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Lawlar Reaches Five Times, Sod Poodles Beat Drillers 7-4

Sod Poodles Take 2-1 Series Lead in Tulsa
(John Moore)
August 11, 2023

Tulsa, Okla. (August 10, 2023) – The Sod Poodles took a 2-1 series lead after beating the Tulsa Drillers 7-4 on Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Hits were hard to come by, with the Sod Poodles needing just five hits to score their seven runs while the Drillers were held

Tulsa, Okla. (August 10, 2023) – The Sod Poodles took a 2-1 series lead after beating the Tulsa Drillers 7-4 on Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Hits were hard to come by, with the Sod Poodles needing just five hits to score their seven runs while the Drillers were held to six hits by Amarillo pitching.

Jordan Lawlar drew the first of his three walks to lead off the game in the top of the first. After a wild pitch and a stolen base to put him on third, A.J. Vukovich added to his team lead in RBI by driving in Lawlar as the Sod Poodles took the early lead. Tulsa tied the game in the bottom of the second with a two-out, solo home run.

Amarillo regained the advantage in the next half-inning thanks to the Vukovich/Lawlar combination. After drawing his second walk, Lawlar was able to score from first base as Vukovich hit a double to the right-center field gap. The game would remain in Amarillo's favor until the bottom of the fifth. After a hit batter and single placed runners on the corners against Yu-Min Lin, a sacrifice fly brought home the equalizer. The Sod Poodles once again answered with a run of their own during their next trip to the plate. The first of three Tulsa errors had Tim Tawa standing on second base after a misplay in the left field corner on a fly ball. A passed ball allowed Tawa to advance to third where he was able to score on a sac fly off the bat of Deyvison De Los Santos.

Lawlar then singled, stole second base, and advanced to third on a fly out in the top of the seventh. He was able to score his third run of the game after a wild pitch gave the Sod Poodles a 4-2 lead. The Drillers once again tied the game after a pair of runs came across on just one hit in the bottom of the inning. A hit batter, walk, and balk put both runners into scoring position. A RBI groundout and RBI single evened things up at four runs by the time the seventh came to a close.

Tawa found himself on second base once again to begin an inning - this time with a double in the eighth. Another Tulsa error had runners on the corners before J.J. D'Orazio dropped down a sacrifice bunt to score Tawa. A walk and hit by pitch followed to load the bases for Lawlar. The D-backs' top-ranked prospect added his second hit of the night to give the Sod Poodles a two-run lead and kept the bases loaded. Another Sod Poodles sac fly extended the lead to 7-4 and brought an end to the night's scoring.

Kyle Backhus worked the final two innings on the mound for Amarillo as he picked up his eighth save of the season. The left-hander struck out two in his first inning of work and then allowed a leadoff single in the bottom of the ninth. A double play and his third strikeout of the game helped to seal the win for the Sod Poodles.

Amarillo will go for their third straight win with the chances to secure at worst a series split on Friday night. First pitch for game four of the series is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.


JUST KEEP SWINGING: Jordan Lawlar extended his current hitting streak to nine games after his 2-for-2 night. He also extended his on-base streak to 28 games in the process. His on-base streak is the sixth-longest active streak in the minors and the best in the Texas League. He reached base on all five trips to the plate with three walks and stole his team-leading 33rd base(s) of the season with three on Thursday night. The three steals are tied for the most in a game by a Sod Poodle this year, the fourth time it has been done this season. It was Lawlar's second time this year, and first since June 29th. He scored three times to give himself 77 runs on the year - also tops in the Texas League this season.

OUR SAVIOR: Kyle Backhus picked up his eighth save of the season and his first since July 19th vs. Wichita. He pitched the final two innings on Thursday night while allowing just one hit and striking out three. His eight saves are the most in the D-backs' farm system this season and fourth-most in the Texas League. Since the start of last season, Backus' 14 saves are the second-most in the farm system behind Christian Montes De Oca (16).

RUNS BY A.J.: A.J. Vukovich added another two RBI to give him 78 on the year - most on the team. He is currently tied for fourth-most in Double-A with the third-most in the Texas League. His 78 RBI are the third-most in a single season by an Amarillo player in team history, trailing Leandro Cedeno who had 93 last year, and Stone Garrett who had 81 during the 2021 season.

FIVE OR FEWER: The five hits by Amarillo on Thursday was the 18th time this year being held to five or fewer hits and the first since July 21 vs. Wichita.

SCORIGAMI: All three games so far in this series have ended 7-4. Through the first 105 games of the season, only one previous time this year had the same score happened in back-to-back games. That came back on April 21-22 when the Sod Poodles suffered consecutive 5-0 losses on the road in NW Arkansas.