The Tulsa Drillers opened a three-game series in Midland Saturday night with a 3-2 loss to the RockHounds.The Drillers were held without a hit through the first five innings before getting a pair of home runs to make things interesting. Despite loss, Tulsa remains in first-place in the Texas League's North Division, 1 ½ games in front of second-place Arkansas.
The RockHounds scored in three of the first four innings against Tulsa starting pitcher Richard Castillo to take their three-run lead.
In the bottom of the first, a two-out double by Josh Whitaker scored Connor Crumbliss to give the Hounds a quick 1-0 lead.
The margin doubled thanks to another two-out hit in the third. With runners at first and second, Max Muncy lined a base hit into right field that scored Billy Burns to make it 2-0.
The lead increased to three runs in the fourth when Hiroyuki Nakajima drew a leadoff walk and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly from Dusty Coleman.
Midland starting pitcher Nate Long held the Drillers without a hit through the first five innings before Tyler Massey struck in the top of the sixth. With one out and the bases empty, Massey drove an offering from Long over the bullpen in right field for his fourth home run of the season to cut Midland's lead to 3-1.
Another homer in the seventh helped the Drillers pull closer. Cristhian Adames led off with his second homer of the season to cut Tulsa's deficit to only one run.
The Drillers would get no closer, going down in order in both the eighth and ninth innings.
Castillo, who was activated from the disabled list just before game time, suffered the loss to drop his record to 1-3.
Former Midland hurler Carlos Hernandez followed Castillo to the mound for the Drillers, and the lefthander allowed only two hits in three shutout innings that lowered his ERA to 1.83.
The Drillers were limited to only three hits in the game. Besides the two homers, Brian Humphries singled with one-out in the seventh. They have now totaled only seven hits in their past two games, both losses.
The victory for Long improved his record to 4-1.
Seth Frankoff worked the final two innings for Midland, retiring all six hitters he faced, to collect his ninth save of the season.
The start of the game was delayed :30 minutes because of rain.
Tulsa and Midland will be back in action Sunday afternoon. Eddie Butler (3-4, 2.68 ERA) will pitch for the Drillers while Chris Jensen (2-3, 4.29 ERA) will take the mound for the RockHounds. Starting time is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Midland's Security Bank Ballpark.