It was a good news, bad news scenario for the Tulsa Drillers on Sunday. In the final game before the Texas League All-Star break, the Drillers were beaten 12-1 by Northwest Arkansas.
Despite the loss, the Drillers will enter the break in first place in the second-half North Division standings of the Texas League with a one game lead over Springfield and Arkansas. Tulsa enters the break with a 6-2 second-half record after beginning the second half with six straight wins.
In the Sunday afternoon matchup with the Naturals, Tulsa scored first, but it was all Northwest Arkansas from there. The lone run for the Drillers came in the top of the first inning when Ronald Torreyes began the game with a leadoff double. Torreyes eventually opened the scoring by coming home on a sacrifice fly from Yadir Drake.
The Naturals tied the score in the bottom half of the first on a run-scoring single by Balbino Fuenmayor.
They took the lead with two more runs in the second as Alex Liddi led off with a home run. Later in the inning, Bubba Starling plated another run with a base hit to up the lead to 3-1.
The struggles for Tulsa starting pitcher Jeremy Kehrt continued into the third as Northwest Arkansas scored four more times. The big blow was a bases-clearing double from Lane Adams that made it 7-1.
Chris Reed took over for Kehrt in the fourth, but the onslaught from the Naturals continued. Fuenmayor and Kenny Diekroeger plated runs with a pair of RBI doubles that upped the score to 9-1.
The Naturals capped their big day with three more runs in the sixth off Randy Fontanez. Zane Evans belted a two-run home run, and Liddi followed with a solo shot to complete the scoring.
Northwest Arkansas out-hit Tulsa 16-5 in the contest.
Naturals' starting pitcher Cody Reed picked up the victory in his Double-A debut. Reed allowed only the one run on four hits in six innings of work.
Kehrt suffered the loss to drop his record to 4-6.
The Drillers will now enjoy three days off before beginning a six-game homestand Thursday night at ONEOK Field. It will be the first night of three straight Independence Holiday Fireworks Shows in downtown Tulsa. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.