Tulsa and Springfield traded runs early in their game Tuesday night at ONEOK Field, but it was a late run from the Cardinals that decided the game. Pinch-hitter Anthony Garcia, who just returned to the Springfield roster after playing for Puerto Rico in the Pan Am Games, broke a tie game with a run-scoring single in the bottom of the eighth inning, sending the Cardinals to a 6-5 win.
Garcia's game-winning hit spoiled a big night for Drillers third baseman Kyle Farmer. Farmer went 2-4 with three runs batted in, including two on a game-tying triple in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Cardinals opened the game by scoring a pair of first inning runs, but it could have been more. The first two batters of the game reached safely on a base hit and a walk, but a soft liner from Mike Ohlman turned into a double play. Jonathan Rodriguez doubled home the game's first run before scoring himself on a base hit by Bruce Caldwell. The Drillers escaped further damage when Caldwell was thrown out at second on the play.
The Drillers responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first. Ronald Torreyes and Lars Anderson drew walks from Springfield starter Mike Mayers before Farmer plated Torreyes with a base hit. Erisbel Arruebarrena followed with another single, but Anderson was thrown out at the plate attempting to score. Despite losing Anderson on the baes paths, the Drillers took a 3-2 lead when Brian Burgamy and Peter Lavin provided consecutive run-scoring singles.
The Redbirds quickly erased the lead in the top of the second with two more runs. Tulsa starting pitcher Chris Anderson walked the first two batters of the inning, setting up an RBI single from Breyvic Valera that tied the game. Valera eventually scored on a ground out to put Springfield back in front 4-3.
David Washington gave the Cardinals a two-run lead in the sixth when the right fielder hit his 10th homer of the season, a solo shot that made it 5-3.
Tulsa rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Torreyes reached on an error to open the inning, then moved to third when Lars Anderson dropped a double just inside the left field foul line. Farmer brought both runners home to the score at 5-5 when he split the gap in left-center field with his first triple of the season.
Again, it did not take the Cardinals long to retake the lead. With two outs and the bases empty in the top of the eighth, Valera drew a walk from reliever Juan Jaime. Following a wild pitch, Garcia, who was called on to pinch hit for the pitcher's spot, grounded what proved to be a game-winning single into centerfield that brought Valera home to put the Cards back in front 6-5.
The Drillers will conclude their week-long homestand Wednesday night. Deck McGuire (4-2, 2.87 ERA) will make his first start for Tulsa since returning from Triple A. Andrew Morales (4-6, 4.77 ERA) will take the mound for Springfield. First pitch at ONEOK Field is scheduled for 7:05PM.