Sunday just wasn't Tulsa's day. Cardinals' starter Scott McGregor held the Drillers hitless through the first six innings and Springfield's offense pounded out16 hits en route to a 12-1 shellacking at Hammons Field. The 11-run loss, which equaled Tulsa's worst defeat of 2013, drops the Drillers to 14-15 on the season.
McGregor stymied Drillers hitters from the get-go in this one. The Cardinals right-hander struck out six, walked three, and allowed no hits over six innings to record his fourth victory of the season in dominating fashion.
On the other side, Drillers' starter Chad Bettis endured his worst outing to date in the loss, allowing seven runs (five earned) on eight hits in 4.1 innings of work.
After two scoreless frames, things started heading south for Tulsa in the third. With one out in the inning, Tommy Pham's two-run single to center field put the Cardinals on top. Ruben Gotay then followed with a base hit to right, setting up a two-run double by first baseman Matt Adams, on rehab assignment from the big leagues.
Springfield stretched its lead to five in the fourth when shortstop Jake Lemmerman came in to score on an arrant pickoff attempt by catcher Dustin Garneau. With runners on the corners and two away, Pham broke for second. Garneau, in an attempt to lure Lemmerman down the line, faked a throw to second before uncorking a wild throw towards third base that ended up in left field.
Things got worse for the Drillers in the fifth. Catcher Audry Perez became the last Cardinals starting position player to reach base in the ball game, lining a one-out single to center field to score Adams and Starlin Rodriguez to make it a seven-run game.
Kyle Parker broke up the Cards no-hitter in the seventh, doubling to right off reliever Ramon Delgado before being stranded at third base to end the inning. Parker has hit safely in nine of his last ten games.
The Cardinals added insult to injury in the later innings. Pinch hitter Vance Albitz belted a two-run double off the wall in left center in the seventh to stretch Springfield's lead to nine. Then in the eighth, Rodriguez doubled home two and Xavier Scruggs followed with an RBI single to make it 12-0 Springfield.
Tulsa was able to breakup the shutout with two outs in the ninth, thanks to back-to-back doubles by Kent Matthes and Angelys Nina. But it was too little much too late.
The Drillers will try to turn things around on Monday night as they return to Hammons Field for game three of the four-game series with Springfield. Tulsa's Tim Gustafson (0-2, 9.74 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season against left-hander Anthony Ferrara (2-2, 3.00 ERA).
First pitch is scheduled for 7:09PM.
Fans can follow the Drillers by tuning to AM1430, The Buzz in Tulsa for the live play-by-play. The broadcast will also be available at TulsaDrillers.com, or through the I Heart Radio app or website.