SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Oh, what a night.
Connor Jones spun a web of pop-outs, groundouts and strikeouts that created 6.1 beautifully efficient innings of no-hit baseball. Sure, that web got popped by a single to right in the seventh, but Jones patched that up with two quick outs to cap a huge performance with 4,070 fans watching at Hammons Field.
Jones' effort stuck Springfield on the right end of a much-needed 3-1 win over the Drillers that not only meant the Cardinals avoided a four-game sweep at home, but that they pull within one game of the division-leading Naturals and Travelers with Arkansas coming to town Wednesday.
In all, Jones tossed a season-high seven innings in a season-high 96 pitches, allowing just that single hit and a single walk that disappeared in the shadow of six strikeouts and a zero in the run column.
Tulsa created a bit of a scare in the ninth when they loaded the bases with one out against Estarlin Arias and Colton Thomson.
After Thomson walked in the Drillers first run, Yeison Medina got and answered the call, inducing a popout to second and lineout to left for his second save of the season.
ALL THEY NEEDED
Three runs in the third off Drillers starter and Dodgers No. 3 prospect Mitchell White was plenty for Cardinals pitching.
Victor Roache ended a three-inning pitchers duel with a single into left that brought Lane Thomas in from second. A couple pitches later, Chris Chinea hit a rocket that made its way over the left-field fence quicker than it got to the plate, putting the Cardinals up 3-0.
After quickly falling behind 2-0 to Granden Goetzman, White was pulled from his start after 3.2 innings.
The Cardinals go to bed Tuesday one game behind the Travelers and Naturals in the 1st-Half race with six games remaining.
Northwest Arkansas beat Arkansas 7-4 on Tuesday to pull into a tie atop the North.
In many ways, Springfield controls its own destiny with Arkansas coming to town for a four-game series starting Wednesday night. The Cardinals took three out of four from Arkansas in the only other series between the two at Hammons Field.
Northwest Arkansas stands in the way of that destiny thanks to their one-game lead over the Cardinals and because the two teams don't play again until the 2nd-Half.
The Drillers are now two games back. Springfield closes the 1st-Half with games on Sunday and Monday in Tulsa.
The Cardinals and Travelers open a key four-game series Wednesday night in Springfield with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 pm.
Wednesday is a Purina Woof Wednesday at the ballpark, meaning all Baseball Loving Dogs are invited to watch the game they love with their best friend. One owner ticket equals free entry for your Very Good Boy/Girl.
The Cardinals C.A.R.E. Pet Supply Drive is also Wednesday. Anyone who donates one of the requested items listed on www.SpringfieldCardinals.com may purchase a $1 ticket to Wednesday's game for each item donated.
All fans are encouraged to come out in their favorite jersey on Wednesday for 'Wear Your Favorite Jersey Wednesday.' Jerseys can be from any sport, not just baseball.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.