The Tulsa Drillers lost a close game to the Springfield Cardinals Monday afternoon by a final score of 7-6. The contest, which consisted of two lead changes and two ties, took just under three hours to complete in front of a paid crowd of 4,701. The loss put the Drillers back in a tie with the Cardinals for first place in the Texas League North Division.
Springfield got to Tulsa starter Richard Castillo early when James Ramsey hit a two-run blast to right field after Rafael Ortega reached on a fielding error by Castillo.
The Drillers didn't wait long to tie the game, knocking home two runs on four straight singles with two outs in the top of the second, tying the game at two. Castillo helped his own cause by picking up an RBI on the last of the four consecutive singles.
In the third, the Cardinals again stretched their lead to two runs. Ramsey hit his second two-run homer of the game following a two-out single by Mike O'Neil, making the score 4-2 in Springfield's favor.
Tulsa was able to take the lead for the first time with a three-run fifth inning. With two outs, Christhian Adames singled and was followed by a Tom Murphy double, shortening the Cardinals lead to one. Brian Humphries, in his first game back after missing the last four games while on the inactive (bereavement) list, then hit his second home run of the season to bring home Murphy and give the Drillers a 5-4 lead.
That lead proved to be brief, as Patrick Wisdom hit the Cardinals third home run of the game with nobody on base in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at five.
Joey Wong replicated Wisdom when he hit a solo home run in the sixth, his first of the season and the fifth of the game, to retake a one-run lead for the Drillers at 6-5.
Springfield once again repossessed the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. Ramsey led off the inning with his third hit of the day on a well-hit ball that deflected off of Drillers' reliever Carlos Hernandez. Curt Smith followed with a single to put runners on first and second in front of Wisdom's ensuing double on a deep ball to left field that scored Ramsey and tied the game at six.
Mike Williams brought Smith home on a sac fly, putting the Cards up 7-6.
Unfortunately for the Drillers, this would be the last time the lead changed hands in the game. Springfield relievers Joe Donofrio and Justin Wright held Tulsa scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings, while Dean Kiekhefer retired the side in the ninth to pick up his sixth save of the season.
Harold Riggins led the Drillers with three hits, while Wong and Humphries both had two hits, including a home run for each.
Hernandez picked up the loss for Tulsa while working the sixth and seventh and allowing two runs.