FRISCO, TEXAS (August 8, 2014) - Joey Gallo went deep again for the 'Riders, but it wasn't enough as the Drillers took the first game of the series 8-3 Friday night at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The Drillers (21-26, 59-57) out-homered Gallo with three shots of their own, accounting for five of their eight runs. Taylor Featherston and Ryan Casteel went deep and each picked up three RBI on the night.
The 'Riders (27-21, 67-50) are in the midst of just their fifth three-game losing streak of the season as Andrew Faulkner (1-1) took his first loss with the 'Riders since they called him up. Frisco's offense didn't provide much support, only producing five hits in five of the nine innings.
After a 30-minute rain delay before the game, the Drillers didn't take long to get on the board. With Delta Cleary Jr. on second after a single and a stolen base, Casteel knocked an RBI single up the middle of the field, giving the Drillers an early 1-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the first frame, Frisco decided to copy Tulsa and score in similar fashion. After Jon Gray (10-5) walked Odubel Herrera, the Texas League batting average leader showed off his speed by stealing with Trever Adams at the plate. Adams continued to work the count and placed the an RBI single in center field to bring Herrera home and tie the game.
Newcomer Nomar Mazara showed off his arm early on in right field and kept some runners at bay. Fellow newcomer and catcher Jorge Alfaro couldn't handle one of Mazara's throws home, though, as a sacrifice fly from Featherston scored a run. Casteel followed that with a two-run bomb to right field, putting the Drillers up 4-1.
Mimicking the Drillers worked earlier for the 'Riders, and they did so again in the fourth with their own two-RBI homer. Gallo, who entered the game on a seven-game homerless drought, showcased his superior power with a towering two-run blast to deep center field, cutting the deficit to 4-3. With that homer, Gallo picked up his minor-league leading 38th home run and 100th of his professional career.
The Drillers offense came alive in another odd inning, as they increased their lead in the fifth. Faulkner started the inning by walking Cleary Jr. and then took down Chris O'Dowd swinging for his fifth strikeout. However, the next batter, Featherston, took Faulkner deep for the third two-run homer of the night. The 21-year-old lefty handed the cowhide to Francisco Mendoza in the sixth. Faulkner gave up six runs (all earned) on six hits while walking two.
Mendoza struggled against his first few batters, giving up a Tyler Massey double and RBI Jayson Langfels single to start. The Frisco righty, though, took down his next three batters faced to get out of the inning.
Gray also saw his time on the mound come to an end after the fifth, allowing two hits for three runs. He also struck out five and walked four.
Irving native Trevor Story tacked on another homer for the Drillers in the eighth, belting a solo shot directly into the Dr Pepper Patio in left field.
Tulsa relievers Nate Striz and Kraig Sitton took care of business to close out the game, combining to give up only three hits in the final four innings.
The RoughRiders will play the second game of this three-game series Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Rangers left-hander Derek Holland will make his second major league rehab start with the 'Riders and take on righty Richard Castillo (3-9, 5.00 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.