In the second game of a doubleheader Friday night, Josh Rutledge broke a scoreless duel with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to send the Tulsa Drillers to a sweep of San Antonio at ONEOK Field. Rutledge's homer and a combined two-hit effort from three Tulsa pitchers produced a 1-0 victory in the nightcap. In game one, the Drillers erased a 2-0 deficit with a four-run fourth inning and posted a 6-2 win.
With extra innings looking to be a real possibility in the second game, Rutledge's team-leading 12th home run of the season produced the only run of the contest.
Starting pitchers Cory Riordan and Eddie Kunz were both effective in unfamiliar roles. For Tulsa's Riordan, it was his first start of the season, while it was the second start for Kunz. Riordan allowed only one hit in five shutout innings, and Kunz blanked the Drillers through four innings, surrendering only three hits.
The homer from Rutledge came off reliever Dustin Pease leading off the bottom of the sixth. The blast gave Tim Sexton a win in his debut with the Drillers. Sexton, who joined Tulsa earlier this week, worked a perfect sixth inning to get the victory.
Coty Woods pitched around a leadoff single and a one-out error in the final frame to close out the seven-inning win. For Woods, it was his 16th save, tying him with Springfield's Keith Butler for the Texas League lead.
Tulsa's comeback in game one came after San Antonio jumped to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. The runs came courtesy of the Missions' one-two punch of Nate Freiman and Cody Decker who delivered back-to-back extra base hits. Freiman doubled and came in to score on Decker's 2-run home run to left-center field, his 15th of the season.
The Drillers mounted their comeback when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth with one out. After Jimmy Cesario was robbed of an extra-base hit on a diving catch from Freiman at first base, Angelys Nina and Ben Paulsen both singled. Corey Dickerson followed with a walk to pack the bags for Lars Davis. The Tulsa catcher came through by dropping a base hit into right field that scored both Nina and Paulsen to even the score at 2-2.
After a throwing error by pitcher Hayden Beard on a pickoff attempt at second base advanced the runners to second and third, Tim Torres was intentionally walked to again load the bases. Beard's wildness helped the Drillers take the lead as the right-hander hit Warren Schaeffer with a pitch to force in the third run. He then walked Mike Mitchell to bring in another run and make the score 4-2.
Tulsa added single runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to pad its lead. With Paulsen on first base with two outs in the fifth, Davis struck out but catcher Robert Kral's throw to first base to complete the out got past both Freiman at first and Decker in right field, allowing Paulsen to score.
In the sixth, Rutledge singled and scored on a base hit by Cesario to conclude the scoring.
Reliever Joey Williamson was credited with the win after starter Josh Outman was taken out with two outs in the top of the fifth. Williamson worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings with all four outs coming via strikeouts. The win improved his record to 3-2.
Josh Sullivan came on to finish the game with a perfect 1-2-3 seventh inning to lock down the opening game win.
Outman, who has spent most of this season in the majors with the Colorado Rockies, allowed 2 runs on 4 hits in his 4 2/3 innings. The lefty struck out 5 and walked 3 while throwing 95 pitches, 60 for strikes.
Tulsa has now won three straight after dropping seven of its previous eight games. San Antonio's three-game skid comes on the heels of a ten-game winning streak.
The Drillers will try to complete a four-game sweep Sunday night at ONEOK Field. The pitching matchup will feature Dan Houston (7-6, 3.26 ERA) for Tulsa and Donn Roach (0-0, 0.00 ERA) for San Antonio. Starting time for the finale is scheduled for 7:05PM.