Twice this season, the Tulsa Drillers have won games by scoring the winning run on wild pitches. Monday afternoon, the Drillers were on the other side of a similar occurrence. Midland broke a tie game in the top of the 10th inning by scoring a run on a passed ball and claimed a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Drillers at ONEOK Field.
The game-deciding run was especially painful for Tulsa because it came without a hit from the RockHounds in the inning. Reliever Joey Williamson issued three walks around two strikeouts in the tenth. With the bases filled and two outs, he jumped ahead of designated hitter Anthony Aliotti with a one ball, two strike count. His 1-2 pitch was outside and glanced off the glove of catcher Jose Gonzalez and rolled to the backstop, allowing Leonardo Gil to come home with the go-ahead run.
It was a tough offensive day for the Drillers who were held to only three hits, all singles. After a base hit by Kent Matthes with one out in the second, they were held without a hit for the next eight innings. The drought finally ended when Gonzalez singled with one out in the bottom of the tenth, but that was followed by a game-ending double play grounder off the bat of Warren Schaeffer.
The Drillers only run in the game came in the first inning. Leadoff batter Josh Rutledge was hit by a pitch, and after stealing second base, scored the game's first run on a base hit by Nolan Arenado.
The RockHounds were held scoreless through the first five innings before ending Tulsa starting pitcher Dan Houston's shutout bid in the top of the fifth. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out and third baseman Gil evened the score at 1-1 with a sacrifice fly.
Houston registered the fourth straight impressive outing for a Tulsa starting pitcher. The right-hander worked the first 6 2/3 innings, allowing five hits, three walks and one run while striking out five.
Despite the defeat, the Drillers finished their homestand with a 4-2 mark. They also maintained their three game lead over second-place Northwest Arkansas in the North Division standings. The Naturals were beat by Frisco Monday afternoon.
Tulsa will be idle on Tuesday before beginning a six-game road trip Wednesday night in Frisco. In the opener, Parker Frazier (2-5, 3.29 ERA) will pitch for the Drillers against Justin Grimm (7-3, 2.05) of the RoughRiders. First pitch at Dr Pepper Ballpark is slated for 7:00PM.
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