The Northwest Arkansas Naturals came into Sunday night's game having been limited to just five runs over the first three games of the series. But that stat quickly changed as the Natural hitters broke out with fourteen hits, including six doubles, en route to an 8-1 defeat of the Drillers to bring an end to Tulsa's five-game winning streak.
Although the Drillers' winning streak came to an end, they did secure the series victory after winning the first three games of the four-game set. Combined with their series win against the Springfield Cardinals before the short homestand against the Naturals, the Drillers cut their division deficit from being 6 games out of first place at the start of the week to being just 3 games out of the top spot following the conclusion of the weekend.
The Naturals began their scoring in the third inning. Alex Liddi picked up the first RBI of the night with a two-out single to right, putting Northwest Arkansas up 1-0.
Tulsa starter Chris Anderson's night came to an end in the fourth as the Naturals extended their lead. Following a leadoff walk to Bubba Starling and a single by Lane Adams, Parker Morin brought them both home with his first double of the night. Two batters later, Ramon Torres traded places with Morin with a two-bagger of his own to prompt Razor Shines to bring in Caleb Dirks from the pen.
Dirks did his job, as he proceeded to turn in 1.2 innings of scoreless relief with four strikeouts. But the Tulsa offense could not get anything going against Northwest Arkansas starter Luke Farrell.
Farrell, whose last win came against the Drillers back on June 11th, was on top his game Sunday. The son of Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell earned his second Double-A win with seven innings of one-run ball. He allowed just a single run on four hits while striking out five Tulsa batters.
Brandon Trinkwon smacked a solo home run off Farrell in the fourth inning to bring Tulsa to within three runs, but that would be about all the Drillers could muster.
Ronald Torreyes led the Drillers with a 2-3 effort, but Lars Anderson and Trinkwon were his only teammates able to also record a hit on the night.
Kyle Farmer saw his 2015 season-best, 13-game hitting streak come to an end as he finished the game 0-4.
On the other side of the diamond, the Naturals had five batters finish with multi-hit performances as Northwest Arkansas outhit Tulsa 14-4.
After Dirks exited the game, the Naturals added two runs in the sixth along with a run in the eighth and ninth innings against four different Drillers relievers to bring the final tally to 8-1.
Following their first off-day Monday in over three weeks, the Drillers will travel to Frisco to take on the RoughRiders in a three-game series. Starting the opener Tuesday night for Tulsa will be veteran left-hander Eric Stults (2-2, 3.00 ERA.) He will be opposed by Frisco southpaw Victor Payano (4-2, 5.08 ERA.) The game is scheduled to begin at 7:05PM.