MIDLAND, TX – The location was changed, but the winning continued for the Tulsa Drillers Tuesday night. In the first game of a six-game series in Midland, Texas, the Drillers ran their winning streak to a season high six straight games with a 7-2 win over the Midland RockHounds. The
MIDLAND, TX – The location was changed, but the winning continued for the Tulsa Drillers Tuesday night. In the first game of a six-game series in Midland, Texas, the Drillers ran their winning streak to a season high six straight games with a 7-2 win over the Midland RockHounds. The victory moved the Drillers another step closer to clinching the first-half title in the Texas League’s North Division.
The win for the Drillers, combined with a crazy loss by Arkansas to Frisco, reduced Tulsa’s magic number over the Travelers to just one. Their magic number dropped to two in order to eliminate Wichita. There are five games remaining in the first half for all three teams.
The starting pitchers dominated the first two innings of Tuesday’s series opener in Midland. RockHounds’ starter Ty Damron set the Drillers down in order in each of the first two innings before Tulsa’s bats came to life in the top of the third.
Abiatal Avelino and Carson Taylor led off the third with consecutive singles before Leonel Valera walked to load the bases. Damron struck out Devin Mann, but James Outman followed with blast that cleared the Midland bullpen in right field and landed on the grass berm for a grand slam homer that quickly gave the Drillers a 4-0 lead. It was the second grand slam of the season for Tulsa and the 15th homer for Outman.
The RockHounds responded with two runs of their own against Tulsa starter Landon Knack in the third. A pair of walks from Knack came back to hurt him when J.J. Schwarz plated both runners with a two-out double that reduced the Drillers lead to 4-2.
Hunter Feduccia promptly made it a three-run margin when he led off the top of the fourth with his 8th home run of the year. Later in the fourth, Carson Taylor singled, moved to third on a double from Valera and scored on a sacrifice fly from Mann that made it 6-2.
The final run of the game came in Tulsa’s eighth inning when Feduccia doubled and scored on a ground out from Valera.
It was more than enough support for Knack and a pair of Drillers relievers. The two runs were all Knack allowed in his five-inning stint.
Ryan Leasure replaced Knack and worked the sixth and seventh innings, retiring all six batters he faced.
Guillermo Zuniga pitched two scoreless frames to complete the win.
The win for Knack improved his season record to 2-4.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*The Drillers had 11 hits in the game compared to just 4 for the RockHounds.
*Taylor led Tulsa with three hits in the game. Outman and Feduccia finished with two hits each.
*The Drillers carried a five-game winning streak into Monday’s series opener after taking the final five games of seven-game set with Wichita. The six straight wins are a season high for the Drillers, topping their five-game streak from May 8-13 against the Wind Surge and the Frisco RoughRiders.
*Arkansas rallied from a five-run deficit against Frisco to force extra innings, but the RoughRiders sealed the win thanks to a three-run homer from Josh Stowers in the top of the tenth inning.
*Tulsa now has a 16-9 road record versus a 21-16 mark at ONEOK Field.
*Leasure recorded his ninth straight scoreless outing. He has not allowed a run since May 26, a span of 8.2 innings.
*The Drillers have now homered in 11 straight games.
*Tulsa could clinch the first-half title with a win on Wednesday night and a Wichita loss.
The Drillers will face the RockHounds in the second game of their six-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at Midland’s Momentum Bank Ballpark. The pitching matchup is expected to be:
Tulsa – RHP Bobby Miller (3-1, 4.60 ERA)
Midland – LHP Hogan Harris (0-1, 1.38 ERA at High-A & 0-0, 0.00 at AA)