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 Tulsa Drillers

Cartaya Blast Rallies Drillers Past Cards

July 29, 2023 - Texas League (TL)
Tulsa Drillers News Release

Tulsa Drillers' Diego Cartaya in action
Tulsa Drillers' Diego Cartaya in action
(Tulsa Drillers, Credit: Rich Crimi)

TULSA, OK- The month of July has not been kind to Diego Cartaya, but the Tulsa catcher exacted some revenge Saturday night. Cartaya's two-run homer in the seventh inning was the biggest hit in a late, four-run rally from the Drillers that propelled them to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over Springfield at ONEOK Field.

Cartaya's heroics helped Tulsa snap a three-game losing streak.


The Drillers jammed all of their offensive production on Saturday into that big seventh inning, getting five of their seven hits and scoring all four of their runs.

Neither team generated any kind of offense through the game's first four innings as Tulsa starting pitcher River Ryan and Springfield starter Alex Cornwell carried dual shutouts into fifth.

The Cardinals took advantage of a miscue to plate the first run of the night. Tulsa reliever Tanner Dodson replaced Ryan to begin the inning and hit the first batter before a one-out single by Jose Alvarez put runners at first and third. After a strikeout, Dodson appeared to escape the inning when Noah Mendlinger hit a bouncer toward Jorbit Vivas, but the Tulsa second baseman misplayed the ball for an error that allowed the game's first run to score.

One inning later, the Cardinals made it 2-0. After reaching on a fielder's choice, Jacob Buchberger attempted to steal second base. Cartaya's throw to second was in time, but Buchberger was ruled to have avoided shortstop Austin Gauthier's tag attempt. The safe call proved to be big, because after a strikeout that would have ended the inning, Irving Lopez doubled to plate Buchberger with the Cardinals' second run.

The Drillers had scored just four runs during their three-game skid, and they matched that total in the bottom of the seventh. Jose Ramos led off the inning with a base hit, and after Cornwell retired Yusniel Diaz, Springfield summoned former Tulsa pitcher Jose Martinez from the bullpen.

Imanol Vargas greeted Martinez with a lined double that plated Ramos with the Drillers first run and brought Cartaya to the plate. The catcher worked a full count before belting a Martinez pitch over the Budweiser Terrace in left field for his 13th home run of the season, putting the Drillers in front 3-2.

A two-out double from Gauthier scored Kody Hoese to complete the big inning.

The Drillers had to escape a jam in the top of the ninth to secure the victory. With one out and runners at first and second, Tulsa reliever Braydon Fisher got a possible double-play grounder from Pedro Pages, but the ball skipped past shortstop Gauthier for an error that pulled the Cardinals to within one run.

The error left runners at first and third for Texas League home run leader Chandler Redmond. On a full count, Redmond hit a soft chopper to the left of Fisher. Mendlinger, the runner at third, initially held on the grounder before breaking to the plate. Fisher fielder the chopper and three home to easily retire Mendlinger for the second out.

Fisher then struck out Buchberger to wrap up the win.


*Cartaya entered the game with only nine hits in July and just a .134 batting average in the month. The 13 homers tie Cartaya with Vargas for the second-most on the team.

*It marked the fourth time this season that the Drillers have rallied to win a game when trailing after seven innings. All four rallies have occurred at ONEOK Field.

*The win improved the Drillers' second-half record to 9-17. They now have 4 wins in their past 14 games.

*Relievers Kevin Gowdy, Ryan Sublette and Fisher combined to blank the Cards over the final three innings with each working a scoreless frame.

*Ryan allowed two hits and struck out six in his four shutout innings.


The Drillers and Cardinals will conclude their six-game series on Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field. First pitch is scheduled for the series finale is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are slated to be:

Springfield - RHP Logan Gragg (2-4, 5.35 ERA)

Tulsa - RHP Kyle Hurt (2-3, 3.96 ERA)

Images from this story

Tulsa Drillers' Diego Cartaya in action
Tulsa Drillers' Diego Cartaya in action

(Rich Crimi)

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