Drillers lose fourth straight

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Updated: 5/13/2013 10:59 pm Published: 5/13/2013 10:57 pm

The Tulsa Drillers were hopeful that a change in opponents would help them end a three-game losing streak Monday night at ONEOK Field. That hope quickly disappeared with an early offensive showing from the Springfield Cardinals. The Redbirds scored at least one run in each of the first five innings and handed Tulsa its fourth straight loss with a 10-4 victory.

The four consecutive defeats match a season high for the Drillers. The loss leaves them with a 1-4 record just past the midpoint of a 9-game homestand.

The game got off to an ominous start as Tulsa starting pitcher Tyler Matzek labored through a 40-pitch first inning. A base hit and three walks gave the Cardinals a quick 1-0 lead, and an error by Matzek on a bouncer back to the mound produced a second first-inning run.

The Drillers also got on the board in the first inning. Leadoff batter Rafael Ortega tripled deep into the right-center field gap against Tim Cooney, who was making his Double A debut. Cristhian Adames followed with sacrifice fly to make it 2-1.

Cooney helped get the run back in the top of the second in his first professional at-bat. The pitcher led off with a double and eventually scored on a grounder off the bat of former big leaguer Ruben Gotay.

In the third, Xavier Scruggs led off with his 10th home run of the season to up the Redbirds lead to 4-1.

Tulsa was able to edge closer in the bottom of the third as Ortega led off with a base hit and raced home on a triple from Adames. One-out later, a run-scoring hit from Kyle Parker pulled the Drillers to within 4-2, but that would be as close as they'd come.

The Cardinals put three more runs on the board in the fourth inning, ending Matzek's night. They added two more in the fifth off reliever Josh Mueller, who was making his Drillers debut.

The Drillers added their fourth and final run in the bottom of the sixth as Parker led off with his second hit of the game and later scored on a double play grounder.

Springfield tacked on a final run in the ninth off Isaiah Froneberger to complete the scoring.

Matzek suffered through his worst outing of the season and was charged for the loss. The lefthander surrendered nine hits and seven runs in 3.2 innings.

Parker Frazier was the only Tulsa hurler not to allow a run. Frazier kept the Cards off the scoreboard in the seventh and eighth innings.

Springfield totaled 17 hits in the game, a season high for a Tulsa opponent. The Drillers defense was also charged with three errors.

Tulsa was shorthanded in the loss. Infielder Henry Wrigley, who suffered a leg injury in Sunday's loss to Arkansas, underwent an MRI Monday afternoon and is likely unavailable for the remainder of the homestand.

Both benches and bullpens emptied at one point in the contest. Following the third out in the bottom of the fourth, Tulsa manager Kevin Riggs and Gotay engaged in a conversation, resulting in players from both teams rushing onto the field.

The Drillers will look to snap their four-game skid in game two with the Cardinals Tuesday night at ONEOK Field. The pitching match-up will feature Christian Bergman (2-1, 3.18 ERA) for Tulsa against Seth Blair (1-3, 8.10 ERA) of Springfield. Starti ng time is scheduled for 7:05 pm.

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