It was a tough week for the Drillers as they finished with three wins against five losses. Tulsa lost four out of five at Springfield before they returned to ONEOK Field to take two out of three against Arkansas. Despite the rough stretch, they are currently just one game behind Texas League North leading Northwest Arkansas.
Last week the team announced that they have reached an extension on their player development contract with the Colorado Rockies. The agreement will allow the Drillers to continue as the Double A affiliate of the Rockies through the 2014 season. “The Drillers are extremely pleased to be able to continue our affiliation with the Colorado Rockies,” said Drillers President Chuck Lamson.
Monday, July 19: Cardinals 6, Drillers 5 – The Drillers took a 5-1 lead into the seventh inning before Springfield pulled within one after a three-run seventh. Tulsa was two outs away from the win before Springfield’s Matt Carpenter belted a two-run walk-off homer to claim the come from behind win. Bronson Sardinha and Wilin Rosario each had two-run homers for the Drillers. Reliever Stu Pomeranz, who gave up the game winning homer, was tagged with the loss.
Tuesday, July 20: Double-header, game 1: Cardinals 8, Drillers 5 – Tulsa jumped out to an early lead thanks to a three-run first inning. Jason Van Kooten blasted his eleventh home run of the season to get the Drillers on the board before Scott Beerer hit a two-out single to center field that drove in Sardinha and Jeff Kindel. The lead lasted for two innings before Springfield scored two runs in the third and fourth to take a 4-3 lead.
The Cardinals broke the game open in the bottom of the fifth with a four-run inning. The Drillers managed to grab two runs in the top of the seventh before the Cardinals sealed the deal. Keith Weiser picked up his seventh loss of the year as he allowed 10 hits and eight runs through five innings.
Double-header, game 2: Cardinals 5, Drillers 4 – A tough day continued for Tulsa as they dropped the second game of their double-header and fourth game in a row. Things started of well for the Drillers, as once again they jumped out to an early lead. With the bases loaded, two walks in the top of the second gave Tulsa a 2-0 lead.
After Springfield posted a run in the bottom of the second, Van Kooten hit a solo homerun to once again put Tulsa’s lead at two. Another walk with the bases loaded in the top of the fourth put Tulsa on top 4-2 before Springfield once again struck last to win. After scoring one run in the fifth, Steven Hill hit pay dirt with a two-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh for the win.
Wednesday, July 21: Drillers 5, Cardinals 3 – For the fourth time in four games against the Cardinals, the Drillers jumped out to an early lead. This time, unlike the previous three outings, Tulsa would hold on to the lead to claim the win. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Rosario cranked his 15th homer of the year to left field, scoring Charles Blackmon and Van Kooten as the Drillers staked a 3-0 lead.
Tulsa added a pair of runs in the seventh inning on RBI singles from pitcher Greg Reynolds and Van Kooten. Springfield narrowed the deficit to two runs late in the game before Chris Malone shut them down in the ninth to pick up his fourth save. Reynolds was credited with the win as he worked six and one-third innings while allowing six hits and one run with seven strikeouts.
Thursday, July 22: Cardinals 13, Drillers 4 – The Drillers were hoping for a better send off in their series finale in Springfield, but the Cardinals had other things in mind. Springfield posted two six-run innings while adding 17 hits as they cruised to the nine-run win. Rosario had two homers on the night to run his season total to 17.
Friday, July 23: Drillers 11, Travelers 10 – A high scoring affair marked the Drillers return home, as they combined with the Arkansas Travelers to score 21 runs and post 21 hits. Arkansas claimed an early lead scoring four runs in the first inning. Tulsa pulled within one run after posting three runs in the fifth inning only to see the Travelers score five in the top of the sixth.
The Drillers battled back, however, scoring five runs in the bottom half of the inning. They would take the lead for good in the eighth inning when three walks loaded the bases. Anthony Jackson scored to tie the game on a passed ball before Blackmon scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
Saturday, July 24: Drillers 6, Travelers 5 – Rosario and Kiel Roling each blasted two-run homers and National League All-Star Troy Tulowitzki was one for four with a double as Tulsa held off Arkansas for a one-run win. The Travelers got on the board first when Nick Gorneault drove in Charlton Jimerson. The Drillers answered right back in the bottom half of the inning when Roling blasted a shot over the center field fence.
Rosario added two runs with his team-leading 18th homer in the sixth inning. Tulsa added two insurance runs in the seventh before Arkansas cut the deficit with two runs of their own in the eighth and adding a Ryan Mount homer in the ninth before Pomeranz retired the final three batters. Cory Riordan picked up his fifth win of the season as he allowed five hits and two runs through seven innings of work.
Sunday, July 25: Travelers 7, Drillers 6 – Arkansas finally got into the win column for the first time in their four-game series with the Drillers thanks to an extra-inning homerun. The Travelers maintained a 6-3 lead through six innings before the Drillers mounted an impressive comeback effort. Jackson drove in Michael Mitchell on a single to center field before Tulowitzki brought in Warren Schaeffer on a sacrifice fly to pull Tulsa within one run.
Roling sent a double to right field in the bottom of the ninth that plated Rosario to tie the game, however, the game would need extra innings when Tulsa stranded three runners. Gorneault would be the hero for Arkansas when he connected on a pitch from Malone in the top of the eleventh and sent it over the right field wall. Tulsa would not be able to rebound, as they went on to strand runners at second and third in the bottom half of the inning.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Drillers will close out their current homestand, facing off tonight with Arkansas before hosting the Northwest Arkansas Naturals in a three-game series that begins on Tuesday. Tulsa will then hit the road for a four-game series at Arkansas followed by a three-game stretch at Northwest Arkansas before returning home on August 6. The upcoming series with Northwest Arkansas is crucial, with Tulsa having a chance to move in front of the Naturals who currently own a one game lead in the Texas League North.
Monday, July 26 vs. Arkansas (Girls night out presented by Indigo Spa and Salon, Belk); Tuesday, July 27 vs. Northwest Arkansas (KRAFT Singles Tuesday night tickets, Reasors two dollar Tuesday presented by KRAFT singles, Pepsi, Frito Lay and 2 News works for you); Wednesday, July 28 vs. Northwest Arkansas Remember Wednesday/ We love the 70’s (presented by 94.1 the sound); Thursday, July 29 vs. Northwest Arkansas Thirsty Thursday/ NASCAR night (presented by The Buzz networks).
Texas League North: Northwest Arkansas (19-10), Tulsa (18-11), Springfield (14-15), Arkansas (11-18).
Texas League South: Frisco (19-10), Midland (16-13), San Antonio (12-17), Corpus Christi (7-22).
Average: Bronson Sardinha (.307). Hits: Jason Van Kooten (75). Doubles: Daniel Mayora, Jason Van Kooten (21). Triples: Anthony Jackson (4). Homeruns: Wilin Rosario (18). RBI: Jason Van Kooten (46).
Wins: Bruce Billings, Keith Weiser (7). ERA: Scott Rice (0.96). Saves: Stu Pomeranz (11). Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (91).
Tickets are available for all upcoming Drillers games are available at the ONEOK Field box office, by calling 744-5901 or online at Tulsadrillers.com.