Up next: 7:05 p.m., Texas League Championship Series Game 1 — Tulsa vs. Amarillo Sod Poodles at Hodgetown, Amarillo, Texas
Probable pitchers: Tulsa, RHP JoJo Gray (3-2, 2.75 ERA — regular season); Amarillo, TBA
Season series: Drillers lead 9-5
Next home game: 7:05 p.m. Friday vs. Amarillo (Game 3)
Back in the lineup: Outfielder Drew Avans and infielder Errol Robinson, who were a big part of the Drillers’ late-season surge, returned to the lineup Sunday for the 5-1 win in the North finals decisive Game 5. Avans had not started the previous three games due to an ailing hip. Robinson, who had not played since Monday’s regular-season finale, went 2-for-4, and each had a two-out RBI single in the sixth inning.
Drillers manager Scott Hennessey said, “They both bring energy, it worked out.” Avans added, “I was glad to get back out there, it was win or go home, no holding back. It was fun to follow Errol (in the lineup), he is a great competitor who will do whatever it takes to win.”
Robinson and reliever Shea Spitzbarth are the only active Drillers who also were with them in the 2017 and ‘18 postseasons.
Good pitching: The losing team in each of the five games against Arkansas scored one run.
In the finals: This is the first time in the Drillers’ 43-year history that they have made the TL finals in three consecutive years. But the Tulsa Oilers did it in 1948-50 and four in a row in 1962-65. The latter streak was followed the next year by Tulsa reaching the Pacific Coast League finals.