The Tulsa Drillers matched a season high four home runs Sunday night and powered their way to a 7-4 victory over Corpus Christi in the first game of a three-game series with the Hooks at ONEOK Field. The win was the fourth in the past five games for the Drillers.
All four homers came with the bases empty and helped the Drillers get the win despite being out-hit by Corpus Christi 13-9.
It was actually a home run from the Hooks that opened the game's scoring. Shortstop Jonathan Villar got things off to a quick start by hitting the second pitch of the game from Brandon Hynick just inside the right field foul pole for his 10th homer of the season.
The Drillers tied the game with a two-out rally in the bottom of the second. With the bases empty, Jose Gonzalez dropped a base hit in front of right fielder Drew Locke. Mike Mitchell followed with a single, and when center fielder Drew Muren's throw to third base skipped past Andy Simunic and deflected off pitcher Rob Rasmussen's glove into the dugout, Gonzalez trotted home to even the score at 1-1.
After Kody Hinze put the Hooks back in front in the top of the third with a sacrifice fly that scored Jose Martinez who had doubled, the Drillers went in front in the bottom of the inning. The runs came courtesy of Josh Rutledge and Jimmy Cesario on back-to-back homers that gave Tulsa a 3-2 lead. For Rutledge, his line drive over the center field fence was his team-leading 13th of the year, while Cesario's drive into the right field bullpen was his first.
Muren tied the game again in the top of the sixth with his first Double A homer.
It remained 3-3 until the Drillers put on another power display in the bottom of the seventh. Corey Dickerson broke the tie when he led off with his fourth home run. The drive just cleared the glove of a leaping Locke in right field.
Gonzalez popped out, but Mitchell gave Tulsa a two-run lead with a line drive into the terrace section beyond the left field fence. It was the center fielder's second homer of the year.
The Drillers increased the margin later in the inning as pinch-hitter Tim Torres drew a walk, stole both second and third and scored on a double into left center by Rutledge. A run-scoring hit by Cesario made it 7-3.
The seventh-inning hits capped big night's for both infielders. Rutledge finished 3-4 and just a triple shy of the cycle, while Cesario was 2-4. They each picked up two runs batted in.
Reliever Tim Sexton collected his second win in only his second outing with Tulsa. The right-hander worked 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief of Hynick.
The Hooks plated a final run in the top of the ninth and actually got the tying runs on base, but Josh Sullivan was able to strikeout Austin Wates with the bases loaded to complete the win. For Sullivan, it was his 10th save.
Hynick, making his second start for the Drillers this season, survived a rocky start in which he surrendered eight hits in the first three innings. He departed after 5 2/3 innings, surrendering 3 runs and 11 hits.
Game two in the three-game series will take place Monday night at ONEOK Field. Joe Gardner (3-5, 4.54 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa against Jose Cisnero (6-6, 3.68 ERA) of Corpus Christi.
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