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Drillers Pound Springfield

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The Tulsa Drillers opened a three-game series in Springfield Saturday night by snapping the Cardinals six-game winning streak with a 13-3 victory. Tulsa's big offensive night was highlighted by three hits each from David Kandilas, Chris O'Dowd and Trevor Story. Kandilas' big night included a three-run homer and five runs batted in.

The loss slowed the Redbirds late season push for a Texas League playoff spot. They began the night five games behind Arkansas in the second-half North Division race after picking up four games in the last week and a half on the first-place Travelers. The Drillers will meet the second-half winner in the first-round of the playoffs. There are now ten games remaining in the regular season.

Prior to Saturday's game, Tulsa manager Kevin Riggs announced a pair of roster moves. Starting pitchers Jon Gray and Tyler Anderson were placed on the disabled list, while pitchers Jayson Aquino and Shane Broyles were promoted from Class-A Modesto. The move was made to limit the innings for Gray and Anderson in anticipation of their starts in the Texas League playoffs that will begin on September 3.

Aquino was 5-10 with a 5.40 ERA in 16 starts for the Nuts, while teammate Broyles was 2-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 41 relief appearances.

In Tulsa' big victory in Saturday's game, Springfield actually took a quick lead, opening the bottom of the first inning with three straight hits off Carlos Hernandez that loaded the bases. Hernandez avoided major problems by getting a double play grounder from Jonathan Rodriguez.

The Drillers answered with a three-run second and never looked back. Story opened the inning with a base hit and Jayson Langfels drew a walk. David Kandilas drove home Story with a base hit that tied the score. After Kandials swiped second base, O'Dowd brought both runners home with a two-run single that made it 3-1.

Tulsa added to its lead with single runs in both the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Langfels again drew a walk and again scored on a base hit from Kandilas.

In the fifth, Taylor Featherston delivered his 15th home run of the year. The solo shot upped the score to 5-1.

The Cardinals got one of the runs back in the bottom of the fifth, but the Drillers put the game out of reach with a big five-run sixth inning.

Springfield reliever Dixen Llorens opened the sixth by hitting Jared Simon with a pitch and then issued a walk to Kandilas. Hernandez struck out, but O'Dowd singled home Simon for his third hit and third RBI of the game.

The inning continued after a strange play. Brian Humphries appeared to hit into an inning-ending double play, but a balk was called prior to the pitch, keeping the Drillers at the plate. The balk proved as Humphries plated the seventh run with a sacrifice fly. Featherston, Ryan Casteel and Story followed with three straight run-scoring doubles to up the Tulsa lead to 10-2.

Kandilas capped Tulsa's big night in the ninth inning. Langfels drew his fourth walk of the game, and Simon singled in front of the fourth Double-A homer from Kandilas.

Hernandez, who has suffered from a lack of offensive support at times this season, took advantage of the 10 runs to pick up the win and improve his record to 5-7. The lefthander allowed only 2 runs on 8 hits in 6 innings. The outing actually increased his ERA slightly to 2.76.

Josh Mueller did not allow a hit in two shutout relief inning whiles recording four strikeouts.

The five runs batted in for Kandilas were a season high for a Tulsa batter as were the four walks drawn by Langfels.

The Drillers and Cardinals will play the second game of their three-game series on Sunday at 5:10 p.m. at Hammons Field. Tulsa's Ryan Arrowood (6-0, 4.17 ERA) will make his first start of the season in place of Anderson. Springfield will counter with Kurt Heyer (4-10, 4.63 ERA) in what will be the Drillers next-to-last road game of the regular season.

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