Tulsa Drillers winning streak reaches 7 games
TULSA (KFAQ) - The Tulsa Drillers continued their winning ways Friday night at ONEOK Field. The Drillers' offense hit three home runs in support of starter Tyler Matzek, and Joe Gardner recorded the final four outs as Tulsa defeated Frisco 7-6 before a paid crowd of 7,134. The win was the seventh straight for the Drillers and their 11th in their past 13 games.
The two teams traded home runs in the early going. Tulsa starting pitcher Tyler Matzek retired the first five hitters he faced before Chih-Hsien Chiang dropped a single into shallow left field. Ryan Strausborger deposited a 0-2 pitch from Matzek onto the grass berm in left-center field for his 10th home run of the season to give the RoughRiders a 2-0 lead.
The Drillers got the runs back in the bottom half of the second. With one out, Dustin Garneau doubled off Tyler Tufts, and Angelys Nina followed with his 9th home run to even the score at 2-2. For Nina, eight of his nine homers have come at ONEOK Field.
Tulsa took the lead in the third inning. Delta Cleary Jr. led off with a base hit, and Cristhian Adames reached on a one-out error. After a ground out moved the runners to second and third, Kiel Roling put the Drillers in front 4-2 with a two-run single. Dustin Garneau doubled to complete the inning and upped the margin to three runs.
The Drillers added to their lead with a pair of solo home runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Tim Smalling hit his first Double-A home run in the fourth, and Kyle Parker made it 7-2 with his 22nd homer leading off the fifth. For Parker, it was his fourth home run in the last seven games.
After the two-run first, Matzek worked four scoreless frames before the Riders struck again in the sixth. Joe Benson worked a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a base hit by Ryan Rua.
The RoughRiders made things interesting with a three-run eighth. Reliever Kenny Roberts hit the first batter he faced and Rua singled. Chiang followed and drove a pitch just inside the right field foul pole for his ninth home run of the year to cut Tulsa's lead to 7-6.
Roberts recovered to get the next two batters before issuing a two-out walk. Joe Gardner was summoned from the bullpen and struck out Luis Sardinas to end the threat.
Gardner stayed on and worked a 1-2-3 ninth to finish the victory and collect his second save of the season.
Matzek picked up the victory to move his record above .500 at 8-7. The lefthander surrendered three runs on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out two.
Offensively, the Drillers totaled 13 hits. Nina led the attack with a 3-4 night, while Parker, Garneau and Cleary Jr. added two hits each.
Game two of the series between the Drillers and RoughRiders is scheduled for 7:05PM Saturday night. Eddie Butler (0-0, 0.00) will make his ONEOK Field debut for Tulsa. Frisco will counter with Nick Martinez who will be making his Double-A debut.