TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers played their final afternoon game of the season on Wednesday at ONEOK Field, and it ended with a loss to the Springfield Cardinals. The game was a home run battle with six being hit, three from each team. However, Springfield’s blasts included a two-run
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers played their final afternoon game of the season on Wednesday at ONEOK Field, and it ended with a loss to the Springfield Cardinals. The game was a home run battle with six being hit, three from each team. However, Springfield’s blasts included a two-run shot, a three-run homer and a grand slam. The Drillers also got a grand slam but their other two homers were solo blasts, allowing the Cardinals to post a 12-6 victory.
Andy Pages accounted for two of Tulsa’s three homers, hitting a solo drive in the eighth inning and a grand slam in the ninth. The outfielder went 2-5 with five runs batted in and now has 26 home runs on the season.
The Redbirds never trailed in the game after taking an initial 4-0 lead, with most of the early damage coming in a three-run second inning against Tulsa starter Landon Knack. Three singles from Nick Dunn, Chandler Redmond and Irving Lopez produced the game’s first run. With Redmond still at second, Todd Lott hit the first home run of the day, and his third of the season, to give the Cards a three-run cushion.
In the fourth, Redmond walked and eventually scored on a base hit from Lott that upped the lead to four runs.
Lewis got Tulsa on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the fourth when he delivered his 23rd home run of the season, cutting the deficit to 4-1.
Any signs of a pitcher’s duel vanished in the final innings of the game. Springfield erupted for five more runs in the seventh, with the grand slam providing four of them. Jordan Walker singled home the first run before Rodriguez belted his grand slam that gave the Cardinals a 9-1 lead.
Pages hit his first homer in the eighth, while Lopez completed the Cardinals big offensive day with a three-run homer off Tulsa reliever Cole Percival in the ninth.
Springfield reliever Griffin Roberts walked the first three batters in the bottom of the ninth to set the stage for Pages’ slam that capped the game’s scoring.
The 12 total runs were plenty of support for Springfield starting pitcher Logan Gragg. The former Oklahoma State hurler worked 6.2 innings, allowing just one run on seven hits. More impressively, the right-hander walked just one batter while striking out nine.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*Tulsa has now hit four grand slams this season. Lewis, Michael Busch and James Outman have accounted for the other three.
*Knack recovered from the tough second inning and eventually worked 4.2 innings, allowing the four runs on six hits. He walked two batters and struck out three. He was charged with the loss, dropping his record to 2-10. It is the most losses for a Tulsa pitcher since Richard Castillo went 3-12 during the 2014 season when the Drillers were a Colorado Rockies affiliate.
*The season series between Tulsa and Springfield is now tied at ten wins for each team.
*The loss leaves the Drillers with a 68-64 season record. They need one win in their final four games of the regular season to clinch the club’s fifth straight winning season.
The Drillers will continue their series with the Cardinals on Thursday night at ONEOK Field with the third game of their six-game series. Starting time in downtown Tulsa is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and the pitching matchup is slated to be:
Springfield – RHP Gordan Graceffo (6-4, 4.21)
Tulsa - RHP Kyle Hurt (1-1, 3.51 ERA)