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Three Home Runs Help Push Naturals Past Drillers

Tulsa shortstop Jacob Amaya makes a throw to first base during Tulsa's loss to Northwest Arkansas Saturday night at ONEOK Field. (Rich Crimi)
July 24, 2021

TULSA - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals scored three runs in the first inning Saturday night and never looked back, adding four more the rest of the way to defeat the Tulsa Drillers 7-2. The loss was the second straight for the Drillers during the six-game series between the two teams

TULSA - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals scored three runs in the first inning Saturday night and never looked back, adding four more the rest of the way to defeat the Tulsa Drillers 7-2. The loss was the second straight for the Drillers during the six-game series between the two teams at ONEOK Field.

The Naturals got three home runs in the game, two from MJ Melendez. They also benefited from an early error that gave them two unearned runs.

BOX SCORE

They came out swinging, opening the game with three consecutive hits. Clay Dungan got it started with a solo home run to right, and Dairon Blanco and Melendez followed with back-to-back singles. Blanco scored when Devin Mann committed a throwing error on a double-play attempt, and Jimmy Govern drove in Melendez on a single to center to give Northwest Arkansas a 3-0 lead.

In the second, Brewer Hicklen drew a leadoff walk. Hicklen quickly swiped second and came into score on a single from Dungan, giving the Naturals a 4-0 lead.

Tulsa starting pitcher Gerardo Carrillo departed after 3.2 innings after giving up four runs, but only two were earned.

The Drillers gained one run back in the fourth when James Outman came across on an RBI groundout off the bat of Stevie Berman, bringing the score to 4-1.

Reliever Bryan Warzek replaced Carrillo and gave up a solo home run to Melendez before loading the bases. Edward Cuello took over and walked the first batter he faced giving the Naturals their sixth run of the game.

Melendez added the final run with his second home run of the night to up the lead to 7-1.

Romer Cuadrado homered in the seventh inning for the Drillers to account for the final run of the game.

THE HIGHLIGHTS

*After earning two wins last series against Wichita, Carrillo was charged with his second loss of the season. He did record six strikeouts in his outing.

*Melendez continued to torment the Drillers, hitting his third and fourth home runs of the series. He has now hit five homers against Tulsa this year.

*Reliever Nick Robertson threw two shutout innings without allowing a hit out of the Drillers bullpen.

*Cuadrado continued his hot streak with two more hits and is now hitting .500 (8-16) in the series.

UP NEXT

NW Arkansas at Tulsa on Sunday, July 25 at 1:05 PM at ONEOK Field.
The pitching matchup will be NW Arkansas RHP Jonathan Heasley (4-1, 3.45 ERA) against Tulsa RHP Michael Grove (0-4, 9.44 ERA)