The Tulsa Drillers opened a six-game homestand Wednesday night with a big comeback victory. The Drillers overturned a two-run deficit with a three-run eighth inning to defeat the San Antonio Missions 6-5 at ONEOK Field. The win was the third straight for the first-place Drillers and their fifth in the past six games.
Trailing 5-3, the Tulsa comeback began when Missions reliever Tayron Guerrero walked the first two batters of the inning. Vin DiFazio pulled the Drillers to within one with a run-scoring single. After Cody Bellinger popped out, Jordan Tarsovich tied the game with another RBI single.
With the score tied and runners at second and third, the Missions called on Jose Torres to replace Guerrero. Brandon Trinkwon greeted Torres with a fly ball to right field that brought Tarsovich home to give the Drillers a 6-5 lead.
Reliever Gus Schlosser, who pitched in 15 games in the majors with the Atlanta Braves two seasons ago, made sure the lead held. Schlosser allowed a leadoff single, but recovered to retire the next three Missions to end the game and record his first save with the Drillers.
The rally for the Drillers capped a back and forth night. The Missions took an early lead with a run in the first inning, but the Tulsa defense kept it from being more. Nick Schulz plated Jose Rondon with a base hit up the middle that was stopped by shortstop Tarsovich with a headlong dive. Tarsovich jumped to his feet and threw home to retire Nick Torres who tried to score from second base on the hit. The play kept the damage at a single run.
Tulsa answered in the bottom of the first, courtesy of Willie Calhoun. A line drive off the bat of Calhoun just cleared the right field fence for a solo home run that evened the score at 1-1. It was his team-leading 15th homer of the season.
The Drillers took their first lead with a pair of runs in the third inning on a two-out rally. With the bases empty, the red-hot Kyle Garlick reached safely with a triple that centerfielder Cordero failed to corral. Lars Anderson followed with drive to deep left-center field that deflected off the glove of Cordero for a double that scored Garlick. Anderson came home to make it 3-1 when Jacob Scavuzzo lined a base hit into centerfield.
Anderson used his arm to help the Drillers maintain their two-run lead in the fifth. With one out, a single by starting pitcher Seth Simmons and a double by Cordero put runners at second and third. Rondon then lofted a fly ball to left field that Anderson, who is normally a first baseman, caught and threw home to retire a tagging Simmons for an inning-ending double play.
The Missions went back in front with three runs in the sixth. The rally started when reliever Jordan Schafer issued a one-out walk to Schulz. River Stevens then reached safely when first baseman Shawn Zarraga booted his ground ball for an error. Gabriel Quintana erased the Drillers lead with his ninth homer of the season to put San Antonio ahead 4-3.
The lead expanded to two runs in the eighth when a two-out double by Luis Tejada off Joe Broussard scored Nelson Ward who had walked.
The Drillers responded with their game-winning rally in the bottom of the eighth.
Tulsa starting pitcher Lisalverto Bonilla was not involved in the decision, but he pitched effectively for the first five innings. Bonilla allowed one unearned run on only four hits while recording eight strikeouts.
Offensively, the Drillers were limited to nine hits, ending their streak of five straight games with ten or more.
Garlick's third-inning triple extended his hitting streak to five straight games. He is hitting .458 during the streak.
Tulsa will look to extend its winning streak when the two teams continue their three-game series Thursday night at ONEOK Field. Starting time is scheduled for 7:05pm with a pitching matchup that will feature Jeremy Kehrt (2-3, 5.06 ERA) for the Drillers against Dinelson Lamet (1-3, 4.74 ERA) of the Missions.