July 16, 2008

MiLB ... AA-Springfield edges Tulsa with ninth inning rally

TULSA--The Springfield Cardinals were in Tulsa again tonight to take on the Drillers.

Adam Daniels got the start for the Cards while Kip Wells took the mound for the Drillers. For Wells, this was his second rehab appearance. The Colorado Rockies are planning on calling him back to the Bigs to go back into their rotation for the second half of the major league season.

The Cards would draw first blood, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Isa Garcia singled home Mark Shorey, who had doubled to lead off the inning, then advanced to third on a Matt Pagnozzi ground ball to the right side.

Jon Jay singled to start off the third, then stole second, his tenth of the season. Will walked Cody Haerther. Andrew Brown then singled, loading the bases. Mark Shorey hit a sacrifice fly to right field, Jon Jay tagging up and scoring the Cards' second run, making it 2-0.

The Drillers made up the two runs in the bottom of the third, Troy Tulowitzki leading off with a single up the middle. Daniels asked for trouble then, walking the next hitter. He managed a strikeout, but the Drillers' Tony Blanco doubled to right field, scoring both base runners to tie the game at 2-2.

The Cards went down in order the the fourth, as did the Drillers.

In the fifth, Springfield's Haerther reached on an infield single, but the Cards could making nothing out it.

Tulsa attempted to make something out a fielding error by Mark Shorey, Tulowitzki reaching to start the bottom of the fifth. Tulowitzki advanced on a sacrifice bunt, but remained at second while Jon Jay collected a fly ball for the second out in center. Daniels walked Blanco, then chucked a wild pitch that permitted both base runners to scamper up a base each. Daniels then walked another Driller to load the bases, and the Cards worked a force out, second baseman Casey Rowlett to shortstop Tyler Greene at second base to end the threat.

Springfield went down in order in the top of the sixth.

The Drillers failed to take advantage of an Isa Garcia throwing error in the bottom of the sixth. Springfield's Scott Vander Weg came on in relief to get Tulowitzki to fly out.

The Cardinals wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the eighth, using a pinch-hitter in the process for Vander Weg.

Marco Gonzalez faced the Drillers in relief in the bottom of the eighth, getting promptly greeted by a leadoff double. A sac-bunt moved the base runner to third with one out in a game that had been knotted up at 2-each for several innings. Another textbook baseball play, a sac-fly this time, the base runner at third tagging up and scoring the go-ahead run, making it 3-2. Pagnozzi killed the rally by throwing out a base runner attempting to steal second.

Down a run in the ninth, it was do or die for Springfield. With one out, Greene drew a walk, advancing to second on a Jay line drive single to left. Haerther struck out and the Cards were down to their last out. Andrew Brown was hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Shorey, who lined a single to center. Green and Jay scored, putting the Cards up 4-3.

The Cardinals brought Fernando Salas on in relief of Gonzalez, the Drillers challenging him as they had the other relievers, singling with the leadoff batter. After a fly out, Salas played with fire by walking a man, putting base runners on first and second with one out. Salas made up for the walk with a strikeout, then threw a fly out to finish off the Drillers for the save, his 16th, the Cards nipping the Tulsa team 4-3.

Gonzalez (4-0) got the win.

Shorey went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.

Jay went 3-for-5, scoring two runs.