The Drillers came into their matchup with Northwest Arkansas on Thursday night looking to salvage their road trip with a fourth victory in seven games. Unfortunately for Tulsa, the Naturals had other plans. A great outing on the mound by Parker Frazier was spoiled in the eighth inning by a Yem Prades homerun that gave NW Arkansas the 3-2 win.
Frazier made just one mistake on the night and it came in the very first inning. After a Christian Colon single, Frazier allowed Brian Fletcher to take him deep to right field for a 2-0 Naturals lead. After the homerun, Frazier settled in nicely and retired 17 of the last 18 batters that he faced before being replaced in the 8th inning by Josh Sullivan.
The Tulsa offense was held in check until the top of the seventh when Kent Matthes led off the inning with his 17th homer of the year. The blast was Matthes' fifth homerun in his last eight games. The outfielder is hitting .387 in his last ten games.
The Drillers tied the game briefly in the eighth inning after Jose Gonzalez doubled to begin the frame. The Tulsa catcher advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a Warren Schaeffer single. With runners on first and second and 1 out, reliever Ethan Hollingsworth was able to retire Nolan Arenado and Matthes to end the Drillers threat.
After retiring the first 2 batters he faced, Sullivan gave up the game winning homerun to Prades in the bottom of the eighth. The homer was Prades' 6th of the season and it ensured NW Arkansas' 7th win of the second half.
Frazier's final pitching line was 7 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Sullivan picked up his first loss of the season.
The Drillers will now head home to ONEOK Field to begin a seven game homestand on Friday. Game 1 of their series against the Arkansas Travelers is scheduled for 7:05PM on Friday night featuring Josh Outman (1-2, 4.07 ERA) on the mound for Tulsa.