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Pop & 'Pen; RockHounds 6, Tulsa 4

August 1, 2021 - Double-A Central League (AA Central) - Midland RockHounds News Release

A pair of three-run home runs and an outstanding performance from the bullpen powered the RockHounds to an 6-4 win over the Tulsa Drillers Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field.

Tulsa jumped out to an early lead, scoring twice in the first inning against Jared Koenig, but the RockHounds struck back quickly.

JJ Schwarz led off the second with a walk and Edwin Diaz lined a single to left field. Jake Suddleson (who is hitting .346 in his last 16 games) then sent a three-run home run over the wall in left-center, giving the RockHounds a lead they would not relinquish.

A fielding error by Tulsa shortstop Clayton Daniel opened the door in the third and Schwarz followed with a single to center. Diaz then hit his second home run in four games since being assigned to the 'Hounds from (Triple-A) Las Vegas, a three-run shot to center field.

Tulsa drew to within 6-3 on Daniel's RBI single in the fourth. Austin Briggs (see "Kibbles & Bits," below) relieved Koenig in the fifth and surrendered an RBI single to Devin Mann, but that would be the only run he and Jesus Zambrano would allow over a combined five innings. Zambrano was dominant - - he faced and retired nine batters over three innings, striking out three. Briggs (2.0 innings, three hits, no walks and a strikeout) earned the win while Zambrano earned a truly "old school" save, going three perfect innings.

The win game the RockHounds a split of the six-game series at Tulsa at the midway point of their 12-game road trip, which continues against the Wind Surge Tuesday at Riverfront Stadium in Wichita, Kansas.

Kibbles & Bits

From our "Department of Redundancy Department:"

A quick glance at the stat sheet shows Austin Briggs with an 8.16 earned run average. What those numbers don't show is the remarkable turnaround the left-hander has made over the last five weeks. Since June 23, Austin has made 11 appearances, allowing two runs (earned or otherwise) in 14⅔ innings for a 1.23 ERA. He has given up 10 hits and six walks in that span (a 1.09 WHIP), with seven K's.

Next Game

Tuesday, August 3 vs. Wichita Wind Surge

Riverfront Stadium Wichita, Kansas

First pitch 7:05 p.m.

First of a six-game series and seventh of a 12-game road trip

Probable Starters

WIC Cole Sands (RH, 1-0, 2.72)

RH Bryce Conley (RH, 5-5, 3.96)

Matt Milburn (RH, 1-1, 4.32) (Tandem start)

Road Trip

August 3-8 vs. the Wichita Wind Surge at Riverfront Stadium (Wichita, KS)

Back at Rocky Town: Tuesday, August 10

A 12-game homestand, hosting the San Antonio Missions (August 10-15) and Amarillo Sod Poodles (August 17-22).

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