Drillers Top Cards for Third Straight Win
TULSA - The Tulsa Drillers upped their winning streak to three straight games Monday night by claiming a 6-4 series-opening victory over Springfield at ONEOK Field. The Drillers twice had to overcome deficits to get the win. A three-run sixth inning provided the winning margin.
The two teams traded runs and the lead in the second inning. In the top half of the second, the Cards plated two runs to go in front, but the Drillers responded with three runs in the bottom of the frame. Keibert Ruiz led off with a base hit, and Carlos Rincon followed with a double. Logan Landon singled in Ruiz, and starting pitcher Edwin Uceta did the same with Rincon. The fifth hit of the inning, a single from Omar Estevez, scored Landon to give Tulsa a 3-2 lead.
The Cardinals evened the score in the fourth on an RBI double by Rayder Ascanio.
Tulsa missed an opportunity in the bottom of the fourth to retake the lead in the back-and-forth game. With two outs and the bases empty, Estevez walked and Cristian Santana lined a hit into the right field corner. Cards right fielder Lars Nootbaar injured himself pursuing the hit, and was limping as he retrieved the ball near the foul line. Despite Nootbaar's troubles, the relay throw home was in time for Cards catcher Brian O'Keefe to tag out Estevez and keep the score tied.
The Redbirds went back in front with a run off reliever Edward Paredes in the sixth inning. O'Keefe led off with a base hit, and Yariel Gonzalez doubled him home.
As they did in the second, the Drillers had an immediate response with their second three-run inning. Errol Robinson led off the bottom of the sixth with a single, stole second and scored the tying run on a double by Cody Thomas. Zach McKinstry singled home Thomas to put Tulsa back in front before scoring himself on another hit from Santana, giving the Drillers a 6-4 lead.
It would be the final lead change of the night as relievers Nolan Long and Victor Gonzalez held the Cards without a hit or a run over the final three innings to protect the lead and close out the win.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*The Drillers are now a perfect 7-0 this season against the Cardinals at ONEOK Field. They have a 13-6 record overall against the Redbirds.
*Santana wasted little time in extending his hitting streak to nine straight games when he singled in the bottom of the first inning. The longest streak for a Tulsa player this season is 13 games by Carlos Rincon. Santana led a 12-hit offensive attack with three hits in the game.
*Uceta's second-inning single was his third hit of the season. The Tulsa pitcher is now 3 for 7 on the season (.429) with 2 runs batted in.
*Gonzalez worked a perfect ninth inning to pick up his first-ever professional save.
*Drillers batters finished a combined 6-12 with runners in scoring position.
*Thomas picked up his team-leading 50th RBI with his sixth-inning double.
UP NEXT: Arkansas at Tulsa, Tuesday, July 9, 7:05 PM at ONEOK Field. RHP Alex Fagalde (1-1, 0.71 ERA) versus RHP Parker Curry (1-3, 3.79 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.