The Tulsa Drillers had an active week, winning a four game series against the Arkansas Travelers 3-1 on the road after dropping the final two games of a home stand with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. The three wins over the Travelers helped them move a half-game ahead of Arkansas and into third place in the Texas League North.
Monday: Fresh off a 9-0 win over Northwest Arkansas the day before, rain delayed the start of Tulsa’s third game of the four-game series with the Naturals an hour and three minutes. Once things got going Northwest Arkansas lefty Mike Montgomery, the number on draft choice of the Kansas City Royals in 2008, shut down Tulsa to the tune of 7-3. Montgomery allowed four hits and one run while striking out three batters through six innings.
Tuesday: Jeff Francis was solid again in his second rehab start for the Drillers. Through seven innings Francis allowed only six hits while maintaining a shutout. Jeff Kindel cranked a solo shot for Tulsa in the bottom of the sixth to give the Drillers a 1-0 lead.
Northwest Arkansas jumped on Tulsa after Francis departed the game, as Mike Moustakas hit a sacrifice fly that scored Kurt Mertins to tie the game. From there the Naturals followed with three straight run scoring singles to put them on top 4-1. Reliever Louis Coleman pitched three perfect innings, retiring nine straight Tulsa batters and securing the three-run win.
Thursday: Tulsa arrived in North Little Rock to begin an eight-game road stretch. The Drillers held the lead three times before allowing the Travelers to tie the game up and send it into extra innings. Tulsa’s Scott Beerer would make the play of the game in the top of the 12th inning.
Beerer lined a single into left field and kept running when Ivan Contreras bobbled the ball. Beerer safely made his way to second base on the play. Wilin Rosario then doubled to center field to score Beerer and the Drillers held on to win 7-6.
Friday: Tulsa rode the momentum from Thursday’s win to defeat Arkansas 2-1. Daniel Mayora hit a ground rule double to left field in the top of the eighth. Beerer then knocked a single to right field, scoring Mayora and giving the Drillers the lead.
Sean Jarrett struck out four batters while allowing one run and three hits over four and 2/3 innings to get the win for Tulsa.
Saturday: The Drillers picked up their third straight one-run win over the Travelers, winning a 1-0 pitcher’s dual. Mayora’s RBI triple in the top of the eighth inning broke a scoreless tie and proved to be the game winner. Tulsa’s Chris Malone picked up his first win of the season, allowing just one hit and striking out two batters through two innings of relief work.
Sunday: Four was the magic number for Arkansas on Sunday. After waiting through a four-hour rain delay in the fourth game of the series, the Travelers scored four runs to beat the Drillers by one run. Arkansas tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning on a wild pitch by Tulsa’s Scott Rice.
The Travelers secured a 4-3 win in the bottom of the tenth when a wild throw to the plate allowed Carlos Colmenares to score. The play was the fourth error charged to Tulsa on the night.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Drillers head back to Springdale, Arkansas for a four-game set beginning Monday at 7 p.m. Tulsa is 1-3 against the Naturals this season. Tulsa returns briefly to ONEOK Field for a four-game series with Springfield that begins on Friday.
Texas League North: Northwest Arkansas (21-14), Springfield (20-16), Tulsa (15-20), Arkansas (14-20).
Texas League South: Frisco (20-16), Corpus Christi (19-17), San Antonio (17-19), Midland (16-20).
BATTING LEADERS (Minimum of 20 at bats)
Average: Scott Beerer (.273) Hits: Scott Beerer (33) Doubles: Daniel Mayora (9) Triples: Anthony Jackson (2), Jason Van Kooten (2) Homeruns: Ryan Harvey (5) RBI: Jeff Kindel (19).
PITCHING LEADERS (Minimum of 14 innings pitched)
Wins: Bruce Billings (2), Sean Jarrett (2), Andy Graham (2), Keith Weiser (2) ERA: Ching Lung Lo (1.47) Saves: Craig Baker (5) Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (24).
May 21: Fireworks Friday presented by Southern Hills Mariott and STAR 103.3. May 22: Drillers Idol and Rally Appearance presented by Celebrity Attractions, 98.5 KVOO and 1170 KFAQ. May 23: Family FUNday Sunday / Bark in the Park! Presented by The Humane Society of Tulsa, VCA Animal Hospitals and MIX 96.
Tickets are available for all upcoming Drillers games are available at the ONEOK Field box office, by calling 744-5901 or online at Tulsa drillers.com.