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RockHounds Rally Falls Short in Loss to Tulsa

July 21, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Midland RockHounds News Release

The Tulsa Drillers got to reliever Norge Ruiz for two runs in the fourth inning ... and two more in the fifth ... Friday night at ONEOK Field, but it was a "whiff" and a "thud" that defined the game as the Drillers defeated the RockHounds, 5-3, in the opener of a four-game series.

Tulsa took a 4-0 lead into the seventh, when the RockHounds scored three runs against the Drillers bullpen. Logan Salow walked Brallan Perez to open the inning and Nate Mondou followed with an infield single. One out later, Mickey McDonald ripped a two-run double into the left field corner, bringing home both base runners. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Chase Calabuig reached on an error by shortstop Zach McKinstry. Jordan Sheffield relieved Salow and got Taylor Motter to fly out to right, but then walked two batters to load the bases. Sheffield struck Dan Gamache out on three pitches, ending the inning with the bases loaded, and the Drillers hung on to a 4-3 lead.

In the home half of the seventh, Drew Avans sent A.J. Puk's first pitch to deep right-center. McDonald and Motter closed on the ball from center and right, respectively. McDonald appeared to get his glove on the ball, but the two collided at nearly full speed and both went down with the ball rolling free, allowing Avans to easily circle the bases for an inside-the-park home run.

Tulsa starter Edwin Uceta went six shutout innings, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five. The Drillers got to Ruiz in the fourth when Keibert Ruiz singled with one out and Cody Thomas followed with a double, setting the table. Connor Wong's sacrifice fly and Errol Robinson's RBI single gave the Drillers a 2-0 lead and Cristian Santana delivered a two-run double to make the score 4-0.

Texas League South Division

The RockHounds were the only South Division club to fall Friday, so the standings (again) tightened up.

Springfield and Northwest Arkansas had tough days, bordering on "unfair." The Cardinals and Naturals both traveled from Corpus Christi to Amarillo (or vice versa) only to drop close decisions. The Hooks walked off with a 3-2 win over Springfield in the ninth at Whataburger Field ... and the Naturals (ouch) saw an 8-2 lead evaporate in a 12-8 loss to the Sod Poodles in the Panhandle. Frisco flirted with a no-hitter before shutting out Arkansas, 3-0, on one hit, at North Little Rock.

The RockHounds and Amarillo (both 15-13) lead Corpus Christi (14-14) by one game ... and Frisco (11-16) by 3½ games.

Notable

The various "prospect watch lists" will show A.J. Puk as having given up one run on two hits, one of them a home run, in one inning of work Friday. The stats are correct, of course, but there's a huge asterisk attached. The home run was the inside-the-park play (described above), a ball that (without the collision) might well have been caught by center fielder Mickey McDonald.

McDonald, thankfully, stayed in the game after the collision. In just his third game since being promoted from (Advanced-A) Stockton, Mickey went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and an outfield assist.

Daulton Jefferies went the first three innings, allowing no runs on two hits with two strikeouts. In 49 innings this season, Daulton has struck out 53 batters and walked three! Again, we point out to multiple writers (including MLB.com ... c'mon!!) that 53 & 3 is NOT his ratio. Those are totals. Daulton's ratio is stunning ... nearly 18-to-1!

Chase Calabuig saw his hit streak come to an end at 10 games ... he did have an RBI and a stolen base Friday night.

Tyler Ramirez (0-for-4, walk, stolen base) extended his on-base streak to 11 games (8-38, .211).

Next Game

Saturday, July 20 vs. Tulsa Drillers

ONEOK Field Tulsa, Oklahoma

First pitch 7:05 p.m.

- Second of a four-game series and fifth of a seven-game road trip

- Radio: NewsTalk 550 with Bob Hards ... airtime 7:00 p.m.

Probable Starters

TUL: Parker Curry (RH, 2-4, 3.28)

RH: Matt Milburn (RH, 5-6, 5.68)


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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