The Cardinals had hoped to return to Springfield on a winning note after pounding the Drillers on Monday 5-2, when the Cardinals ended a four-game losing streak behind Oscar Alvarez who pitched six innings allowing just one run on three hits.
Shaun Boyd provided a clutch two-out hit in the seventh, with the Cardinals leading 2-1, Boyd, who had an 11-game hitting streak going at the start of Monday night's game, was called to pinch hit for Alvarez with the bases loaded and two outs. All three men on base scored when Boyd hit a Judd Songster pitch over the head of center fielder Jeff Salazar, giving the Cards a 5-1 lead.
The Drillers managed a run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 5-2 when Josh Kinney came into the game to finish off the last six outs and record his team-leading sixth save.
In Tuesday's loss, Jordan Pals pitched his best game of the season, going six innings and allowing only one run and no walks. Pals retired the first 11 batters in order. It was a pitching duel between Pals and Tulsa's starting pitcher, Jonathan Asahina, until the Drillers scored in the bottom of the fifth to give Tulsa a 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning after Kevin Estrada hit a single, his third hit of the day, off reliever Chris Young, with one out. Estrada then stole second and a walk was issued to Travis Hanson. Papo Bolivar gave the Cardinals the lead when he singled through the right side.
But, it was the eighth inning that did the Cards in as Tulsa scored four runs to beat the Cardinals 5-2, after Reid Gorecki, with Mike Jaramillo at third, struck out in the ninth and Shaun Boyd grounded out to third to end his 12-game hitting streak.
The Cardinals will send Randy Leek (2-0) to the mound against Corpus Christi's Fernando Nieve (1-1) Thursday, in the first game of the three-game series. Game time is 7:10 p.m. and tickets are still available by calling the ticket office at (417)863-2143 or by visiting www.springfieldcardinals.com.
All Springfield Cardinal games are broadcast live on JOCK 98.7 FM and can now be heard online anywhere through the Cardinals website (www.springfieldcardinals.com).
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