After two straight postponements, the Tulsa Drillers and Frisco RoughRiders finally took the field for a doubleheader Thursday night at ONEOK Field. The two unplanned nights off seemed to have no effect on the RoughRiders. In a battle of the Texas League's two first-place teams, the Riders swept the two games with a 13-4 victory in the opener, followed by a 3-2 win in the finale.
Despite the two losses, the Drillers remained atop the TL's North Division standings, one game in front of Arkansas.
In game one, the RoughRiders jumped on top in the first inning against Jon Gray and never trailed. Jake Smolinski had a run-scoring double, and Odubel Herrera delivered a two-run homer to give the Riders a 3-0 lead.
Dustin Garneau doubled and scored in the bottom of the second to get the Drillers on the board, but Frisco answered in the top of the third with an RBI triple from Tomas Telis.
Ryan Casteel doubled home Cristhian Adames in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2, but Tulsa would get no closer.
It remained a two-run game until the RoughRiders erupted for six runs in the fifth. Two of the runs scored on a double by Ryan Rua and two more came on Chris Grayson's first-ever Double-A homer.
Frisco added three more runs in the seventh before Delta Cleary Jr. completed the scoring with an impressive two-run homer in the bottom of the inning. The blast from the outfielder landed in the middle of Elgin Avenue outside ONEOK Field.
Gray suffered the loss, his first since April 23. He was charged 8 runs in 5.1 innings of work. The defeat dropped his record to 5-3.
In the second game, the RoughRiders again took the lead before the Drillers came to the plate for the first time. After Tulsa starter Carlos Hernandez retired the game's first two batters, Smolinski and Telis delivered back-to-back, two-out singles. Rua followed with a double into the left field corner that scored Smolinski, but Telis was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
Frisco increased its lead to 3-0 with a pair of runs in the fourth. Telis reached on an error on third baseman Joey Wong to open the inning, and Rua followed with a double to put runners at second and third. After a fly out, Hernandez intentionally walked Teodoro Martinez to load the bases. Drew Robinson followed with a one-out single that plated Telis, and a two-out, infield single by Guilder Rodriguez brought home Rua.
The Drillers got on the board in the bottom half of the fourth when Taylor Featherston doubled off Luke Jackson, moved to third on an error by Robinson and scored when Adames followed with a base hit.
Tulsa crept closer with another run in the sixth. With two outs and the bases empty, Casteel singled and scored on a double by Brian Humphries to trim the Riders lead to 3-2.
Still trailing by a single run, the Drillers put their leadoff man on base in the seventh and final inning against reliever Phil Klein. Jose Rivera drew a leadoff walk and advanced into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt from Wong. Rivera would be left stranded as Cleary Jr. went down on strikes and Featherston grounded out to end the game.
Jackson, considered one of the Texas Rangers top pitching prospects, collected the victory to become the Texas League's first six-game winner.
Casteel and Humphries had 3 hits each in the doubleheader, accounting for nearly half of Tulsa's 15 total hits in the 2 games.
Rua was the offensive star for the RoughRiders. The third baseman finished 4-7 with 5 runs batted in, including 4 in the first game.
The Drillers will open a three-game series with Midland Friday night at ONEOK Field. Richard Castillo (1-3, 3.98 ERA) will pitch for Tulsa, while Chris Jensen (2-4, 3.08 ERA) will take the mound in the opener for the RockHounds. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.