Tulsa, OK – The Springfield Cardinals closed the nine-game road trip with an 8-5 win against the Tulsa Drillers before 5,578 fans at ONEOK Field on Thursday night.
Back-to-back wins to wrap up the series split in Tulsa bump the Cardinals (21-18) back into sole possession of 1st place in the North Division First Half Standings, one game in front of the Drillers (20-19).
The Cardinals pounced on RHP Mitchell White (L, 0-1) to take the lead in the top of the first inning. With one away, 3B Ramon Urias and RF Randy Arozarena knocked consecutive singles to reach base. CF Lane Thomas then worked a walk to load the bases, before an RBI walk from LF Victor Roache forced in Urias for the game’s first run. SS Edmundo Sosa bounced a ground ball to third, which was fielded by 3B Connor Joe who fired home to try to retire Arozarena. However, Joe’s throw sailed a bit and dragged C Keibert Ruiz off home plate, enabling Arozarena to score for the 2-0 lead.
An RBI double from Urias in the second made it a 3-0 lead, before Tulsa shaved it down with an RBI double from pinch-hitting OF Peter O’Brien in the bottom of the third, making it a 3-1 Cardinals lead.
Springfield padded it back out in a hurry, batting around with five runs in the fourth. With the bases loaded and one away, Urias drove in the frame’s first run with an RBI sacrifice fly, plating 1B Chris Chinea. Arozarena came up next and was hit by a pitch, reloading the bases. Thomas worked an RBI walk, forcing home 1B Luke Dykstra from third, before LF Victor Roache cleared the bases with a three-run double, opening the Cardinals lead to 8-1.
Greene kept the Drillers bats in check with scoreless work until the seventh, when RF Luke Raley powered a three-run home run to shave the Tulsa deficit to 8-4.
Facing RHP Estarlin Arias in the bottom of the eighth, 3B Connor Joe sent a solo shot to left field, bringing the Drillers within three runs, 8-5.
Arias, however, responded to the home run with six straight outs, closing the 8-5 win for the Cardinals with perfect work the rest of the way.