April 14, 2005 - SPRINGFIELD, MO – The Springfield offense finally came alive on Thursday night, as the Springfield Cardinals defeated the Tulsa Drillers by a score of 8-3 at Hammons Field. After scoring just three runs in the first two wins of the homestand, the Cards exploded for eight runs, including six in the fourth inning.
Southpaw Buddy Blair, a Tulsa native, was impressive in just his second start of the year for the Cards. Blair allowed just one run in his six innings of work, as the Cards won their third straight game. Unlike the first two starters in this series, Blair received some big-time run support.
The Cards took the early lead in the first, as Shaun Boyd led off the game with a walk. Tyler Minges singled and then out later, an infield hit by Gabe Johnson loaded the bases. Travis Hanson followed with an RBI single to center field, making it 1-0. On the play, Minges was thrown out at the plate for the second out. But with runners at second and third with two outs, Tulsa starter Zack Parker uncorked a wild pitch scoring Johnson, as the Cards went up 2-0.
Springfield poured on the offense in the fourth inning. Bo Robinson and Kevin Estrada got the inning started with consecutive hits, putting runners at second and third. After an intentional walk to Milko Jaramillo loaded the bases, Buddy Blair dribbled one up the first base line. Tulsa's Javier Cardona fielded the groundball at first, but struggled to make a decision, allowing Blair to reach and a run to score, making it 3-0.
The inning continued as Shaun Boyd knocked in a run with an RBI single, making it 4-0. Minges followed with a sac fly to center field, scoring Jaramillo from third to make it 5-0. Papo Bolivar capped the inning with a three-run blast off the foul pole in left field, as the Cards took a commanding 8-0 lead. For Bolivar, it was his second of the year, and the first home run for Springfield since opening night in Little Rock against the Arkansas Travelers.
Andy Cavazos and Shane Wallace each threw a scoreless frame before turning it over to Nate Cotton in the ninth. Cotton got touched for two runs, but ended the game by getting Jeff Salazar to fly out to left field.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 3-4, while the Drillers fall under .500 for the first time at 3-4. The two clubs will meet in game four of the five-game set on Friday night, as Oscar Alvarez (0-1) will take on Tulsa right-hander Scott Randall (1-0). Game time from Hammons Field on Friday night is at 7:10. Friday night is also Friday night Fireworks Night, thanks to AM Pyrotechnics. Great seats and general admission tickets are still available!
Tickets for all regular season games are on sale now by calling the Springfield Cardinals ticket office at (417) 863-2143, or by visiting www.springfieldcardinals.com. All games are broadcast live on JOCK 98.7 FM and online through the Cardinals website at www.springfieldcardinals.com.