Tulsa Drops Naturals To Close In On Playoffs


Sunday, August 28th 2011, 10:57 pm
By: News On 6


NewsOn6.com

SPRINGDALE, Arkansas -- The Drillers continued to scratch their way toward a playoff spot Sunday, grabbing their sixth consecutive win on the road 7-5 against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals.

Tulsa (64-68) jumped on Naturals' (68-61) starter Jake Odorizzi from the first frame, taking a five-run lead before the third inning.

The Drillers managed back-to-back singles to start the game, and a sacrifice fly from Ben Paulsen put Tim Wheeler in scoring position with one out on the board. A throwing error from catcher Matt Treanor allowed Wheeler to score and give Tulsa a 1-0 advantage. Rosario followed with a line-drive single to right field to score Hector Gomez from second and give Tulsa a 2-0 lead.

In the top of the second with two runners on base and two outs on the board, Wheeler went yard over the right field wall to give Tulsa a 5-0 lead. Wheeler's home run was his 32nd dinger of the season, tying him for the franchise record for most in a season.

Drillers' starter Josh Sullivan (5-8) kept the Naturals' bats in check for most of the evening, giving up just one earned run on five hits and striking out four in his five innings of service. Odorizzi (4-3) lasted 5.1 innings for the Naturals, giving up six earned runs on seven hits in the loss.

The win puts Tulsa just two games behind Northwest Arkansas for the Texas League North second-half playoff spot, with one more game in the series at 7:00 p.m. Monday. The Driller will then return to Tulsa for a seven-game home stand to close the season, capped off by a three-game series against the Naturals.