Tulsa, OK - The Tulsa Drillers took the series finale from the Springfield Cardinals with an 8-1 win before 6,228 fans at ONEOK Field on Tuesday night.
With just seven games remaining in the 1st Half, the Cardinals trail the Drillers and Northwest Arkansas Naturals by just 1.0 game for 1st place in the North Division. The Arkansas Travelers are in 4th place, just 2.0 games out of 1st.
Cardinals RHP Matt Pearce (L, 5-5) and Drillers RHP Josh Sborz (W, 2-4) dueled back and forth through 4.5 scoreless frames to start, before Tulsa (32-31) swung in front in the bottom of the fifth. C Paul Hoenecke led off with a double, before an infield single from RF Johan Mieses. A sacrifice bunt from Sborz advanced the runners, and then the Cardinals (31-32) intentionally walked CF Tim Locastro to load the bases. SS Erick Mejia, though, came through with an RBI single to right field, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from 3B Edwin Rios. With two on and two down, LF Quincy Latimore placed a two-run single to shallow left field, just out of the diving range of SS Alex Mejia, opening the Drillers lead to 4-0.
The Drillers added to the lead with four more runs in the bottom of the seventh. Facing RHP Blake McKnight, Tulsa loaded the bases with a walk, an intentional walk and an infield single. McKnight gave way to RHP Pedro Echemendia with three on and two down, but 2B Jose Fernandez slugged a grand slam to right field, doubling the Tulsa lead to 8-0.
Springfield got on the board in the top of the eighth inning against LHP Michael Johnson. After C Jesse Jenner started the stanza with a pinch-hit single, INF Casey Turgeon followed with a pinch-hit walk to put two on. A fielder's choice from CF Oscar Mercado retired Turgeon at second, but put runners at the corners with only one down. SS Alex Mejia loaded the bases with a walk, before Johnson was called on a balk that advanced all three runners one base, including Jenner being brought home on the play to get the Cardinals on the board, 8-1.
Johnson, though, worked out of the rest of the eighth with no further damage, before working around a pair of walks in a scoreless ninth, closing the 8-1 win for the Drillers.
Three Bobblehead Giveaways, Dry Fit Shirts, Three Fireworks Shows, Military Appreciation Night and more during June 14 - 25 Homestand
The Cardinals return home for a huge homestand from Wednesday, June 14 - Sunday, June 25. Don't miss any of the fun, including:
-Wednesday, June 14, 5:10pm - Wednesday Night Doubleheader vs. the Arkansas Travelers. Gates open at 4:30pm.
-Thursday, June 15, 7:10pm - Price Cutter & Bar-S Foods Luke Voit Home Run Derby/Batting Champion Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000), Klement's "Buck a Brat" Night. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Friday, June 16, 7:10pm - Six Flags St. Louis Free Kids Ticket Giveaway (1,000 kids under 48 inches), AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks with Animal Songs and Kids Dress Up Like Animals Day. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Saturday, June 17, 6:10pm - Vision Clinic Alex Reyes #1 Pitching Prospect Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000) and Specialty Jersey Auction to benefit Isabel's House. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Sunday, June 18, 4:10pm - Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 3:10pm.
-Monday, June 19, 6:30pm - Monday Night Baseball vs. the Tulsa Drillers. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Tuesday, June 20, 6:30pm - Great Southern Bank $1 Dog Day. Gates open at 5:30pm.
-Wednesday, June 21, 11:10am - Day Baseball, Chamber of Commerce Networking Day and Summer School Discovery Center Science Educational Day. Gates open at 10:10am.
-Thursday, June 22, 7:10pm - American National Dexter Fowler 2008 Texas League All-Star Bobblehead Giveaway (2,000) and Klement's "Buck a Brat" Night. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Friday, June 23, 7:10pm - AM Pyrotechnics Friday Night Fireworks with Songs from Musicals. Gates open at 6:10pm.
-Saturday, June 24, 6:10pm - Mercy Dry Fit Shirt Giveaway (2,000), Infuze Credit Union / Fort Leonard Wood Military Appreciation Night, Military Appreciation Fireworks Celebration and Specialty Camo Jersey Auction to benefit MSU ROTC. Gates open at 5:10pm.
-Sunday, June 25, 2:10pm - Hiland Dairy Ice Cream Sunday and Kids Run the Bases. Gates open at 1:10pm.
For information about becoming a Season Ticket Holder, organizing a Group Outing, booking a 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 complete 2017 Promotional Schedule and to order your tickets right now.
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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.