The Tulsa Drillers first-half title hopes suffered a serious blow late Friday afternoon. In the resumption of a game that was suspended by rain Thursday night, the Drillers fell to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals 3-2 in ten innings.
The loss left the Drillers with no room for error if they are to claim the first-half crown. Tulsa must win its remaining two games with Northwest Arkansa to have any hope of winning the division.
The loss in the suspended game was especially painful because the Drillers lost a game they were leading heading into the scheduled final inning for the first time this season.
The game was the second of a doubleheader, and the Drillers carried a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning. The Naturals scored the tying run on an error, and Tulsa missed a good chance to produce a game winner in the bottom half of the seventh. At that point, the game was suspended as thunderstorms hit the downtown Tulsa area.
The two teams resumed play on Friday, picking up action in the top of the eighth inning. The Naturals had chances to score in both the eighth and ninth innings, and the Drillers wasted a leadoff double from Jose Fernandez in the ninth.
Northwest Arkansas pushed across what proved to be the winning run in the top of the tenth. Donald Dewees Jr. led off with a double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With the Tulsa infield in, Humberto Arteaga brought him home with a ground ball single just past a diving Tim Locastro at second.
Sam Selman retired the Drillers in order in the bottom of the tenth to give the Naturals the important victory.
The two teams were scheduled to resume their series with the regularly scheduled game set to begin at 7:05 p.m. Friday night.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.