Road victories have been rare for the Springfield Cardinals this season, especially against the Tulsa Drillers at ONEOK Field — until the past two nights.
For only the second time this season and first against a Texas League North Division team, the Cardinals are leaving an opponent’s ballpark with a series victory.
On Wednesday night, Angel Rondon allowed one run over 6 ⅓ innings and had a two-run single for his first pro hit to lead Springfield past Tulsa 8-4 before a crowd of 4,029.
Tulsa (47-42 overall 10-10 second half) had won seven in a row over Springfield (39-51, 9-11) at ONEOK Field before Tuesday, but an uncharacteristic six errors in the two games led to two losses for the Drillers. The Cardinals are 27-17 at home, but they have the Texas League’s worst road record at 12-34.
Tulsa made it a little exciting by scoring three runs with two outs in the ninth on Zach McKinstry’s two-run double and Errol Robinson’s RBI single before right fielder Justin Toerner ended the Drillers’ 3-4 homestand by going over the wall and falling into the Tulsa bullpen to rob Cody Thomas of a two-run home run.
Three Drillers errors, several bloop hits and Cardinals using their speed made it a tough night for veteran knuckleballer J.D. Martin (2-7), who was charged with six runs (four earned) over five innings. Rondon, 21, improved to 4-1 after starting the season with Single-A Palm Beach, where he was 5-1. He gave up six hits, didn’t issue a walk and struck out five.
Tulsa used outfielder Logan Landon to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.
Springfield all-star outfielder Dylan Carlson had three hits for the second straight night after returning from the Futures Game. Rayder Ascanio also had three hits for the Cardinals.
Carlson set the tone in the first inning when he led off with an infield hit, stole second base and came home after a pair of groundouts.
Tulsa matched that run in the bottom of the first as McKinstry led off with a single, hustled to second on Robinson’s flyout and scored on Cristian Santana’s single that extended his hitting streak to 10 games.
The Cardinals scored twice in the second. Toerner walked, stole second and scored on Zach Kirtley’s double. Ascanio’s bloop single drove in Kirtley.
In the third, Springfield’s Jose Godoy was hit by a pitch with one out, and Yariel Gonzalez reached base on second baseman Robinson’s error. Toerner’s single loaded the bases. Kirtley’s sacrifice fly scored Godoy.
Ascanio led off the fourth with an infield hit. Carlson flared a one-out single that advanced Ascanio to third. Michael Perri’s infield hit sent home Ascanio. Carlson scored on Godoy’s groundout that eventually turned into a double play as Perri was out at the plate trying to score.
In the seventh, Rondon drove in Pinder and Ascanio with a broken-bat single. After another infield hit by Carlson, Perri had a bad-hop single, but a baserunning snafu ended the inning.
The Cardinals lost four baserunners, but Rondon’s pitching and hitting made that irrelevant.