TULSA– Will Smith and Errol Robinson entered Sunday night’s game as two of the hottest hitters in the Tulsa Drillers’ lineup, and the duo continued that trend in a 10-5 win over Frisco.
Smith homered for the seventh time in his past 12 games, and Robinson extended his hitting streak to seven straight games to help Tulsa claim its fifth straight win. The five-game winning streak is a season high for the first-place Drillers.
On the mound, starting pitcher Justin De Fratus was outstanding. He matched a season high with seven innings, surrendering three runs on just four hits. The victory improved De Fratus’ Double-A record to 3-3.
The Drillers jumped in front with three straight hits in the bottom of the first inning. With one out, Luke Raley doubled and Yusniel Diaz singled to put runners at the corners. The third hit came from Smith as he lined a double into the left field corner. Raley scored on the play, but Diaz was thrown out at the plate to give the Drillers only a one-run lead.
Smith doubled the margin when he led off the bottom of the fourth with an opposite-field homer into the bullpens beyond the right field fence. It was his 14th homer of the season and his seventh since June 20.
De Fratus blanked the RoughRiders on only one hit through the first four innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Luis Mendez ended his shutout with a two-out, two-run homer that tied the game at 2-2. Eliezer Alvarez followed with another homer to put Frisco in front 3-2.
The Drillers wasted no time in retaking the lead. Leading off the bottom of the fifth, Drew Jackson was struck by a pitch, and Robinson followed with a two-run homer, his sixth of the season, to put Tulsa back in front 4-3.
Tulsa padded its lead with four more runs in the sixth. D.J. Peters led off with his second triple of the season, and Jacob Scavuzzo followed with a run-scoring single. For Scavuzzo, it extended his hitting streak to 12 straight games, matching the longest streak of the season for a Drillers hitter.
Robinson delivered a two-run single later in the inning, and Diaz finished the big inning with a run-scoring single that gave the Drillers an 8-3 cushion.
After Frisco added a run in the top of the eighth, Diaz capped the big offensive night for Tulsa in the bottom half of the inning with a two-run homer that landed above the Busch Terrace beyond the left field fence.
It also capped a big night for Diaz. The outfielder finished with four hits and three runs batted in.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*With the win, Tulsa increased its first-place lead to three games over second-place Arkansas. The Drillers also moved their season record (46-40) to six games over .500, matching the highest mark of the season. They were 15-9 on May 1.
*The 12-game hitting streak for Scavuzzo marks the second time this year he has hit safely in 12 straight games. Luke Raley and Keibert Ruiz have also had 12-game streaks this season.
*Sunday’s game marked the sixth game of the homestand, and it has been a productive one for Smith and Robinson. Smith is now 8-15 (.533) in the stand with 3 homers, while Robinson is 10-26 (.385) 7 runs batted in.
*Tulsa has now hit at least one home run in a season high ten straight games.
*The Drillers made a pair of roster moves before the start of the game. Pitcher Logan Bawcom was placed on the disabled list, and pitcher Parker Curry was re-assigned to Rancho Cucamonga. De Fratus returned to the roster from Oklahoma City, and relieverKarch Kowalczyk was activated.
The Drillers will wrap up their seven-game homestand on Monday night against the RoughRiders. First pitch for the finale is scheduled for 7:05 at ONEOK Field and the pitching matchup will be:
FRI Justin Topa (0-1, 5.27 ERA)
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