Tulsa Trips Springfield on Friday

The Tulsa Drillers got a terrific pitching performance from starting pitcher Esmil Rogers, taking the opening game of a four-game series, with a 5-1 win over the Springfield Cardinals on Friday night at Hammons Field.

With the victory, Tulsa (22-18) ends the Cards' four-game win streak and pulls to within one game of the Redbirds (23-17) in the North Division.

Rogers (3-1) carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning and was rarely in trouble. Trailing 4-0, Tony Cruz opened the bottom of the fifth inning with a walk, then advanced to third on a double by Tyler Henley, the first hit of the night for the Springfield offense. Rogers got Mike Folli to pop back to the mound, then got Jim Rapoport swinging for the second out. Pinch-hitter Curt Smith was then retired on a grounder to third, as the Cards left both runners stranded.

Springfield finally got to Rogers in the sixth, when Pete Kozma reached on an infield single, then scored on a Mark Hamilton double, making it 4-1.

The Drillers scored a controversial run in the eighth, as Mike McKenry lined a home run down the left-field line. The ball was initially called foul, but was later overturned to make it a 5-1 game. Springfield Manager "Pop" Warner argued the call and was eventually ejected.

Rogers turned the ball over to Ryan Speier in the eighth, after going seven full innings, allowing just one run on three hits. Speier worked a scoreless eighth, then turned it over to Tommy Baumgardner who worked a scoreless ninth.

Cards' starter Brandon Dickson (2-4) was hit with the loss, but didn't pitch badly. Dickson allowed four runs, only two earned, on eight hits over five innings of work.

The Redbirds will look to get back on track on Saturday night, sending Tyler Herron (1-3) to the mound against Tulsa's Andy Graham (1-2). Game time on Saturday is 6:10pm. Don't forget that Saturday is TriWest Military Thunderstick Giveaway and Mid-Missouri Credit Union Ft. Leonard Wood Appreciation Night. Tickets are available for all three remaining games in the home stand, by calling (417) 863-2143 or by visiting springfieldcardinals.com. We hope to see you at Hammons Field very soon...Escape to Cardinals Baseball!

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