One night after being held to just three runs, the Tulsa Drillers offense caught fire Saturday night as four different Tulsa batters launched a total of six home runs. The home run barrage was more than enough run support for Drillers starter Tim Shibuya and the Tulsa bullpen as the team cruised to a 13-2 victory over the Midland RockHounds.
The six home runs for Tulsa were the most in a game for the Drillers since they launched seven blasts back on July 19, 2011 in a 17-11 victory over the Springfield Cardinals on the road. The six homers also gives the Drillers 104 total blasts struck this year in just 86 games played.
Tulsa leadoff man, Tim Locastro, got the homer barrage started Saturday as he smacked the first pitch he saw over the left field fence in the bottom of the first to put Tulsa up 1-0. The homer was Locastro's fifth of the year.
Midland starter Grant Holmes then struck out two of the next three Tulsa batters, but he gave up a double to Matt Beaty in-between the strikeouts before walking Jose Miguel Fernandez with two outs. That would come back to bite him as Jacob Scavuzzo followed by lining a double to left that plated both Beaty and Fernandez, giving the Drillers a quick 3-0 advantage.
The Drillers would double their lead in the third thanks to a pair of big flies.
Errol Robinson led off the home half of the third with a base hit before he would come home when newcomer Peter O'Brien launched a two-run homer, his first for the Drillers. Scavuzzo then followed two batters later with a solo shot to give Tulsa a 6-0 lead.
That would start a streak of the Drillers scoring in each of the next three innings. They scored a run in the fourth on a Matt Beaty sacrifice fly, a run in the fifth on a leadoff home run from Fernandez, and three more runs in the sixth as O'Brien and Fernandez each hit their second homers of the night. The offensive onslaught gave Tulsa an 11-0 advantage.
Meanwhile, Shibuya continued his dominant pitching ways on the mound. After throwing a complete-game, one-hit shutout his last time out, Shibuya picked up right where he left off. Although he had to work around seven hits over his six innings of work, he did not allow a runner to cross the plate. Shibuya has now allowed just one earned run over his last 27.1 innings of work.
Right-hander Andrew Thurman then came on for Shibuya in the seventh and turned in two shutout innings in his second appearance since being called up from Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.
The Drillers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Scavuzzo and an RBI double by Blake Gailen to take a 13-0 lead.
The RockHounds finally got on the board in the ninth as they scored twice off reliever Karch Kowalczyk on a double and three singles to start the final frame. But Kowalczyk settled down from there as he struck out Richie Martin before getting Branden Cogswell to ground into a game-ending double play.
Shibuya improved his record to 3-0 this season with the victory while finishing the night with a sparkling 1.30 ERA. Holmes took the loss for Midland as his record dropped to 5-9.
The Drillers and RockHounds will continue their series Sunday night. Getting the start for Tulsa will be RHP Josh Sborz (3-6, 4.85 ERA) while Midland will send out RHP Heath Fillmyer (5-2, 3.38 ERA) to oppose him. First pitch at ONEOK Field is scheduled for 7:05 PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.