Less than two weeks ago, Eric Stults was pitching in the majors for the Atlanta Braves. Saturday night, Stults was on the mound for the Tulsa Drillers before a sellout crowd at ONEOK Field. The lefthander pitched like a major leaguer, allowing only one hit in five shutout innings to help the Drillers break a six-game losing streak with a 3-0 win over the Frisco RoughRiders.
Stults began this season in the Braves' starting rotation and made nine appearances with the big league club. On May 28, he was acquired by the Los Angeles Dodgers in a six-player trade between the two teams.
The veteran pitched Saturday like he plans to be back in the big leagues soon. Stults threw 62 pitches in his five innings of work, allowing only three base runners. In addition to the one hit, he walked two batters. He also recorded two strikeouts.
The Drillers staked Stults to an early lead with a run in the first inning. With one out, Luis Mateo doubled. While at second, Mateo broke for third when a pitch eluded catcher Jorge Alfaro. Alfaro collected the ball and threw wildly to third, bringing Mateo home with the game's first run.
Tulsa added its second run in the fourth inning when Jarek Cunningham led off with a triple and scored on a ground out from Lars Anderson.
Cunningham and Anderson also accounted for the third run for the Drillers. With one out, the duo delivered back-to-back doubles off former Drillers hurler Edwar Cabrera to give Tulsa a 3-0 lead.
It was plenty of offensive support for Stults and relievers Randy Fontanez and Jorge De Leon. Fontanez followed Stults to the mound and worked three shutout innings, allowing only one hit.
De Leon, also a former big leaguer, pitched around a two-out single in the ninth to close out the game and pick up his first save of the season.
The game featured only 12 hits with 9 coming from the Drillers. Adam Law, Mateo, Cunningham and Anderson all picked up two hits each.
The night also featured two more former major leaguers. Before the game, Baseball Hall of Fame member Wade Boggs and former big league pitcher Charlie Hough threw ceremonial first pitches courtesy of River Spirit Casino.
The Drillers and Riders have split the first two games of their three-game series with the rubber game being played Sunday afternoon in downtown Tulsa. Chris Anderson (4-4, 3.95 ERA) will take the mound in the finale for the Drillers, while the RoughRiders will start Chad Bell (1-6, 5.33 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 2:05PM.