Peter O'Brien has spent time with five different minor league teams this season, but his biggest hit of the year came Tuesday night in Corpus Christi for the Tulsa Drillers. O'Brien broke a tie game with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning to propel the Drillers to a 3-1 win over the Hooks at Whataburger Field.
The win allowed Tulsa to keep pace with Springfield in the second-half pennant race. The Drillers and Cardinals remain tied atop the North Division standings of the Texas League with identical 29-16 records.
O'Brien, who has seen time in the majors with the Arizona Diamondbacks in each of the past two seasons, has played for four different organizations this year. He joined the Drillers last month and has been a key figure in their second-half resurgence.
In Tuesday's opening game of a three-game series, each team scored a run in the first inning, and the game remained tied until the sixth. With one out in the top half of the inning, Kyle Garlick drew a walk. After Jacob Scavuzzo flied out, O'Brien deposited a drive over the left field fence for his eighth home run since coming to Tulsa. The blast gave the Drillers a 3-1 lead, and it would prove to be the decisive hit in the game.
Tulsa starting pitcher Josh Sborz set the Hooks down in order in the bottom half of the sixth before turning things over to the bullpen.
The Hooks threatened in the seventh inning as reliever Layne Somsen allowed a pair of singles and a walk to load the bases with only one out. Lefthander Brian Moran bailed the Drillers out of the jam by enticing an inning-ending, double play grounder from Colin Walsh.
Moran retired Corpus Christi in order in the eighth and got the first out in the ninth. Corey Copping took over for Moran and recorded the final two outs to close out the victory and pick up his 16th save of the season.
Sborz was credited with the win to improve his record to 6-7. Sborz surrendered just the one run on three hits in six innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out six.
Each team was limited to only five hits in the game, and no Tulsa batter had more than one.
The win for the Drillers came in the opening game of a three-game series in Corpus Christi, the second city in an extended, three-city road trip. The Drillers split a four-game series in Little Rock to open the trip.
The second game of the series in Corpus Christi will take place Wednesday night. Andrew Sopko (2-6, 4.46 ERA) will take the mound for the Drillers against Framber Valdez (4-3, 5.14 ERA) of the Hooks. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.