NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR - A big offensive outburst propelled the Tulsa Drillers to a 8-2 victory over the Arkansas Travelers on Friday night in Little Rock. A three-run homer by Zach McKinstry capped a six-run seventh inning for Tulsa. The Drillers bullpen was very strong, combining for 4.1 scoreless innings.
*J.D. Martin got the start on the mound for Tulsa, and ran into trouble right out of the gate. In the top of the first, he gave up a single, walked three batters, allowed three stolen bases and uncorked a wild pitch. As a result, Arkansas took a quick 2-0 lead.
*Martin found his groove over next three innings. He walked a batter but faced the minimum nine hitters. In the top of the third, Drillers catcher Steve Berman threw out Jake Fraley at third in an attempt to steal.
*The Drillers cut the deficit in half in the top of the fourth when Cristian Santana deposited a single to center, allowing Berman to score from third.
*An inning later, Tulsa knotted things up at 2-2. After three walks loaded the bases, Berman knocked in his first Double-A RBI with a sacrifice fly.
*Tulsa hung a crooked number in the top of the seventh. With the bases loaded, Cody Thomas knocked a run in with a sacrifice fly, and Logan Landon followed with a run scoring single. Zach McKinstry then launched his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to right, bringing the Drillers lead to 7-2. They made the lead 8-2 on a Lux RBI single.
*Michael Boyle and Shae Spitzbarth combined for 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen with nine strikeouts.
HOT AT THE PLATE:
*Omar Estevez has now hit safely in all eight games he has played in this season. He is leading the team with a .417 batting average and has seven RBI.
*Lux has hit safely in all seven games to begin 2019. He has a home run and six RBI to go along with his impressive .424 batting average.
*With two more hits on Friday, Landon brought his average up to .474 on the season. He has appeared in seven games this season (five starts) and is 9-19 with three RBI.
*McKinstry has a very healthy seven-game hitting going. He is hitting .455 on the season with two doubles, two triples and a home run to go along with a team leading eight RBI.
*Jared Walker hit a double to extend his hitting streak to four games. He is batting .391 in eight games.
*The Travelers played Friday's game as Los Diamantes de Arkansas as apart of MiLB's Copa de la Diversion. The Drillers will play as Los Petroleros de Tulsa on May 5 and August 1-2.
*Martin's final line was 4.2 innings, two hits, two earned runs, five strikeouts and six walks.
*Berman was tasked with catching the knuckleballer Martin in his Drillers debut. It did not seem to phase him, as he was 1-3 with an RBI and did not allow any passed balls.
* The win brings Tulsa within two games of the North Division leading Travelers.
UP NEXT: Tulsa at Arkansas, Saturday, April 13, 6:10 PM at Dickey Stephens Park in North Little Rock, AR. RHP Mitchell White (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. RHP Darren McCaughan (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.