The Tulsa Drillers four-game road trip to Springfield's Hammons Field began on a losing note Thursday night. The Drillers surrendered runs in each of the first two innings and were limited to only six hits as the Cardinals opened a four-game series with a 6-0 victory. It was the first time this season that Tulsa has been shut out.
After the Drillers were retired in order in the top of the first inning, the Cards wasted little time in getting on the scoreboard. Kolten Wong, who was a first round draft choice by St. Louis last June, singled with one out in the bottom of the inning. Tulsa starting pitcher Dan Houston retired Oscar Taveres on a fly out, but Xavier Scruggs delivered a two-out double that brought Wong home with the game's first run.
Another two-out hit in the bottom of the second doubled the Redbirds' lead. With two outs, Houston walked Springfield pitcher Trevor Rosenthal to put runners at first and second. On a full count, Jose Garcia grounded a ball back up the middle that shortstop Josh Rutledge stopped with a dive, but Greg Garcia, who was running on the pitch, was able to race home with the Cards second run.
Springfield struck for a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Thomas Pham led off with a single, and Greg Garcia followed with his first home run of the year. The drive just cleared the fence in right-center field and increased the lead to 4-0.
The Cards plated two more runs in the seventh off Tulsa reliever Will Harris.
It was more than enough offense for Rosenthal. The right-hander blanked the Drillers through the first six innings, allowing only four singles. He walked three batters and struck out six in winning his first game of the season.
All of Tulsa's six hits were singles. Nolan Arenado and Mike Zuanich accounted for 2/3 of them with two hits each. Arenado raised his average to .375 and has now hit safely in all but two games this season.
Houston was charged with the loss, dropping his record to 1-2. In four innings, he surrendered seven hits and four runs.
The two teams will meet again Friday night in Springfield with first pitch scheduled for 7:08PM. Tulsa Bishop Kelley product Parker Frazier (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will take the mound for the Drillers against Tyler Lyons (0-2, 5.68 ERA) of the Cardinals.