Cuddyer Helps Drillers Take Down Midland
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa pitcher Tyler Anderson entered Wednesday's start against Midland with the best ERA in the Texas League,
Rockies OF Michael Cuddyer was 1-3 with a BB in Wednesday night's game. (Rob Gardenhire)
but the lefthander only carried five wins into the outing because of a lack of run support. The Drillers had scored 2 runs or fewer in 9 of his previous 20 starts, but a lack of offensive support was not an issue on Wednesday. His Drillers teammates staked Anderson to a big early lead with four runs in each of the first two innings and cruised to a 9-4 win over the RockHounds at ONEOK Field.
Tulsa's big first inning began innocently when Michael Cuddyer, on an injury rehab assignment from the Colorado Rockies, drew a one-out walk from Midland starter Drew Granier. Ryan Casteel then hit a grounder to short that Dusty Coleman fielded and threw to second for an attempted force, but second baseman Conner Crumbliss dropped the ball, making both runners safe. After Trevor Story drew another walk that loaded the bases, Tyler Massey cleared them with a triple that split the gap in right-center field. Chris O'Dowd capped the big first inning when he dropped a two-out hit into shallow centerfield that plated Massey.
The Drillers early offensive outburst continued in the second inning with another four runs. Delta Cleary Jr. led off with a base hit and Taylor Featherston was hit by a pitch from Granier. After a single by Cuddyer loaded the bases, Ryan Casteel produced a sacrifice fly that gave Tulsa a 5-0 lead.
Trevor Story was called out on strikes, but Massey worked a walk that again loaded the bases. Jayson Langfels brought home two runs with a base hit, and O'Dowd lined a run-scoring double into the right field corner that upped the Drillers lead to 8-0.
The two big innings were more than enough offense for Anderson, who upped his record to 6-4 with the victory. He pitched the first five innings, blanking the RockHounds on only five hits. Anderson issued two walks and struck out six while lowering his league-leading ERA to 2.14.
It marked the third straight outing in which Anderson has picked up a victory. In the second-half of the season, he is now 3-2 with a miniscule 1.71 ERA and has placed himself into consideration for the Texas League Pitcher of the Year Award. It also marked the lefty's fourth consecutive scoreless start at ONEOK Field. He last allowed a run at home on June 30.
After the early explosion, the game settled down. The RockHounds got on the board in the seventh with a run off reliever Josh Mueller, and added their second run in the eighth when Jefry Marte homered against Nate Striz.
Featherston produced Tulsa's final run with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.
A two-run single from former Driller Kent Matthes in the ninth closed out the scoring.
Cuddyer, playing in his second rehab game for the Drillers, played seven innings and finished with one single in three at-bats. He is now 2 for 7 in his two games in Tulsa.
The two teams will complete their three-game series Thursday night in downtown Tulsa. Jon Gray (10-5, 3.85 ERA) will look for his 11th win of the season for the Drillers, while Shawn Haviland (5-4, 4.23 ERA) will take the mound for the RockHounds. Starting time is slated for 7:05 p.m. at ONEOK Field.