Springfield, MO – The Springfield Cardinals shut out the Tulsa Drillers, 8-0, to reclaim sole possession of 1st place in the North Division Second Half Standings before 3,052 fans at Hammons Field on Monday night.
The Cardinals (40-23, 75-58) came out swinging in the bottom of the first inning against RHP Josh Sborz (L, 8-8). Sborz retired the first two batters of the frame, but 3B Jacob Wilson drew a two-out walk to spark the rally. RF Adolis Garcia followed with a single that moved Wilson to second. 2B Bruce Caldwell cracked the scoreless tie with an RBI single through the left side, plating Wilson and sending Adolis Garcia to third. An RBI single from LF Anthony Garcia brought in Adolis Garcia, before an RBI double by C Andrew Knizner scored Caldwell. 1B John Nogowski capped the rally with a two-run single up the middle, scoring Anthony Garcia and Knizner to make it a 5-0 lead for the Cardinals.
After RHP Pedro Echemendia (W, 2-4) wrapped up his third straight scoreless frame, the Cardinals powered further in front in the bottom of the fourth. Leading off the inning, Adolis Garcia belted a fly ball to deep center field. Tulsa CF Johan Mieses attempted a jumping catch at the wall, but the ball bounced off of his glove and over the wall for a solo home run for Garcia, increasing the Cardinals lead to 6-0.
Echemendia kept the Drillers (39-24, 72-61) off the board through his six scoreless innings, allowing just four hits with no walks while striking out five batters.
LHP Corey Littrell picked up right where Echemendia left off with a scoreless top of the seventh, before the Cardinals padded the lead in the bottom of the seventh. Facing RHP Shea Spitzbarth, Wilson laced a base hit to lead off the inning. Adolis Garcia then struck again, belting a two-run blast to right field for his second home run of the game and 12th of the season, widening the gap to an 8-0 lead for Springfield.
RHP Sandy Alcantara dealt a scoreless eighth inning out of the bullpen, followed by a scoreless ninth from RHP Landon Beck to close the decisive 8-0 shutout win for the Cardinals.