If Tuesday night's game at ONEOK Field had been a battle of home run derby, Tulsa and Springfield would have battled to a tie. Unfortunately for the Drillers, it was not. In a game where all of the scoring came on home runs, Jake Lemmerman's three-run blast propelled the Cardinals to a 4-2 victory in downtown Tulsa.
The loss was the fifth straight for the Drillers, their longest losing streak of the season. The defeat dropped their season record to 16-21 and left them 4.5 games behind the first-place Redbirds in the North Division standings.
Shortstop Cristhian Adames fields a bouncer during Tulsa's 4-2 loss to Springfield Tuesday night.
(Photo By Rich Crimi)
Tulsa starting pitcher Christian Bergman made one mistake in the game and it helped stake Springfield to a 3-0 lead. Ruben Gotay led off the fourth inning with a ground-rule double, and Chris Swaugger singled to put runners at first and third. Bergman struck out the dangerous Xavier Scruggs, but Lemmerman followed with a drive onto the concourse beyond the left field fence to give the Redbirds a three-run cushion . It was the fourth home run of the season for the shortstop.
The Drillers used a pair of long balls of their own to cut into the deficit. The first came in the bottom of the fourth on Kyle Parker's opposite-field blast. Parker's eighth homer of the year could have cut Tulsa's deficit to only one run, but two pitches earlier, Kent Matthes was picked off first base.
Kiel Roling pulled the Drillers to within 3-2 an inning later when he led off the fifth with his seventh home run of the season. Roling was playing in his first game since May 7 after suffering from a bout of strep throat.
Centerfielder James Ramsey restored the Cards two-run lead with his first home run leading off the eighth inning. Ramsey's homer came in the first at-bat against reliever Cole White who was making his Drillers debut. White had signed a free agent contract with Colorado one day earlier.
Both starters pitched well. Bergman worked seven innings, allowing the three runs on six hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out six. The defeat dropped his record to 2-2.
Seth Blair picked up the win to improve his record to 2-3. He surrendered five hits and two runs over the game's first six innings.
Deryk Hooker worked two shutout innings in relief of Blair, and Michael Blazek pitched around a two-out walk to work a scoreless ninth and record his seventh save of the season.
The Drillers and Cardinals are back in action Wednesday morning at ONEOK Field. Getting the early starts on the mound will be Dan Houston (0-3, 4.38 ERA) for Tulsa and Richard Castillo (2-3, 3.92 ERA) for Springfield. Starting time is scheduled for 11:05AM.