ROB MAURER and Bill Haselman each drove in three runs as
Tulsa dealt El Paso its second straight loss 10-6 in Texas
League action at Drillers Stadium Thursday night.
Maurer had a two-run triple in the first inning as the Drillers
scored four times after spotting the Diablos a pair of runs
in the top of the frame.
The Drillers had a hint of things to come when Paco Burgos
opened the game with his second home run.
"I was more relaxed at the plate tonight than I have been,"
said Maurer, who has had a mild recession when it came to
getting base hits. "Everybody else was hitting, and that
made it easier for me."
Haselman's bases-clearing double in the third inning gave
left-hander Cedric Shaw breathing room with a 7-2 advantage.
Monty Fariss' two-run double followed by Maurer's run-producing
two-base hit upped the Drillers' lead to 10-2.
All told, the Drillers pounded out 15 hits and scored all
of their runs off loser Steve Monson (3-2).
"We executed well defensively, and got timely hits," said
Tulsa Manager Tommy Thompson.
The Drillers, however, played without outfielder Kevin Belcher
who reinjured his shoulder in a steal of second base Wednesday
night. Belcher will go to Arlington, Texas, Friday to have
the shoulder examined by the Rangers physician.
Second baseman Darrin Garner was hit by a Monson pitch above
his left elbow in the first inning and had to leave the contest.
Right-hander Jim Hvzida, who had an 8-2 record and 35 saves
at Gastonia (South Atlantic League) last year, made his Tulsa debut.
Hvzida entered the game in a no-out, bases-loaded situation
inherited from Shaw (3-2). Mitch Hannahs, who hit the ball
hard all night for the Diablos, lined into a double play
before Dee Dixon rapped a two-run single.
Hvzida stifled El Paso hopes for a big inning and then retired
the Diablos in order in the eighth.
The occasion was Marv Rockman's 26th birthday, but the Diablos
treated him rudely in a two-run, four-hit ninth including
back-to-back RBI doubles by Hannahs and Dixon.
The Diablos jumped off to a two-run advantage in the first
inning on a hit by Charlie Montoyo and walk to Craig Cooper
ahead of Sandy Guerrero's two-run triple.
Defensively, the Drillers had three double plays which held
the Diablos at bay.
A crowd of 1,503, including youngsters who participated in
the pre-game clinic, saw the Drillers practice what they preached.
Holland Hall's Steve Sparks, who was scheduled to pitch
Sunday's finale before the home folks, was assigned to Stockton
of the class A California before Thursday's action.
The Diablos, who are short-handed in pitching, will get
help Friday as Cal Eldred (Milwaukee's top draft choice from the
University of Iowa), Scott May and Eddie Puig join the club.
El Paso reliever James Austin struck out six in two scoreless innings.
Driller Bits....It's Fun Friday when El Paso and Tulsa meet
in the third game of their Texas League series with an early
starting time of 6:35 p.m. A tent party for the fans will
be held at 5:30 p.m. with reduced prices for food and drink
outside the main gate.
Following the TL action will be radio station KAKC's presentation
of the Men of Steele softball team against area all-stars.
The "Silver Bullets", the only softball team in history
to win each of the four national slow-pitch championships,
have hit more than 23,000 home runs in the last five years.
In fact, second baseman Mike Macenko clouted 844 homers
during the 1988 season, more than Hank Aaron walloped in
his major league career (755)....
Pitching matchups for the TL action pit El Paso's Dean Freeland
(2-2) against Tulsa's Terry Mathews (3-2) in a duel of right-handers....
The Texas League has had only six rainouts this season. G-M Joe
Preseren noted that Tulsa was batting 1.000 percent in this category
much to his chagrin. Tulsa has had the six rainouts....
With the addition of left-hander David Lynch to the Drillers,
each member of the starting rotation ( Mathews, Lynch, Mitch
Thomas, Eric McCray and Cedric Shaw) hails from Louisiana....