TULSA – The Tulsa Drillers snapped a three-game losing streak to Springfield Saturday night, picking up a big win at ONEOK Field in the next-to-last regular season home game of 2021. Michael Busch led a big offensive night with three hits, including two home runs, and six runs batted in
TULSA – The Tulsa Drillers snapped a three-game losing streak to Springfield Saturday night, picking up a big win at ONEOK Field in the next-to-last regular season home game of 2021. Michael Busch led a big offensive night with three hits, including two home runs, and six runs batted in as Tulsa defeated the Cardinal 15-3. After spotting the Redbirds a two-run lead, the Drillers scored 15 straight runs in the win.
Tulsa is currently in fourth place in the Double-A Central, and now just three games behind second-place Frisco with 13 games remaining in the regular season. Only the top two teams will make the playoffs.
For the fourth straight game, the Cards jumped out to an early lead. In the top of the second inning, a two-run homer by Malcom Nunez opened the night’s scoring.
The Drillers answered with five runs in the bottom half of the second. With one out, Devin Mann doubled and Jacob Amaya walked. Kody Hoese singled to load the bases before newcomer Hamlet Marte plated Mann with a sacrifice fly.
James Outman followed with a two-run double that put the Drillers in front. Busch capped the big inning with a two-run homer to give Tulsa a 5-2 lead.
The Drillers continued to add to their lead with three runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth. Six of the eight runs were unearned.
The outburst in the fifth came with two outs and the bases empty. After pinch-hitter Hunter Feduccia singled, Cards’ second baseman Nick Dunn misplayed a ground ball from Outman to extend the inning. The error immediately proved costly when Busch delivered his second home run of the night and his 19th of the season.
The inning continued when Miguel Vargas doubled and scored on a base hit by Justin Yurchak. A run-scoring double by Mann completed the inning with the Drillers holding a 13-2 lead.
Busch’s big night continued in the seventh when he doubled and scored on a sacrifice fly from Yurchak.
Amaya scored Tulsa’s 15th run of the game in the eighth when he tripled and scored on Feduccia’s ground out.
Drillers’ pitcher Bryan Brickhouse was activated from the Injured List to make the start, his first appearance since August 10. Brickhouse worked the first four innings, giving up the two runs on only one hit.
The Tulsa bullpen was outstanding as Mark Washington and Guillermo Zuniga held the Cardinals without a run or a hit over the next four innings.
The Redbirds ended the streak with a run and two hits off Cyrillo Watson in the ninth.
*The Drillers announced a pair of roster moves prior to Saturday’s start. Catcher Marte was added from Oklahoma City, and Brickhouse was activated from the Injured List. Pitcher Bryan Warzek was released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, and catcher Juan Zabala was assigned to Oklahoma City.
*Busch’s big night continued a recent hot streak. In the current series, he now has a 3-hit game and a pair of 4-hit games. For the series, he is 11-20 with 3 homers and 12 RBI.
*Zuniga was credited with the win by the official scorer, improving his record to 7-1. He did not allow a base runner in 2.1 innings. Zuniga has now won seven straight decisions since suffering the loss on opening night of the season.
*Washington allowed just two walks in 1.2 scoreless relief innings.
*Springfield was held without a hit from the third inning through the eighth.
The Drillers will play their final regular season home game on Sunday evening, with a special start time of 6:05 p.m. and a Labor Day Weekend Fireworks Show scheduled for after the game.
Springfield at Tulsa on Sunday, September 5 at ONEOK Field at 6:05 p.m.
The pitching matchup will be Springfield RHP Michael Brettell (1-3, 6.43 ERA) against Tulsa RHP Gus Varland (0-3, 3.58 ERA).