Former MLB All-Star Oswalt Makes Drillers Debut
After winning the first two games of a three-game set at ONEOK Field with Midland, the Tulsa Drillers were looking for a series sweep Friday night with major league veteran Roy Oswalt on the mound.
But, David Freitas and Jake Goebbert had other ideas. The Midland duo both homered in their third straight game and led the RockHounds to a 3-2 victory, snapping Tulsa's four-game winning streak before a sellout crowd of 8,137.
Oswalt, who was making his first regular season appearance of 2013, suffered the loss, but it was a positive outing for the veteran, who is hoping to join the Colorado Rockies starting rotation. In five innings, he allowed the three runs on only four hits. He walked three and struck out two.
The right-hander threw a total of 72 pitches, 44 for strikes, while hitting 94 m.p.h. on the stadium radar gun.
Oswalt was happy with the outing, but said he will hope to improve his command with his next start.
"I want to work on my fastball command," he said. "The biggest thing was my mechanics were off. I felt good in the bullpen, but I tried to create too much once I got out there. The three walks that I gave up bother me more than the home runs because when you can't pitch with your fastball, your other stuff won't be that good."
Most of the damage against Oswalt came in the second when Goebbert and Freitas started the inning with back-to-back solo home runs. For Goebbert, it was his third homer of the series and the fourth for Freitas who hit a pair of round-trippers the night before.
The Drillers got a run back in the bottom of the second. Kyle Parker led off with a base hit and moved to third on a base hit by Angelys Nina. Parker came home on a ground ball out off the bat of Jayson Langfels.
The RockHounds got their final run against Oswalt in the fifth inning. Darwin Perez drew a one-out walk and scored on a double by Michael Fabiaschi.
Tulsa cut its deficit to one in the seventh when Parker drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Kent Matthes. The Drillers had Matthes at second with no outs, but missed a chance to tie the game as Kyler Newby was summoned from the Midland bullpen and registered three straight strikeouts to end the threat.
The right-hander also worked a scoreless eighth inning before turning things over to Mike DeMark in the ninth. DeMark retired the first two hitters before Matthes singled down the left field line, but the Tulsa outfielder was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double, ending the game.
Starter Zach Neal worked six innings to collect the win for the RockHounds, improving his record to 5-1.
Parker Frazier followed Oswalt to the mound for the Drillers and allowed only a pair of singles in three shutout innings.
Nina's second-inning single extended his hitting streak to nine straight games. The second baseman is 18 for 36 (.500) during the streak.
Despite the loss, Tulsa has won six of its past eight games.
The Drillers will begin a three-game series with Frisco Saturday night at ONEOK Field. Tyler Matzek (1-4, 4.99 ERA) will pitch the opener for Tulsa against Neil Ramirez (4-1, 3.19 ERA) of the RoughRiders. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM.