After dropping the first game of a four-game series to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the Tulsa Drillers returned to their winning ways on Thursday night at Arvest Ballpark. The Drillers offense crushed four home runs and pounded out 16 hits, while starter Mitchell White tossed 6.2 strong innings in a convincing 14-3 victory against the Naturals.
The Drillers put the pressure on the Naturals early in the game. In the top of the first, a walk, single and another walk loaded the bases for Tulsa. Naturals starter Emilio Ogando threw a wild pitch that brought home the first run of the game.
An inning later, Drew Jackson led the inning off by crushing a ball over the left field wall for his ninth homer of the year. One pitch later, Keibert Ruiz followed by smashing his eighth home run of the season to put Tulsa on top 3-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Drillers sent 11 men to the plate and produced a slew of runs. After a walk, a single and another walk, Tyler Goeddel knocked in a pair runs with a single. The next batter Errol Robinson smashed a double that resulted in two more runs. Luke Raley then capped the six-run inning off by unloading on a ball that flew over the centerfield wall, and extended the lead to 9-0.
That would spell the end of the night for Ogando.
The Drillers bats continued to stay hot and added a run in each of the fifth and sixth innings. Ruiz led the top of the fifth off with his second homer of the game, one from each side of the plate.
Yusniel Diaz led the sixth off with a double and Will Smith followed with another two-base hit to push the Tulsa lead to 11-0.
Drillers starter White worked into the bottom of the seventh. Through his first six innings, the Naturals got runners to second three times but he did not allow a run to score. After an error and a double, Northwest Arkansas broke through in the seventh with a Corey Toups RBI groundout, but the unearned run would be all that White would allow.
Tulsa kept the scoring going in the top of the eighth. With two outs and runners on first and second, D.J. Peters notched an RBI single. Jackson was then hit by a pitch, and Ruiz continued his big night with a double that brought home two more runs, bringing the Drillers lead to 14-1.
The Naturals went on to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, but it would not be enough as the Drillers took home the 14-3 victory.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Ruiz's second inning home run was his first of the season from the right side of the plate. All eight of the switch hitter's other home runs, including the one from the fifth inning, were hit from the left side.
*Ruiz had 10 total bases in the game and a season-high four RBI.
*Jacob Scavuzzo notched a single in the fourth inning that extended his hitting-streak to 15 games. This is the longest by a Driller since Taylor Featherston hit in 15 straight games in 2014.
*Stetson Allie pitched 1.1 scoreless innings marking his fourth consecutive appearance not allowing a run.
*White's strong game lowered his ERA from 6.24 to 5.50 on the year.
The Drillers will look to start another winning-streak on Friday night when they take on the Naturals in the third game of the four-game set. First pitch at Arvest Ballpark is scheduled for 7:05 PM, and the probable starters will be:
NWA Scott Blewett (4-5, 5.48 ERA)
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.