A sellout crowd of over 8,000 filled ONEOK Field Friday night to watch the final Fireworks Show of the season and to see a pair of major leaguers. The Tulsa Drillers lineup featured Colorado Rockies stars Troy Tulowitzki and Jason Giambi, but the Arkansas Travelers upstaged the headliners by rallying for a 8-2 victory.
The Travelers erased a one-run Drillers lead by scoring seven times over the final four innings. The comeback left Tulsa native Parker Frazier with a disappointing loss, despite another solid outing. Frazier produced the 10th straight quality start for a Drillers starting pitcher.
Tulowitzki and Giambi joined the Drillers Friday to begin what are planned to be four-day injury rehabilitation stints. Tulowitzki, who is recovering from groin surgery, started at shortstop and played the first five innings, doubling in three at-bats. Defensively, he was untested in field, not receiving a single chance.
Giambi is rehabbing from a viral infection and played the first seven innings as Tulsa's designated hitter. He finished 1-3, singling in the first inning and driving in a run in the third with a ground out.
Frazier worked through a difficult first inning, limiting the Travelers to only one run with an assist to catcher Jose Gonzalez. Travis Witherspoon drew a walk from Frazier to open the game, and Paul McAnulty followed with a lined single into centerfield. A fly out by Roberto Lopez allowed Witherspoon to advance to third. With Casey Haerther at the plate, Gonzalez threw out McAnulty trying to swipe second base. The out proved important as Haerther brought Witherspoon home with a base hit, and Brian Hernandez produced another hit. With runners at first and second, Frazier retired Renny Osuna on a grounder back to the mound to keep the score at 1-0.
The Drillers tied the score in the bottom of the second on the strength of a solo home run from Mike Zuanich. It was the right fielder's sixth homer of the season.
Tulsa took the lead with another run in the third inning. With one out, Nolan Arenado lined a single into right field, and Troy Tulowitzki followed with a towering fly ball to the warning track in left field. Leftfielder Drew Heid lost the ball in the twilight skies, allowing the would-be out to become a double for Tulowitzki. Jason Giambi put the Drillers in front 2-1 with a ground out to the shortstop that brought Arenado home.
After allowing the first-inning run, Frazier worked four consecutive scoreless frames before Lopez tied the score in the top of the sixth. The right fielder led off with his 13th home run of the year to even the score at 2-2.
Another long ball in the seventh put Arkansas back in front. With one out and the bases empty, Witherspoon hit his sixth of the season to give the Travs a 3-2 lead.
The Travs put the game away with five runs off reliever Mike Marbry in the eighth inning. Arkansas loaded the bases with one out on a pair of singles and a walk. A two-run single from Heid increased the Travs lead to 5-2.
After another walk to Darwin Perez again loaded the bases, Marbry gave way to Mike Solbach. Solbach walked Witherspoon to force home another run before a fielder's choice grounder and an error plated two more to make it 8-2.
Frazier worked seven innings, allowing nine hits and three runs. He walked three batters and struck out one. The loss dropped his season record to 5-14.
Arkansas starter Nick Maronde improved his record to 3-2 with the victory. The lefthander also pitched seven innings and surrendered the two runs on eight hits. He did not issue a walk while striking out four, including Tulowitzki in the first inning.
The Drillers will now begin their final home series of the regular season Saturday night as the Northwest Arkansas Naturals visit ONEOK Field. Josh Outman (1-5, 4.36 ERA) will work the opener for Tulsa against Justin Marks (3-5, 4.05 ERA) of the Naturals. Starting time is scheduled for 7:05PM.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.