TULSA– Tulsa pitcher Ben Holmes made his first-ever start at the Double-A level Saturday night, and the lefthander made it a memorable one. He held Arkansas without a hit for 6 1/3 innings before Dario Pizzano dropped a soft single into shallow centerfield.
Holmes fell short in his bid for a no-hitter, but his brilliant performance still led the Drillers to a 2-0 victory over the Travelers at ONEOK Field.
Holmes was signed as a minor league free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers last month when he was released by the Florida Marlins after 4 ½ seasons in their organization. The 26-year-old made six appearances with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga before the Dodgers promoted him to Tulsa earlier this week.
He had made five relief appearances with the Marlins’ Double-A team in Jacksonville earlier this season, but he made the most of his chance at starting in his first appearance with the Drillers. The seventh-inning single by Pizzano was the only hit that Holmes allowed in seven full innings. He did issue three walks while striking out four.
Arkansas starting pitcher Anthony Misiewicz matched Holmes for three innings before D.J. Peters struck in the bottom of the fourth. The Tulsa centerfielder’s two-out homer produced the first run of the game and gave Holmes and the Drillers a 1-0 lead.
It remained that way until the bottom of the seventh. With two outs and the bases empty, Drew Jackson worked a walk from reliever Bryan Bonnell. Jacob Scavuzzo followed with his 19th double of the season to score Jackson and up the Drillers lead to 2-0.
Reliever Marshall Kasowski followed Holmes to the mound and pitched around a two-out walk to work a scoreless eighth inning for the Drillers.
Kasowski recorded one out in the ninth before turning things over to Andrew Istler. Istler surrendered a lined base hit to Joey Curletta before getting a game-ending double play off the bat of Pizzano to secure the victory.
The win moved the first-place Drillers four games in front of the second-place Travelers.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*The fourth-inning homer from Peters was his 21st of the year and moved him into a three-way tie for the most in the Texas League this season.
*The two hits allowed by Tulsa pitchers in the game matched the season low.
*Peters struck out in the eighth inning for the 153rd time this season, setting a new Drillers franchise record. Dean Palmer held the record with 152 strikeouts in 1989.
*After turning a season high four double plays the previous night, the Drillers turned three more in Saturday’s victory.
*On Saturday, the Drillers activated infielders Jackson and Mike Ahmed from the disabled list. To make room for the pair, pitcher Logan Bawcom was transferred to Oklahoma City, and infielder Eric Peterson, who hit .471 in 6 games with the Drillers, was transferred to Ogden.
The Drillers and Travelers will conclude their four-game series Sunday night. Starting time for the finale at ONEOK Field is scheduled for 7:05. The pitching matchup will feature:
TUL Tony Gonsolin (4-0, 3.00 ERA)
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