Following a three-day break for the Texas League All-Star Game, the Tulsa Drillers began a six-game road trip Friday night in San Antonio. In the opener, the Drillers were blanked on only three hits by a group of four Missions pitchers in a 3-0 loss at Nelson Wolff Stadium.
San Antonio starter Josh Geer was outstanding, allowing two singles in seven shutout innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out four while improving his record to 3-2.
Tulsa starter Joe Gardner also pitched well. He surrendered two earned runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
San Antonio got the only run it needed in the bottom of the first. After striking out the leadoff batter, Gardner hit San Antonio second baseman Jonathan Galvez with a pitch. With two outs, the hit batsman proved to be costly when Cody Decker doubled to right center field to bring Galvez in to score.
It was Decker's first game back with San Antonio after spending the past 32 games with Triple-A Tucson. The 25-year-old first baseman batted .215 and collected 23 hits and 4 homers with the Padres.
The Missions threatened again in the bottom of the third when Geer grounded a single up the middle to begin the inning. After two groundouts, Geer found himself at third. Gardner worked around the leadoff hit by getting the Missions three-hole hitter, Jake Blackwood, to ground back to the mound.
San Antonio shortstop, Jeudy Valdez started off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive double that rolled to the left field wall. With Rymer Liriano batting, Valdez advanced to third on the wild pitch by Gardner.
Liriano walked to put runners at the corners with nobody out. Texas League All-Star, Dean Anna, picked up an RBI in his pinch-hit appearance by hitting a deep sacrifice fly ball to Tulsa centerfielder Mike Mitchell that scored Valdez.
The First Fidelity Bank Home Run Derby champion from a night ago, Nate Freiman, pinch-hit for Geer and singled on a chopper between Arenado and Rutledge.
Freiman's single ended Gardner's night, as Josh Sullivan came into the game in a tight spot with runners on first and second with only one out. The first batter the All-Star reliever faced was Reymond Fuentes who struck out swinging. After a tricky hop on a ground ball by Jonathan Galvez loaded the bases, Rymer Liriano scored on a passed ball to make the score 3-0.
One of the few threats the Drillers had came in the top of the 8th when Mitchell led off with a line drive single to center. The threat came to a halt when Lars Davis grounded into a double play and Warren Schaeffer struck out swinging.
The two teams will play game two of their series Saturday night. The Drillers will have right-hander Parker Frazier (3-8, 3.83 ERA) going to the mound against San Antonio's Hayden Beard (4-4, 5.99 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:00PM.
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