Springfield, MO - After the Springfield Cardinals led from the top of the first through the top of the eighth, the Tulsa Drillers struck for three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, swiping a 4-3 win from the Cards before 6,025 fans at ONEOK Field on Tuesday night.
The Cardinals (30-32) got off to a quick start, striking for an early run in the top of the first against RHP Christian Bergman. All-Star LF Mike O'Neill singled up the middle to start the inning, and then took second on a sacrifice bunt by CF Adam Melker. All-Star 3B Ruben Gotay brought O'Neill home with a perfectly placed RBI base hit to shallow center, lifting the Cardinals into the 1-0 lead. The Drillers escaped further trouble when RF Chris Swauger crushed a fly ball that looked destined to fly over the left field fence. However, LF Delta Cleary, Jr. made a leaping catch reaching over the wall, not only robbing the home run but then firing the ball back to first base to double up Gotay and end the inning on a phenomenal play.
Springfield plated two more in the top of the fourth. Swauger led off with a single, before 1B Xavier Scruggs reached on an error, putting two on with no outs. 2B Starlin Rodriguez was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for SS Vance Albitz. Albitz came through with an RBI single to left field, plating Swauger and keeping the bases full. After a strikeout, LHP Ryan Sherriff lined an RBI single to left field for his first career RBI and the 3-0 lead for the Cardinals.
Tulsa rallied with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth to get on the board against Sherriff. With one on and two down, RF Kent Matthes kept the inning going with a double. After falling behind in the count, 2-0, the Cardinals intentionally finished the walk to 2B Angelys Nina, loading the bases. 3B Jayson Langfels ripped a grounder just inside the third base line that Gotay dove and stopped, but Langfels beat the throw to first for an RBI infield single to get Tulsa on the board. Sherriff and the Cards got out of the rest of the inning with no further damage and a 3-1 lead.
After Sherriff kept the Cardinals in front through seven innings, the Drillers raced in front in the bottom of the eighth inning. Sherriff's excellent outing came to an end after giving up a leadoff single to SS Cristhian Adames to start the eighth. All-Star RHP Kevin Thomas took over, but All-Star 1B Kiel Roling connected for an RBI double to right-center, making it just a 3-2 Cardinals lead. Thomas then alternated two strikeouts around a walk, handing the ball to All-Star RHP Deryk Hooker with two on and two down. Langfels, though, struck again, blooping an RBI single just inside the shallow portion of the right-field line, tying the game and putting men at the corners. Cleary, Jr. followed with a soft bouncer up the middle for a go-ahead RBI infield single, lifting the Drillers into the 4-3 lead.
Tulsa RHP Juan Gonzalez (S, 1) retired the first two Cardinals in the top of the ninth, but Springfield refused to go quietly. O'Neill and Melker both kept the Cardinals alive with consecutive two-out singles, keeping the game going for Gotay. However, Gonzalez won the battle against Gotay, inducing a game-ending pop up to second base, and Tulsa hung on for the 4-3 win. LHP Isaiah Froneberger (W, 1-2) tossed one scoreless relief inning to register the victory.
Click here for the complete box score from Tuesday's game.
Stan Musial Tribute Jerseys and Allen Craig Bat Giveaway highlight Father's Day Game on June 16
In celebration of the life and career of the greatest Cardinal of them all, Stan Musial, the Springfield Cardinals will be wearing the newly-unveiled Stan Musial Tribute Jerseys during the game against the Tulsa Drillers on Sunday, June 16. The cream-colored jerseys are exact replicas of the St. Louis Cardinals uniforms from 1941, the year that Stan "The Man" played in Springfield before making his St. Louis debut later in the season on Sept. 17.
Every Springfield Cardinal will not only don the tribute jerseys, but the entire team will also wear #6, marking the first time in 50 years that a Cardinal has worn the revered number. During the game, the jerseys will be auctioned off to benefit the Humane Society of Southwest Missouri.
The Sunday, June 16 Father's Day Game also features the Rawlings Allen Craig Bat Giveaway, with 1,250 kids, 15-and-younger, with a paid admission receiving a replica bat of one of the most clutch hitters in baseball! First Pitch is 6:09pm, gates open at 5:09pm.
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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