Drillers take Hounds to the pound
TULSA (KFAQ) - Tulsa Drillers starter Christian Bergman was tremendous in his start last Friday, tossing a 104-pitch complete-game shutout against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. In Thursday's series finale with the Midland RockHounds, Bergman lost his shutout a mere four pitches into the game. But just because he allowed a run, it doesn't mean he delivered a bad performance.
Bergman limited the RockHounds to just two runs through seven innings for his 15th quality start of the year, and the Drillers came through with a big four-run sixth inning behind him as they went on to complete the series sweep with a 4-2 win at ONEOK Field.
Tulsa extended its winning streak to a season-high six games with the victory. In addition, the club improved to 24-23 on the second half, which puts it above .500 for the first time since July 3 (7-6).
The Tulsa win coupled with Arkansas' loss at San Antonio moves the Drillers within one game of the Travelers in the North Division standings.
Bergman limited the RockHounds to six hits in the outing to notch his seventh win of the year. The Texas League All-Star struck out five and issued no walks.
Midland's Zach Neal out-dueled Bergman for five innings before Tulsa's four-run sixth. He was saddled with the loss after allowing seven hits in seven innings, while striking out five and walking one.
RockHounds leadoff man Conner Crumbliss took three straight pitches, a strike and two balls, to begin the game. He then unloaded on the fourth, sending his eighth home run of the season over the visitor's bullpen and onto the grass berm in right field.
Midland struck for another run when Max Muncy took Bergman yard to leadoff the fifth. The towering big fly to right was Muncy's first in his 25th game since being promoted to Double-A. The first baseman from Baylor hit 12 homers in 93 games with the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports.
Tulsa finally broke through in the home half of the sixth, scoring four runs on four hits to turn the tables on Midland. Delta Cleary Jr. walked to lead off the inning and advanced to third when Tyler Kuhn singled to right. Cristhian Adames followed with a soft line drive to right to plate Cleary Jr. Kyle Parker then hit a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left, well deep enough to score Kuhn.
After a base hit by Kiel Roling, Angelys Nina grounded an RBI single through the right side to drive in Adames from second. Joey Wong capped off the four-run frame with a sacrifice fly to right to put the Drillers up 4-2.
Juan Gonzalez took over for Bergman and pitched a scoreless eighth before turning it over to Drillers closer Cole White, who worked around a pair of hits to record his 15th save of the season.
After going 1-3 in the game, newcomer Tom Murphy has now hit safely in each of his first three games with the Tulsa Drillers.
The Drillers welcome the Frisco RoughRiders to ONEOK Field Friday to begin a three-game series. Tulsa's Tyler Matzek (7-7, 3.38 ERA) will take on Tyler Tufts (3-3, 3.05 ERA) of Frisco. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM.