After seeing their season-high seven-game winning streak come to an end Saturday, the Tulsa Drillers bounced back in a big way Sunday. Tulsa starter Daniel Winkler continued to show a knack for winning, and the Drillers offense went to work on the Frisco RoughRiders' pitching staff as Tulsa cruised to a 9-3 win in the series finale at ONEOK Field.
With the win, the Drillers move back into a three-way tie atop the North Division standings, following an Arkansas Travelers win and a Springfield Cardinals loss on Sunday.
Tulsa is now 26-24 in the second half and 60-58 overall on the season.
Winkler had 12 wins at Single-A Modesto this season before being promoted to the Drillers earlier this month. He recorded his first Double-A victory after scattering seven hits over 6 2/3 innings, while the only two runs he allowed came off the bat of Chih-Hsien Chiang.
In addition to Winkler, Tulsa's bats have really started to heat up for the stretch run as they have scored 57 runs over their last 10 games.
Kyle Parker has been particularly impressive during the stretch hitting five home runs and driving in 13 runs. Sunday, the left fielder finished 3-4 with a homer, three RBI and two runs scored to pace the Drillers' at the plate.
In addition, three players extended their current hitting streaks. Tyler Kuhn went 2-5 to extend his streak to 7 games, Kiel Roling was 1-3 to up his streak to 8 games and Cristhian Adames was 2-5 to increase his streak to 9 straight games.
Following a scoreless first inning for both teams, Chiang, Frisco's right fielder, launched a two-out, solo home run to right for his 10th homer of the year to give Frisco a 1-0 lead.
The Drillers would get that run back plus some in the fourth inning.
After Adames lined his 18th double of the year off the center field wall, Parker brought him in with a single to right to knot the game at one. RoughRiders starter Jerad Eickhoff responded by issuing a walk to Roling to put men on first and second. Dustin Garneau made him pay, shooting a double into the left-center gap to score both runners and give Tulsa its first lead of the game at 3-1.
Jayson Langfels added to the Drillers advantage the very next inning with a solo shot over the left field fence. His 12th home run of the season pushed the score to 4-1.
Parker continued the Drillers scoring-fest in the sixth inning with a solo blast onto the concourse in right for his 23rd of the year.
Frisco's Chiang once again proved to be a thorn in Winkler's side as he launched his second solo home run of the game to cut the Riders' deficit to three. Winkler answered the blast though by striking out Ryan Rua with his 96th pitch of the night before giving way to Josh Mueller to finish out the seventh.
Following Winkler's exit, the Drillers proceeded to break the game open in the home half of the inning.
Frisco brought in Major League veteran Kyle McClellan to relieve Eickhoff in the seventh, but the move did not prove to be effective against the Drillers' red-hot lineup. With two men on and one out, Kuhn started the scoring parade with a single to left to bring home Tim Smalling, and advanced to second on the throw home. Adames then grounded a single through the right side to score both Langfels and Kuhn, also advancing to second on the throw home. Parker brought an end to Tulsa's scoring with his third hit and RBI of the night, plating Adames with a single up the middle to place Tulsa firmly in front 9-2.
Teodora Martinez knocked his 11th home run of the year off Drillers' reliever Kenny Roberts in the ninth to bring the final tally to 9-3.
Tulsa will have a travel day Monday before beginning a six-game road trip Tuesday night at Midland. Tim Gustafson (6-8, 4.76 ERA) will get the nod for the Drillers in the series opener. Midland will counter with Murphy Smith (8-8, 3.77 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30PM.