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Sod Poodles Fall 4-1 in Series Opener with Drillers

June 15, 2019 - Texas League (TL) - Amarillo Sod Poodles News Release

AMARILLO, Texas - The Sod Poodles fell by a score of 4-1 in the series opener against the Tulsa Drillers Friday night in front of over 7,000 fans at HODGETOWN. With their second consecutive loss, the Sod Poodles fall to a 31-34 record with just three games left in the first half and fall to 1.5 games back of first place in the South division.

Although out-hitting Tulsa, the Sod Poodles were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and unable to take advantage of runners in scoring position.

Owen Miller highlighted the Sod Poodles bats with his 3-for-4 night while Edward Olivares collected his ninth home run of 2019.

Amarillo starter Kyle Lloyd was handed his third loss but was impressive as he battled through five and one-third innings of five-hit, three-run ball with six strikeouts. Relievers David Bednar and Kazuhisa Makita combined for two and two-thirds innings of four-hit, one-run ball while Travis Radke tossed a three-strikeout ninth.

The Sod Poodles got to work quickly on the night in the bottom of the first inning after Olivares sent a solo home run high and onto the right field lawn to make it a 1-0 ballgame.

After a scoreless second frame, the Drillers came back to tie it with a solo run in the top of the third. Two consecutive singles by Josh Thole and Logan Allen set up for an executed sacrifice bunt by Tulsa starter Justin De Fratus to put both runners in scoring position. Gavin Lux then followed up with an RBI groundout to make it a 1-1 game.

In the bottom of the third, Ivan Castillo hit a fly ball to centerfield that stayed just out of the reach of DJ Peters. Castillo rounded third attempting to stretch an inside-the-park home run but a perfect relay from the outfield would put out a sliding Castillo at the plate.

In the fourth, Tulsa shifted the lead in their favor after Cody Thomas' solo home run to left field to make it a 2-1 game.

Tulsa added another run in the top of the sixth to make it a 3-1 contest started by another big hit by Thomas - a triple to the right-field corner. Following a walk to Cristian Santana, a wild pitch by Lloyd would allow Thomas to score. After another walk by Lloyd, reliever David Bednar took over and ended the damage with two consecutive strikeouts.

Then, in the eighth, the Drillers added an insurance run on DJ Peters solo home run to left field and extending their lead to 4-1.

With one last opportunity and down three runs in the ninth, the Sod Poodles sparked a rally with a walk to Kohlwey. A fielders choice grounder by Chris Baker and strikeout by Buddy Reed put two quick outs on the board. Brad Zunica extended the frame with a single in his first at-bat of the game to bring Castillo to the plate, representing the tying run. However, he would end up grounding out to end the threat and the ballgame.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles head into the second game of a three-game series tomorrow against the Los Angeles Dodgers Double-A affiliate, the Tulsa Drillers, at HODGETOWN. First pitch tomorrow is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

NOTES:

Race To The Finish: After losses by Amarillo and Corpus Christi and victories for Midland and Frisco on Friday, the Sod Poodles sit a game and a half game behind first-place in the Texas League South with three games remaining in the first half.

BattLloyd: Starter Kyle Lloyd battled in his fourth start of 2019, falling with a third loss but not without a fight. In 5.1 innings, he allowed three runs on five hits with just one walk surrendered and tied for a season second-best six strikeouts. He went two perfect frames to start the outing and kept a one-run deficit until the sixth when Tulsa plated a third run.

Round 'Em Early: Edward Olivares slugged his ninth home run of the season in his first at-bat on Friday night. It marked his first round-tripper since his three-home run game on May 5 against Arkansas.

Long Ball Issue: In the last two games, Sod Poodles arms have allowed a difference-making 10 runs on five home runs - eight total runs on three home runs Thursday night and two runs on two home runs on Friday night.

Shutdown Radke: Recently-named All-Star southpaw reliever Travis Radke tossed his second-consecutive scoreless and hitless inning and has combined for four strikeouts in six batters faced. Overall, he is 3-1 on the season with a 2.28 ERA.

Miller Still On Top: Infielder Owen Miller remains on top in the hit category in the Texas League. With his three hits on Friday night, he has accrued 77 total hits, which is four in front of Frisco's Juremi Profar.

