Drillers Drop Opener Despite Strong Outing From De Jong
The Tulsa Drillers opened the 2016 season Thursday night and starting pitcher Chase De Jong was outstanding. However, De Jong was upstaged by Corpus Christi's Joe Musgrove. Musgrove, who was the Houston Astros Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season, surrendered only one hit to the Drillers in five shutout innings. Musgrove's strong outing helped the Hooks record a 2-0 victory before a sellout crowd of 7,369 in Corpus Christi.
De Jong matched Musgrove with two scoreless frames to open the game before making his only mistake of the night in the bottom of the third. With one out and the bases empty, Mott Hyde hit his first Double-A homer over the left-centerfield fence to give the Hooks all the offense they would get off De Jong.
The right-hander, who was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers last year in a mid-season trade with Toronto, worked six innings in his Drillers' debut. De Jong was charged with the one run on four hits. He walked only one while striking out six.
Musgrove was even better, allowing only a two-out single to Adam Law in the top of the third. The right-hander, who was a combined 12-1 last season, did not walk a batter and struck out four in his five scoreless frames.
Corpus Christi reliever Keegen Yuhl basically matched Musgrove's performance. Yuhl gave up only one hit, a leadoff single to Kyle Farmer in the seventh while blanking the Drillers over the final four innings to get the save.
The only other run of the game came in the seventh off Tulsa reliever Rob Rogers when Conrad Gregor led off with a double and scored on a two-out hit by Hyde.
The Drillers' offensive attack was without the services of highly-touted prospect Cody Bellinger. The first baseman was a late scratch from the lineup, reportedly suffering from stiffness in his back. Bellinger's status is listed as day-to-day.
The Drillers will look for their first win of the season when the two teams meet again Friday night in game two of their three-game series. The pitching matchup will feature Chris Anderson, who was 9-7 for the Drillers last season, against David Paulino of the Hooks. First pitch at Whataburger Field is scheduled for 7:05PM.