In the long and illustrious history of the Tulsa Drillers, there has never been a complete game, 9-inning no-hitter thrown by one of the team's pitchers. Thanks to Oscar Taveras of Springfield, that stat remains true beyond Thursday night. Josh Outman threw 8.2 innings of no-hit ball at Hammons Field in Springfield, Missouri but came up just short of a historic night. With two outs and two strikes on the Texas League Player of the Year, Outman threw a breaking pitch that Taveras was barely able to get a piece of to float right past Outman and into centerfield.
The Drillers offense did more than enough to support Outman as they hammered out 12 hits en route to a 9-1 victory.
Outman was brilliant all night keeping the Cardinal hitters off balance and uncomfortable in the batter's box. The lefty had some issues with control at times as he walked 5 but managed to make key pitches to not allow the walks to hurt him. Outman is the third lefty starter for Tulsa this season to come close to throwing a no-hitter. Edwar Cabrera carried a no-no into the ninth inning earlier in 2012 and Nick Schmidt threw six full innings of no-hit ball as well.
Tulsa got all the runs they would need in their first at-bat. Three consecutive singles to begin the game, followed by an RBI groundout, put the Drillers on the board with 2 quick runs. Springfield starter Kevin Siegrist proceeded to walk the next 2 hitters and hit Jose Gonzalez with a pitch to bring in a third Tulsa tally and make the score 3-0.
The top of the order delivered again in the second inning with 3 straight hits. Mike Mitchell tripled and was brought home by an Angelys Nina single. Nina advanced to third thanks to a double by Nolan Arenado in the next at-bat. Mike Zuanich drove in the Drillers 5th run when he reached on a fielding error by the first baseman that allowed Nina to score.
The Drillers next 3 runs all came via solo homers. Chris Pettit blasted his first homerun of the season in the fifth and followed it up with his 2nd homerun of the season, and game, in the seventh. Kiel Roling also contributed a solo homer in the seventh inning, his 11th of 2012.
The final Tulsa run came in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by Arenado that scored Outman. The RBI was Arenado's team- leading 56th.
Outman was treated to a standing ovation by the Springfield fans when he was removed from the game after allowing the base hit to Taveras. Mike O'Neill scored the lone Cardinal run on the Taveras hit after he had walked earlier in the ninth inning. Mike Marbry came in to record the final out and lock down the win for Tulsa.
Outman earned his 2nd win of the year for the Drillers with his outing. His final pitching line was 8.2 innings, 1 hit, 1 earned run, 5 walks and 9 strikeouts.
These two teams will face off one final time before their upcoming playoff series beginning on September 5. A Friday night matchup between Joe Gardner (7-8, 4.18 ERA) and Carlos Martinez (4-3, 2.94 ERA) is scheduled for 7:08PM at Hammons Field in Springfield.
Notes: The last 9-inning no-hitter for the Drillers was on April 18th, 1991 against the Arkansas Travelers at Drillers Stadium....The feat was accomplished with a combined effort from Cedric Shaw (7 inning), Everett Cunningham (1 inning), and Barry Manuel (1 inning).