The winning streak is still alive for the Tulsa Drillers, thanks in large part to Trevor Oaks. Behind a strong outing from Oaks Wednesday afternoon, the first-place Drillers recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Northwest Arkansas and established a new franchise record with their 10th straight victory.
It is the first time in the 40-year history of the club that the Drillers have recorded a double-digit winning streak. The 2011 and 2012 teams both won nine games in a row.
The Drillers are now within one victory of matching the all-time Tulsa baseball record of 11 wins in row set by the 1974 Tulsa Oilers who played in the Triple-A American Association.
More importantly, Wednesday's win extended Tulsa's lead atop the North Division standings of the Texas League to two games over Springfield. The Cardinals were scheduled to play Arkansas Wednesday night. There are only 12 games remaining in the first half of the season which ends on June 20
Oaks was brilliant in his seven shutout innings of work, allowing only one hit, a third-inning double by Terrance Gore. He walked one batter, Corey Toups to open the game, and struck out four. The pair were the only base runners in the game for the Naturals as Oaks retired the last 14 batters he faced before departing with dehydration issues on the hot and sunny day.
Relievers Joe Broussard and Scott Griggs kept the streak going. Broussard worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Griggs did the same in the ninth to make it 20 straight batters retired. The final out was recorded when Drew Maggi made an impressive backhanded stop of a hard grounder off the bat of Bubba Starling. Maggi fielded the smash and threw to first to end the contest.
Oaks threw 72 total pitches in his seven innings, 48 for strikes. He lowered his Double-A ERA to 2.34 with the outing and improved his record to 7-1 with his sixth straight victory.
For Griggs, it was his fifth save in five opportunities since joining the Drillers on May 24. He has yet to allow a run in six Texas League appearances.
The only run of the game came in the bottom of the second inning. Alex Verdugo, last night's walk-off hero, led off with a double and eventually scored on a one-out single by Paul Hoenecke.
The game, which featured only seven total hits and one walk, took only 1:59 to complete, the fastest game of the year for the Drillers.
Tulsa has now won 15 of its past 16 games and 25 of its last 32.
The Drillers will look to match the all-time Tulsa winning streak when the two teams continue their series Thursday night. The pitching matchup will feature Tim Shibuya (0-1, 2.49 ERA) for Tulsa against Jake Junis (5-3, 2.59 ERA) of Northwest Arkansas. Starting time at ONEOK Field is scheduled for 7:05PM. A special Thursday Night Fireworks Spectacular is planned for after the game.