Tulsa's season-opening road trip moved to Midland, Texas Sunday afternoon, and the Drillers produced their biggest offensive output of the season. Drillers' batters totaled 13 hits and four home runs, including two from D.J. Peters, and defeated the Midland RockHounds 12-7 in game one of a three-game series. It was the first loss of the season for the RockHounds.
Tulsa's big offensive day started early with a three-run first inning against the four-time Texas League Champions. Peters began things with a solo home run on the third pitch of the game, and the red-hot Angelo Mora plated a second run later in the inning with his second triple of the season. Will Smith doubled home Mora to make it 3-0.
The Drillers topped their big first inning with six runs in the top of the second. Mora accounted for half of the runs with a three-run homer, and Mike Ahmad added a two-run double.
The RockHounds did not go away, cutting the lead to 9-5 through five innings, but they would get no closer as a trio of Tulsa relievers closed out the win.
The Drillers improved to 3-1 on the season with the victory and have two games remaining in Midland before returning to ONEOK Field on Thursday for the home opener.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Mora finished 2-4 in the game and is now hitting .667 on the season with five extra-base hits and five runs batted in.
*Peters added his second homer of the day in the sixth inning, another solo shot. The Drillers outfielder finished 2-5 in the victory.
*Kyle Garlick was hitless in his first two games of the season, but he broke out of his mini slump on Sunday. Garlick finished 3-5 with a homer, three runs scored and two runs batted.
*First baseman Connor Joe was 2-3 in the win and has now hit safely in all three games that he has played this season.
*Starting pitcher Devin Smeltzer suffered the same fate as Dennis Santana in the season opener, unable to claim the victory after falling short of five complete innings due to his pitch limit. Smeltzer allowed seven hits and four runs (3 ER) in four innings of work.
*Corey Copping was the benefactor, getting credit for the win after surrendering one run in two relief innings. Five of the six outs he recorded came via strikeouts.
*One troubling, early-season trend continued for the Drillers in Sunday's victory, as Midland pitchers recorded 12 strikeouts. Tulsa batters have struck out at least 10 times in all four games this season.
*Temperature in Midland at the time of first pitch was 92 degrees.
The Drillers and RockHounds will play the second game of their three-game set Monday night in west Texas. Starting time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The pitching matchup will be:
Tulsa RHP Yadier Alvarez (1st Start)
Midland RHP Kyle Friedrichs (1st Start)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.