TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers bounced back from a disheartening, ninth-inning loss on Saturday to claim a narrow victory over Corpus Christi Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field. The Drillers produced only two runs Sunday, but a strong performance from the bullpen made it hold up, as the Drillers picked
TULSA, OK – The Tulsa Drillers bounced back from a disheartening, ninth-inning loss on Saturday to claim a narrow victory over Corpus Christi Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field. The Drillers produced only two runs Sunday, but a strong performance from the bullpen made it hold up, as the Drillers picked up a 2-1 win.
The result gave the two teams a split of their six-game series in what will be their only meetings during the 2022 regular season.
Ryan Ward put the Drillers in front in the bottom of the first inning when he hit his eighth homer, a solo shot that gave Tulsa a 1-0 lead.
The Hooks tied the game with a run in the third inning. Ross Adolph led off with a base hit, advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and scored on a two-out double by Enmanuel Valdez.
The Drillers broke the tie in the fifth thanks to their own two-out heroics. After the first two hitters of the inning were retired, James Outman doubled. Michael Busch followed, and on a 0-2 count, he hit a slicing drive that fell just out of the reach of a diving Adolph in left field. The double plated Outman and put the Drillers in front 2-1.
Tulsa was fortunate to not lose its lead in the top of the seventh as the first three Hooks batters in the inning singled off reliever Jose Martinez to load the bases. Manager Scott Hennessey summoned Mark Washington from the bullpen, and he struck out leadoff man Wilyer Abreu. Valdez came up next and hit line drive right at shortstop Devin Mann who made the catch and stepped on second to double off Adolph and end the inning with the Drillers still holding their one-run lead.
Washington worked a scoreless eighth inning before turning the ninth over to Guillermo Zuniga. The Hooks again threatened, but again the Drillers escaped. After a leadoff single, Zuniga got two outs before issuing a walk. With runners at first and second, he got the dangerous Valdez on a swinging strikeout to end the game.
For the game, the Tulsa bullpen combined to work 5.1 shutout innings to preserve the win.
HIGHLIGHTS AND HAPPENINGS:
*Tulsa starting pitcher Michael Grove was unable to pick up his first win of the season, but the right-hander turned in another solid outing. He allowed one run on three hits in 3.2 innings of work. He walked just one batter and struck out five while lowering his ERA to 2.92.
*With the scoreless ninth, Zuniga picked up his team-leading third save of the year.
*Washington continued his strong run, officially working two scoreless innings. He did not allow a hit while walking one. After giving up two runs to Amarillo on April 16, Washington has worked 9.1 consecutive, scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 1.23.
*Martinez surrendered five hits but zero runs in 2.1 relief innings to get the win, his first of the season.
*Busch and Ward each finished with two hits in the game.
*The Drillers have split their first two home series this year. They now have a 6-6 record at ONEOK Field, compared to a 7-2 mark away from home.
The Drillers will have a day off on Monday before opening a six-game series in Wichita on Tuesday night. The Drillers swept a three-game series in Wichita to open the season.
Starting time on Tuesday is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Riverfront Stadium, and the starting pitchers are scheduled to be:
Tulsa – RHP Gus Varland (0-2, 5.17 ERA)
Wichita - TBA