Drillers Fall to Cards in Series Opener

Errol Robinson extended his hitting streak to seven games with two hits on Monday night. (Rich Crimi)

By Tulsa Drillers | August 13, 2019 12:05 AM

TULSA - The Tulsa Drillers and Springfield Cardinals were knotted up at 1-1 headed into the top of the sixth inning on Monday night at ONEOK Field. After another solid start by Drillers starter Markus Solbach, the Tulsa bullpen surrendered seven walks and a hit batsman, while the defense committed a couple crucial errors, leading to a 5-2 loss to the Cardinals. It was only the Cards third win in their first 13 games at ONEOK Field this season.

Solbach made his third start of the season for the Drillers and was once again very sharp. The only run Springfield was able to record off the German native came on an unearned run in the top of the fourth.

After a single and an error put runners at first and second, Conner Capel knocked in the first run of the game with an RBI single to put the Cards on top 1-0. Solbach finished the night striking out seven over five innings while allowing only three singles.

The Drillers evened things up in the bottom of the fifth. Errol Robinson and Jared Walker singled to start the inning. Angelo Mora then drew a walk to load the bases, and Connor Wong followed with another walk, plating Robinson and leveling the score at 1-1.

In the top of the sixth, Logan Salow replaced Solbach out of the Drillers bullpen, and things did not go well. After a four-pitch walk and a groundout put a runner in scoring position, Capel struck again with an RBI single to give Springfield the lead.

An inning later, two walks and a hit batsman by Salow led to a Yariel Gonzalez four-pitch bases-loaded walk, giving the Cardinals a 3-1 lead.

Tulsa pulled within one in the bottom of the seventh. Eric Peterson hit a leadoff single, and a couple batters later, Connor Wong was hit by a pitch. Chris Parmelee followed with a clutch single, cutting the Drillers deficit to 3-2.

Springfield put the game away in the top of the eighth. Michael Boyle was in to pitch out of the Drillers bullpen and surrendered a leadoff walk and a single to start the inning. Justin Toerner followed with a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Boyle. The southpaw overthrew Parmelee at first base, allowing a run to score. Lars Nootbaar capped the inning with a sacrifice fly, extending the Springfield lead to 5-2.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Drillers were inches from tying the game. With runners at first and second and two outs, Cody Thomas smashed a line drive deep to right field. Springfield right fielder Toerner raced back to the wall and made a perfectly timed jump to rob a home run from Thomas and preserve the win for the Cardinals.

WHAT YOU MISSED

*Prior to the game on Monday, it was announced that the Drillers swept the Texas League's Player and Pitcher of the Week awards. For the week of August 5-11, infielder Omar Estevez was 10-21 (.476) with four extra-base hits and four RBI, while starting pitcher Leo Crawford made a pair of spectacular starts for Tulsa. In his first Double-A start on August 6, Crawford recorded 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings, and five days later, notched five more scoreless innings while recording seven strikeouts.

*Robinson recorded his fourth-straight multi-hit game and extended his hitting streak to seven games with a pair of singles. Over those last seven games, he is 11-24 (.458).

*Despite leaving the game with a no decision, Solbach is off to a fantastic start at the Double-A level. He has allowed only one earned run in his first three starts (19 IP, 0.44 ERA), has given up only eight hits and has struck out 20.

*Shea Spitzbarth relieved Salow with one out in the top of the seventh, inheriting a bases loaded jam. Spitzbarth came up with two big strikeouts to escape the inning without further damage.

*Stetson Allie struck out a batter in a perfect inning of relief.

UP NEXT: Springfield at Tulsa, Tuesday, August 13, 7:05 PM at ONEOK Field. RHP Alex Fagalde (3-2, 2.05 ERA) vs. RHP Parker Curry (4-5, 2.88 ERA).

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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