The Tulsa Drillers blanked Midland 6-0 Monday night to complete a three-game sweep of the RockHounds at ONEOK Field. The game marked the end of a six-game homestand in which the Drillers compiled a 5-1 record and improved their second-half mark to 12-6. The win allowed first-place Tulsa to increase its lead to two full games in the North Division standings of the Texas League.
The Drillers scored six runs in Monday's win, despite getting only three hits, as they took advantage of five hit batters, four walks and two home runs.
Tulsa jumped to an early lead, scoring a run in the bottom of the first without getting a hit. Leadoff batter Tim Locastro was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. Locastro scored the game's first run on a sacrifice fly from Henry Ramos.
The Drillers used a similar theme in the fourth to double their lead to 2-0. Ramos drew a leadoff walk, stole second base and moved to third when the throw sailed into centerfield. They loaded the bases when Will Smith was hit by a pitch and Blake Gailen drew a walk. With two outs and the bases empty, Midland starter Casey Meisner hit his fourth batter of the night when he struck Quincy Latimore with a pitch to force in Ramos.
Matt Beaty helped the Drillers put the game away in the fifth. With one out, Ramos drew a walk and Peter O'Brien was hit by a pitch. Beaty followed with his 10th home run of the season to up the lead to 5-0.
O'Brien capped the victory with a solo homer in the seventh, his third blast in only four games with the Drillers.
It was the sixth shutout of the season for Tulsa pitchers with 3 of them coming in the past 11 games.
Starting pitcher Eddie Gamboa made his Drillers debut in the victory. The right-hander, who compiled a 1.35 ERA in 7 appearances in the majors with Tampa Bay last year, worked four innings and held the RockHounds without a hit.
Lefthander Colt Hynes followed Gamboa to the mound and worked two scoreless relief innings to pick up the win and improve his record to 6-1. The six wins are the most on the Drillers staff this season.
The five hit batters for the Drillers were one short of a Texas League record that was set in 1922 by Dallas and matched by Jackson in 1999.
Tulsa will have a day off on Tuesday before opening a four-game, road series at Northwest Arkansas on Wednesday night. The pitching matchup for the series opener will Chris Rearick (0-1, 6.43 ERA) for the Drillers against Foster Griffin (6-1, 2.4 7 ERA) of the Naturals. Starting time on Wednesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Arvest Ballpark.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.