreless tie. One out later, 1B Dustin Garneau worked a two-out walk before scoring all the way from first base on an RBI triple by RF Tyler Kuhn, making it 2-0.
The Cardinals (31-37, 64-72) responded in the bottom of the second, starting the frame with four straight hits against LHP Tyler Matzek. 1B Xavier Scruggs led off with a solo home run, followed by three straight singles from RF Stephen Piscotty, C Cody Stanley and CF Adam Melker, loading the bases. 2B Matt Williams then plated Piscotty from third with an RBI sacrifice fly, evening it at 2-2. RHP Seth Blair came up next and attempted a sacrifice bunt. Matzek fielded the ball and tried to get Stanley at third base, but fired the throw down the left field line for an error that allowed Stanley to round third and score for the 3-2 lead.
After the Drillers tied it with an RBI single by Cleary, Jr. in the top of the fourth, the Cardinals opened a brand-new lead in the bottom of the frame. With runners at first and second base and two away, SS Luis Mateo ripped an RBI double down the left field side to bring home CF Adam Melker from second and lift Springfield ahead, 4-3. Afer a walk by Rodriguez loaded the bases with two down, 3B Ruben Gotay knocked a two-run single to increase the advantage to 6-3.
The Drillers countered with two in the top of the fifth, chipping the deficit down to one run. After a base hit and a strikeout started the frame with one on and one down, Garneau connected for a two-run home run over the left field fence, bringing the Drillers back within one run, 6-5.
Blair dealt a scoreless sixth, before a pair of scoreless innings from LHP Justin Wright to keep the Cardinals in the lead. LHP Dean Kiekhefer (L, 0-2) came in for the top of the ninth and retired the inning's first two batters. However, an infield single by Parker and a bloop base hit to right field by Garneau put runners at the corners with two down. Kiekhefer induced a ground ball from Kuhn to first base that would have ended the game, but it just skipped away from Scruggs for an error that continued the game and brought in Parker. With the game tied, pinch-hitting 2B Angelys Nina lined a go-ahead RBI single to center field, bringing in Garneau for the 7-6 lead.
Scruggs placed a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth to get the tying run on, but RHP Mike Solbach (W, 3-1) induced a 6-4-3 double play to close the 7-6 win for Tulsa.
Click here for the complete box score from Saturday's game.
The Cardinals take on the Tulsa Drillers again on Sunday at 6:09pm for the Purina Bark in the Park Game, when all fans can bring their dogs to the game. The night will feature a pregame pet parade, with all fans that bring pets invited to march around the field. To participate in the parade, please arrive at the ballpark by 5:30pm.
The Sunday game will also feature the Purina Pet Food Bowl Mat Giveaway for 2,500 fans. Sunday's game will be a Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday with free ice cream for kids before the game, and then all kids can run the bases after the game. Gates open at 5:09pm.
The Cardinals then wrap up the 2013 Regular Season on Monday with a 12:09pm First Pitch. Monday will feature the Home White Jersey Auction to benefit the Cardinals Youth Initiative. The Home White Jerseys feature two special commemorative patches - the 2012 Texas League Championship Patch and the Stan Musial #6 Patch. The Labor Day ballgame is Fan Appreciation Day, with all fans in attendance receiving a free ticket voucher for a 2014 game.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a Cake Pop Company Birthday Party or ordering Individual Game Tickets right now, call the Front Office at (417) 863-2143 or visit SpringfieldCardinals.com.
Click here for the Cardinals full 2013 Promotional Schedule and to get your tickets right now.
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