Eight-Run Seventh Inning Drops Drillers
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers dropped their third straight game to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a 13-4 loss Friday night at ONEOK Field. The Naturals broke open a one-run game with an eight-run seventh inning to post the lopsided victory. It marks the second time in the past
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers dropped their third straight game to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a 13-4 loss Friday night at ONEOK Field. The Naturals broke open a one-run game with an eight-run seventh inning to post the lopsided victory.
It marks the second time in the past 11 days that the Drillers have lost three games in a row.
The night began positively as the Drillers first hit and first run of the game came on the same pitch when Andy Pages delivered his ninth home run of the season in the second inning for a 1-0 lead.
In the span of three pitches, the Naturals took the lead in the third, scoring three runs. Maikel Garcia was the first Northwest Arkansas baserunner of the inning, reaching on a single. He advanced to second base when pitcher Bobby Miller committed a throwing error on a pick-off attempt to first base, and Nick Loftin brought him home with a single on the first pitch he saw. Michael Massey then hit a solo home run on the second pitch of his at-bat to give the Naturals a 3-1 lead.
Brandon Lewis shrunk the margin to one in the bottom half of the third with a solo home run to left.
A lead-off walk helped the Naturals add to their lead in the fourth inning as an attempted inning-ending double play came up short, allowing Seuly Matias to score from third for a 4-2 Naturals lead.
Tulsa continued to battle in its half of the fourth as Ryan Ward reached base with a double, and Leonel Valera hustled out a groundball single. With two outs, James Outman evened the game at 4-4 with a soft fly ball down the left-field line that dropped for a double that scored both Ward and Valera.
Matias helped Northwest Arkansas regain the lead on a solo homer to left center off lefty Jose Hernandez for a 5-4 lead.
The Naturals put the game out of reach against the Tulsa bullpen in the disastrous seventh inning. The inning featured six walks and one hit batter and only four hits. One of the hits was a three-run homer from Garcia.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*The Drillers surrendered five more stolen bases Friday night. Tulsa has given up 79 stolen bases on the season, the most in the Texas League and the second-most in Double-A. Opponents have been successful on 84% of their steal attempts this season.
*Tulsa used a total of seven pitchers in the game.
*Drillers pitchers matched their season-high with nine walks allowed in the game.
* The loss put the Driller 2.5 games back of first-place Wichita as the Wind Surge earned an 8-0 win over the Arkansas Travelers on Friday night.
*Miller threw a season-high 89 pitches on Friday night and matched a season high with seven hits allowed.
*Carson Taylor increased his on-base streak to 12 games with a walk.
*With his hit in the fourth inning, Valera has earned a hit in each of his six games with the Drillers.
*The Drillers wore special Muscogee Nation jerseys based on the award-winning television show Reservation Dogs.
*A sellout crowd of 7,977 watched the action.
The Drillers and Naturals will play the fifth game of their six-game series on Saturday night. First pitch at ONEOK Field is set for 7:05 p.m. and the starting pitchers are scheduled to be:
NW Arkansas – RHP Alec Marsh (1-3, 6.10 ERA)
Tulsa – RHP Clayton Beeter (0-2, 5.40 ERA)