Springdale, AR - The Tulsa Drillers came into Saturday evening's game and looked to notch their third straight win and to get their record back to .500 against the first-place Northwest Arkansas Naturals. And they did just that with another strong pitching performance from Scott Barlow, while Johan Mieses crushing a pair of home runs.
The win brought the Drillers back to 17-17 and to within 1.5 games out of first place in the Texas League North Division.
Tulsa got the scoring started in the top of the second inning with a sharp line drive single by Kyle Farmer. A couple batters later, Mieses hit his fourth home run of the year bringing the Tulsa lead to 2-0. Mieses' bat has been hot as this marked the third straight game in which he has homered.
In the bottom half of the second, Northwest Arkansas ended tying up the game with three straight singles out of Elier Hernandez, Humberto Artega, and Logan Moon bringing the score to 2-2. This would end up being all of the damage that the Naturals would get off of Barlow.
In the top of the fourth, Farmer got his sixth double of the year. Jose Fernandez plated him with an RBI line drive single to center bringing Tulsa back on top 3-2.
After pitching six scoreless innings against Springfield last week, Barlow picked up right where he left off. In his six innings of work on Saturday, he only surrendered two runs on three base hits while striking out eight and walking only one batter.
Mieses kept the scoring in the top half of the seventh, leading off the inning with his fifth home run of the season and his second of the game. This home run would be his fourth in the last three games. This brought the game to 4-2 in favor of the Drillers.
After a couple quick outs in the top of the eighth, the Drillers displayed a nice two-out rally. Farmer got it started with a single to center, his third hit of the game. Jacob Scavuzzo followed him up with a single of his own. Fernandez then doubled to center, scoring both Farmer and Scavuzzo bringing the Drillers lead to 6-2. Mieses then stepped up to the plate and figured that two home runs was not enough. He added to the big night with a double of his own bringing the lead to 7-2. This would be his fourth RBI of the game.
Northwest Arkansas made an attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the eighth. Alfredo Escalera singled to center and Mauricio Ramos homered to cut the deficit to 7-4.
The Drillers offense kept their foot on the gas in the top of the ninth. Tim Locastro led the inning off with a single and Matt Beaty followed that up with an RBI double to bring the Tulsa lead to 8-4. Edwin Rios then flew out to advance Beaty and Farmer walked to put runners on first and third. Scavuzzo then reached on a fielding error by Naturals shortstop Humberto Artega which allowed Beaty to score bringing the Tulsa lead to the final score of 9-4.
Tulsa will look to make it four straight wins and the series sweep in the final game of the four-game set against Northwest Arkansas. Ivan Vieitez (1-2, 2.81 ERA) will take the mound for the Drillers against Matt Tenuta (2-1, 7.61 ERA) of the Naturals. First pitch is scheduled for 2:05 p.m. in Springdale.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.