TULSA, OKLAHOMA (AUGUST 17, 2014) - Joey Gallo smoked his 40th home run of the season with two-outs in the ninth inning to give the Frisco RoughRiders a 6-1 lead and put the final seal on a three-game sweep of the Tulsa Drillers at ONEOK Field on Sunday night.
The 6-foot-5, 225-pound slugger from Henderson, Nevada hit a homer for the second straight night and pulls into a dead heat with Kris Bryant of Triple-A Iowa for the minor league home run lead. Gallo's moon shot off Tulsa left-hander Kraig Sitton is his 19th Texas League long ball, one off the pace set by Corpus Christi's Telvin Nash.
Gallo also becomes the first minor league player with 40 home runs in consecutive seasons since Ron Kittle of the Chicago White Sox organization accomplished the feat in 1981-1982.
With the win, Frisco (73-52; 33-23) finishes its regular season slate against the North Division with a 29-18 record and a 9-2 record against Tulsa. Frisco did not lose at ONEOK Field this season in five games.
Tulsa (61-63; 23-32) is now on a four-game slide and falls to 11-17 at home in the second half of the season.
The 'Riders also finish their six-game road trip with a 4-2 record and a three-game winning streak thanks to the sweep of the Drillers.
The game started on a contentious note when 'Riders skipper Jason Wood was ejected two batters into the ballgame. A fielder's choice groundball from Patrick Cantwell forced out Odubel Herrera at second base. Replay review appeared to indicate Herrera was safe and the disputed call led to Wood's early dismissal from the playing field.
Frisco did not miss a beat and took a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI triple by Nick Williams, who scooped up his first RBI at the Double-A level and now has a double and a triple through his first two games as a RoughRider.
The 'Riders opened the third with three straight singles off Tulsa starter Carlos Hernandez (4-7) and took a 2-0 lead on the 30th RBI of the season for Patrick Cantwell.
Alec Asher (10-11) skillfully protected the lead from atop the pitcher's mound. The right-hander bookended the six-game road trip with a pair of victories and shut out the Drillers over six innings on Sunday night. Asher allowed three hits and no walks with six strikeouts and lowered his ERA to 2.83 this season.
As the Big Cat stifled Tulsa's bats, Frisco methodically built its lead. Teodoro Martinez extended his hitting streak to 11 straight when he doubled home Trever Adams to make the score 3-0 in the sixth.
With two runs scored on the night, Adams moves into sole possession of third on the Texas League leader board in runs with 63 for the RoughRiders.
Herrera led off the seventh with his third base knock of the night and moved to third on a stolen base (his second of the game) coupled with a throwing error on Tulsa catcher Chris O'Dowd. The 'Riders had runners on the corners when Jorge Alfaro hit into a 6-4-3 double play to bring Herrera into score the fourth Frisco run of the contest.
Tulsa managed multiple hits in an inning only once and it led to its only run of the night on an RBI fielder's choice by Jared Simon in the bottom of the seventh.
Trailing 4-1 in the eighth, the Drillers made one last run. Martire Garcia, working for his second straight night, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch to move the runner O'Dowd up to second. Joey Wong then reached on a Gallo error and a passed ball charged to Alfaro moved both men into scoring position.
Erik Hamren relieved Garcia, and the righty retired two straight batters to extinguish the Drillers' flame in the eighth.
The RoughRiders have the day off on Monday, their final off day of the regular season, and return to Dr Pepper Ballpark for a four-game series with the San Antonio Missions that begins Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. Coverage begins with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show at 6:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.