Drillers Take Down RoughRiders
Frisco, Texas - Tulsa Drillers pitcher Tim Gustafson was fortunate enough to get to start both the opening and closing games of Tulsa's six-game Texas road trip.
Fortunately for the Drillers, the veteran right-hander was much better in their finale with the Frisco RoughRiders than he was in their opener out in West Texas.
After having a rough go of it in Midland last Tuesday, Gustafson limited Frisco to just one run through six innings Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, Tulsa's offense provided enough run support for the Drillers to defeat the RoughRiders 5-3 and clinch the series victory at Dr. Pepper Ballpark.
Gustafson allowed just five hits, struck out two, and walked none in the game to pickup his third win of the season.
The Drillers improved their record to 25-30 on the season after going 3-3 on the road in Texas. They remain 3.5 games behind the Springfield Cardinals in the North Division standings.
Tulsa struck for three runs off Frisco starter Carlos Pimentel in third inning to jump out in front. Jose Gonzalez drew a walk to open the frame. Rafael Ortega then hit a sharp ground ball to first base that Brett Nicholas mishandled, allowing the center fielder to reach base. After both runners advanced on a wild pitch, Pimentel uncorked another wild offering that hit batter Joey Wong in the leg to load the bases for Kiel Roling.
As he's done so many times this season, Roling delivered on the RBI opportunity. The first baseman stroked a two-run double to left, scoring Gonzalez and Ortega to put the Drillers in front. Kyle Parker followed with a sacrifice fly to plate Wong for Tulsa's third run.
The Drillers added to their lead with a run in the fourth. With one away, Gonzalez drew his second walk of the game, and after a Jaron Shepherd groundout, Ortega singled to put runners on first and second. Wong followed with two-out RBI single through the middle to score Gonzalez and make it 4-0.
Tulsa tacked on one more in the fifth when Jayson Langfels ripped a two-out base hit through the left side of the infield to drive in Angelys Nina, who had doubled to keep the inning alive. It was the second double of the day for Nina.
Frisco got on the scoreboard with a run in the home half of the sixth. Teodoro Martinez led off the inning with a single to left, and advanced to second on a wild pitch by Gustafson. Guilder Rodriguez then dropped an RBI single into left field to score Martinez and cut into the Drillers advantage.
It was the RoughRiders first run of the series that did not come via a home run.
Martinez also accounted for the RoughRiders' second run in the eighth. The left fielder singled with one out in the inning and stole second. After Rodriguez flew out to center, Brett Nicholas drove in Martinez with an infield single to second base.
Frisco added one more run in the ninth on a two-out RBI single by Ryan Strausborger to make it 5-3. Two was as close as the RoughRiders would come as Mike Marbry induced a groundout by Zach Zaneski to record his second save of the season.
Joey Wong, who finished the day 2-4 with an RBI, went 7-16 on the road trip with three doubles and three RBI.
The Drillers are off Monday before returning to ONEOK Field Tuesday to open a seven-game homestand. Tulsa will play three games of a four-game series with Northwest Arkansas at home (June 4-5, 7), before hosting four games with the Springfield Cardinals (June 8-11). First pitch of Tuesday night's matchup with the Naturals is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.