TULSA - The Tulsa Drillers completed a three-game sweep of Springfield Wednesday afternoon with a 4-1 victory at ONEOK Field. DJ Peters gave the Drillers an early lead with a two-run homer, and starting pitcher Victor Gonzalez and the Tulsa bullpen made sure the lead held.
The result keeps the Drillers in the hunt for the first-half title in the Texas League's North Division, in pursuit of first-place Arkansas. The Drillers have now won five of their past six games and open an important four-game set with the Travelers Thursday night in downtown Tulsa.
Peters got the scoring started in Wednesday's victory with his eighth home run in the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, Zach McKinstry singled. Peters followed with a fly ball that just cleared the left field wall, out of the reach of a leaping Conner Capel, to give Tulsa a 2-0 lead.
The Cardinals used a long ball of their own to cut the lead in half in the fourth when Zach Kirtley led off with his first-ever home run at the Double-A level to make it a one-run game.
The score remained the same until the seventh inning when the Drillers added a pair of additional runs on only one hit. Two walks and another hit by McKinstry loaded the bases with one out. Peters drew a walk to force in the first run before a wild pitch brought in the second to increase the Tulsa lead to 4-1.
It was the fifth series this season between the Drillers and Cards, and four of them have been sweeps. Tulsa owns three of the sweeps, while Springfield swept one three-game set at Hammons Field last week.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Both starting pitchers were deserving of a win. Tulsa's Gonzalez scattered 7 hits to allow just 1 run in 5.2 innings. He walked just one batter while striking out five. For Springfield, Austin Warner went six complete innings, surrendering the two runs on five hits while striking out three. It was the first Double-A win for Gonzalez.
*McKinstry has now hit safely in seven straight games after going 3-4. In his seven-game streak, he is hitting .400 (12-30). It was McKinstry's second three-hit game of the season and both have come during his current hitting streak.
*Three relievers combined to close out the win, blanking the Cards for 3.1 innings in support of Gonzalez. Ryan Moseley came on with one-out in the sixth and recorded four outs. Andre Scrubb struck out the side in a scoreless eighth inning, and Jordan Sheffield worked a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up his first-ever Double-A save.
*Wednesday's game marked the final meeting of the first half between the two teams. Tulsa finished with an 11-4 first-half record against the Redbirds, including a perfect 6-0 mark at ONEOK Field.
UP NEXT: Arkansas at Tulsa, Thursday, June 6, 7:05 PM at ONEOK Field. RHP Nabil Crismatt (1-4, 2.95 ERA) vs. LHP Dustin May (2-4, 4.18 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.