The Tulsa Drillers closed out the first half of the 2015 season Monday night with a win in Springfield. Pitcher Jose De Leon played a big role in the victory, working six quality innings but also picking up a pair of RBI in the 4-3 win at Hammons Field.
With the victory, the Drillers ended the first half with a 30-39 record. The result also moved them ahead of the Cardinals and into third place in the North Division standings.
De Leon's offensive contributions began early in the game. In the top of the second inning, the Tulsa pitcher singled home Jeremy Rathjen with the game's first run. It was De Leon's first professional hit and came in only the second at-bat of his career.
The two teams traded runs over the next several innings. The Redbirds tied the score for the first time in the bottom of the second when Mike O'Neill plated Kyle Hald with a two-out double.
De Leon helped to put the Drillers back in front in the fourth. Adam Law led off with a base hit before eventually scoring on the pitcher's squeeze bunt.
Springfield tied the game again in the bottom of the fourth when Patrick Wisdom singled and scored on a ground out from Alberto Rosario.
Tulsa went back in front in the fifth as Yadir Drake doubled with one out. Drake scored on a sacrifice fly from Jarek Cunningham that made it 3-2.
Former Drillers outfielder Jeremy Hazelbaker tied the game for the third time in the bottom half of the fifth. Hazelbaker's double plated Charlie Tilson to even the score at 3-3.
The Drillers finally went in front to stay in the seventh. Drake doubled for the second time in the game and later came home with Tulsa's fourth run on a base hit by Shawn Zarraga.
The Tulsa bullpen made sure the lead held. Ryan Dennick, who worked a scoreless seventh inning, got the first two outs in the eighth before surrendering a two-out single to Rosario. Ralston Cash, who got the save in Sunday's victory, retired Aledmys Diaz on a fly out to close the inning.
Jeremy Horst worked around a pair of ninth-inning singles to close out the win. For Horst, it was his sixth save of the season.
Each team finished with 12 hits in the game. Drake led the Drillers with three hits, including two doubles, while Law added a single and a double in four at-bats.
Hazelbaker led the Cards' attack with three hits, falling just a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
De Leon improved his record to 2-2 with the win. He allowed eight hits and three runs in his six innings of work.
In Tuesday's second-half opener, the Drillers will send Jeremy Kehrt (4-5, 3.19 ERA) to the mound against Andrew Morales (3-3, 5.67 ERA) of the Cardinals. Starting time at Springfield's Hammons Field is scheduled for 7:10PM.