It could have been a big week for the Tulsa Drillers, instead it was downright awful. The Drillers, with an opportunity to take over the North Division lead in the Texas League, lost six of seven games to find themselves three games behind the Northwest Arkansas Naturals for the division lead. They could have been sitting in first place, but now they are battling for their playoff lives as they stand just one game ahead of the third place Springfield Cardinals.
Another devastating blow came on Tuesday, when the Drillers lost one of their biggest offensive threats for the season. Add those two things together and the result is a week that the Drillers organization is glad to forget about.
Monday, August 2: Travelers 1, Drillers 0 – Brandon Durden picked up the loss after battling for six innings, allowing one run on six hits while striking out four Arkansas batters. The Travelers scored the only run in the game in the top of the second. Charlton Jimerson led off the inning with a double before he scored the winning run on an RBI-double from Roberto Lopez.
Tuesday, August 3: Naturals 10, Drillers 6 – The Drillers lost not only an important game against Northwest Arkansas, but also lost starting catcher Wilin Rosario for the season to a torn ACL in his right knee. The injury came when Rosario’s knee buckled as he was making a throw during a run down between second and third during the seventh inning. Just one day earlier Rosario was named the Topps Texas League Player of the Month for July.
Tulsa held a 6-1 lead going into the bottom half of the fourth inning, before Northwest Arkansas exploded for nine unanswered runs over the course of the next four innings. Charles Blackmon led Tulsa, going two-for-three on the night, including a double and one RBI. The Naturals cranked four homers, three of which came in the fourth inning outpouring that tilted the momentum in their favor.
Wednesday, August 4: Naturals 3, Drillers 2 – Tulsa dropped it’s fourth straight after holding a 2-2 tie heading into the final inning. A ninth-inning error would make the difference and deny the Drillers a chance to try and steal the win in extra innings. With a runner on second, Anthony Seratelli bounced a ground-ball to the right of first baseman Jeff Kindel. The ball went under Kindel’s glove and trickled into shallow right field, allowing the runner to score the game-deciding run.
Thursday, August 5: Drillers 11, Naturals 6 – Tulsa snapped their four-game skid, exploding for 11 runs on 15 hits while Christian Friedrich notched his third win of the year. Friedrich allowed only three hits and one unearned run while striking out three through six innings of work. Blackmon provided the bulk of the offense for the Drillers with four hits, two homers and six RBI’s. The win moved Tulsa back to within one game of the Naturals with 30 games remaining in the regular season.
Friday, August 6: Cardinals 7, Drillers 3 – Tulsa returned home to ONEOK Field fresh off their big Thursday night win, only to end up on the other side of the coin. Springfield hit four homeruns, including a pair in the first inning, as they went on to claim a four-run victory. Drillers starter Jonnathan Aristil was roughed up for four hits, three runs and three homers through four innings.
Saturday, August 7: Cardinals 10, Drillers 6 – It was another long night for the home team as Springfield exploded for 10 runs on 16 hits to hand Tulsa their second-straight home loss. A three-run fourth inning pulled the Drillers within three runs of the Cardinals, would it would not be enough. Springfield went on to close out the game with three late-inning insurance runs in the seventh and eighth innings.
Sunday, August 8: Cardinals 4, Drillers 1 – Springfield claimed an early, first inning lead and never looked back as they continued to be red-hot against Tulsa. The Drillers’ only run came on Kiel Roling’s tenth homer of the season. Brian Broderick was solid on the mound for the Cardinals, allowing only two hits and one run through six innings of work. Three Springfield relievers combined for three hitless innings to close out the game.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Drillers closed out their four-game homestand with Springfield on Monday and will get back to work on Wednesday after a much needed day off Tuesday for travel. Tulsa will play three at Midland through Friday before a three game series at Frisco beginning on Saturday. The Drillers return home for a six-game homestand on Wednesday, August 18. Just 13 games remain on the home slate for Tulsa in the regular season.
Texas League North: Northwest Arkansas (27-17), Tulsa (24-20), Springfield (23-21), Arkansas (18-26).
Texas League South: Midland (23-20), San Antonio (22-22), Frisco (21-23), Corpus Christi (17-26).
Average: Bronson Sardinha (.364). Hits: Jason Van Kooten, Anthony Jackson (84). Doubles: Jason Van Kooten (24). Triples: Anthony Jackson (5). Homeruns: Wilin Rosario (19). RBI: Wilin Rosario (52).
Wins: Keith Weiser (8). ERA: Scott Rice (0.96). Saves: Stu Pomeranz (13). Strikeouts: Cory Riordan (107).
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.