It has been a tough season for Tulsa pitcher Josh Outman, but Tuesday night the lefthander showed that it might be turning around. The veteran of parts of four major league seasons allowed only two hits in six shutout innings as the Drillers defeated the Springfield Cardinals 7-0 at ONEOK Field. The result ended the Cards seven-game winning streak.
The shutout performance from Outman is a positive sign. After joining the Colorado Rockies in an off-season trade with the Oakland A's, the 27-year-old was a strong candidate to be a member of the Rockies' starting rotation before a strained oblique delayed the start of his season. After a rehab stint, the lefthander struggled in 15-game stint with Colorado in the majors.
There was no such problem in his outing on Tuesday. After needing 41 pitches to get through the first two innings, Outman settled in and kept the Redbirds scoreless. In his six innings, he allowed only two walks in addition to the two singles. He registered four strikeouts and threw a total of 94 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Springfield starting pitcher Scott Gorgen matched Outman through the first three innings before Tulsa right fielder Kent Matthes struck in the bottom of the fourth inning. Matthes hit a hanging breaking pitch from Gorgen over the Budweiser Terrace Section in left field. The solo home run completely left ONEOK Field on one bounce and gave the Drillers a 1-0 lead.
Tulsa opened up its lead with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth. The inning began when Matthes drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Tim Torres.
Justin Wright took over for Gorgen and was greeted by another double from Lars Davis that upped the Drillers lead to 3-0. After Warren Schaeffer was hit by a pitch, pinch-hitter Angelys Nina brought Davis home with a base hit. A sacrifice fly from Jimmy Cesario capped the big inning as Schaeffer scored to give Tulsa a 5-0 lead.
The Drillers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth when Corey Dickerson doubled with two out and Cesario hit his second home run of the season.
Zach Simons worked two scoreless innings in relief of Outman, and Josh Williamson pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to close out the game as the Redbirds were held to only four total hits.
The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Tulsa pitching staff and fourth at ONEOK Field.
For Outman, the victory evened his Drillers record at 1-1, while the six shutout innings lowered his ERA to 3.38.
Offensively, Dickerson, Cesario, Davis and Torres led a 10-hit attack with two hits each.
Game three of the four-game series between the two teams will be played at 7:05PM Wednesday night. The pitching matchup in downtown Tulsa will feature Dan Houston (7-8, 3.54 ERA) for the Drillers against Richard Castillo (5-2, 2.78 ERA) of the Cardinals.