Stars of the Soddies: The Texas League revealed its 2019 All-Stars for the 83rd annual Harsco Texas League All-Star Game taking place on Tuesday, June 25 at ONEOK Field, home of the Tulsa Drillers, which will feature a league second-highest seven Amarillo Sod Poodles players. The All-Star Game is the marquee event for the Texas League each season and will bring players and executives to Tulsa from other cities throughout the league. Amarillo Sod Poodles players selected who will represent the South division in the Texas League mid-summer classic are: Luis Torrens (C), Ivan Castillo (2B), Owen Miller (SS), Edward Olivares (RF), Kyle Overstreet (UTIL), RHP Emmanuel Ramirez, and LHP Travis Radke. Additionally, Amarillo's manager Phillip Wellman along with his team staff will be at the helm of the 2019 Texas League South Division All-Star Roster since the Padres Double-A affiliate in San Antonio were South Division Champions in 2018.

Bolaños' Second Start: In his second start with the Sod Poodles, right-hander Ronald Bolaños spanned just three innings while allowing a season-high and a career second-highest eight runs with two strikeouts. Last Saturday, he made his regular season Double-A debut and tossed six innings of one-run ball. Bolaños allowed just two hits and struck out eight, while he picked up his first Double-A victory at Corpus Christi.

Triple Digits Return: Right-handed reliever Dauris Valdez came out of the pen Thursday night and tossed yet again multiple fastballs at the 100 MPH mark. In two appearances this week, he has allowed one run on three hits with five strikeouts.

Sniper: Catcher Luis Torrens recorded his fourth consecutive game with a runner caught stealing from behind the dish with one on Thursday night against Northwest Arkansas. He leads all Texas League catchers in the category with 22 total.

Punch-Out Power: The Sod Poodles staff ranks first in strikeouts in the Texas League with a grand total of 651 through 65 games. They were the first team in the Texas League to reach the 600 mark as a staff. Corpus Christi ranks second behind Amarillo with 627.

Over(the)street: Sod Poodles utility player Kyle Overstreet launched his third home run of the 2019 season Thursday night against the Naturals. In the second inning with one out, the Alabama native crushed a hanging 3-2 pitch beyond the right side of the left-center videoboard to mark the Sod Poodles first run of the contest.

Three Bagger: Infielder Ivan Castillo knocked his team-leading third and fourth triples of the season on consecutive nights - Thursday and Friday at HODGETOWN. On Friday, Castillo tried to stretch an inside-the-park home run but a perfect relay to the plate resulted in a tag-out at the plate.

Turn Two: The Sod Poodles turned a season-high four double plays on Thursday against the Naturals. The previous high set was at three in a game which the squad reached three times in 2019.

Bachar's Brilliance: Lake Bachar was brilliant in his 10th start of 2019. After tying a career-high in strikeouts in a single game in his last outing with seven against the Hooks in five innings of work, the Wisconsin native tied for another career-high with seven innings of work while allowing no runs in a start for the seventh time in his career. Bachar tossed seven innings in a start two other times in his career with his last on 8/25/18 at Corpus Christi. The last time he didn't allow a run in a start was on 8/14/18 at Springfield.

Double Trouble: With his 15th double of the season, a two-out RBI double to bring around Amarillo's fourth run, Edward Olivares is now tied for fourth in the category with Midland's Edwin Diaz and is in a four-way tie for extra-base hits with 23 total.

First Save: In his 23rd game with Amarillo and fourth save opportunity, Kazuhisa Makita recorded his first save of 2019 with his three up, three down ninth inning.

More Hardware For The Soddies: Amarillo right-handed starter Emmanuel Ramirez was named Texas League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the week of 6/3 - 6/9. Ramirez was 1-0 with a no-decision in two appearances on the week, while striking out ten opposing batters, surrendered two earned runs, and allowed 13 hits in 13 innings of work. Ramirez is tied for second in the Texas League with five wins on the season after he earned his fifth victory of the season at Corpus Christi on Sunday afternoon. Ramirez is also tied for ninth in strikeouts in the Texas League with 60 strikeouts.

This Weeks Preview: Following the series with the Tulsa Drillers at HODGETOWN, the Sod Poodles will end the first half on the road at Northwest Arkansas before continuing on the Tulsa and head into the All-Star break.

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