Amarillo Sod Poodles drop series in Tulsa to open Texas League second half


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Ivan Melendez of the Amarillo Sod Poodles leads the Texas League with 15 home runs this season. [James Abel/ Press Pass Sports]
During the most hectic portion of the Texas League schedule, the Amarillo Sod Poodles showed why they might be a force to be reckoned with to open the second half of the TL slate.

That still didn’t quite get them a series win at Tulsa on Sunday afternoon.

The Sod Poodles had a chance to open the second half with a road split against the Tulsa Drillers and make a major statement. However, after taking the lead into the bottom of the third inning, the Soddies gave up three in the bottom of the inning and never led again, as Tulsa held on for a 4-3 win and won the series by a 4-2 margin.

Tulsa was the launching pad for 12 straight days of games, as the Sod Poodles make a pit stop for the next three nights at home at Hodgetown, starting with a rare Monday 7:05 p.m. game against the Midland RockHounds. After Wednesday’s game, the two teams will pack up the buses and head south for three games at Midland.

The Sod Poodles got off to a strong start Sunday in Tulsa, as Ivan Melendez got them on the board in the second inning with a solo homer, his league-leading 15th of the season, for a 1-0 advantage. Matt Beaty drove in Tim Tawa with a single in the third for a 2-0 lead.

The Amarillo Sod Poodles open a brief three-game home series against Midland starting Monday night. [John E. Moore/ Press Pass Sports]
Starter Jamison Hill had some control problems in the bottom of the inning, as he walked in a run and threw a wild pitch which allowed the Drillers to tie it. Austin Beck then drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to give Tulsa a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, Jose Ramos hit a solo homer off Hill to make it 4-2 and that proved to be the winning run. The Sod Poodles cut it to 4-3 in the sixth when Kevin Graham’s double drove in A.J. Vukovich, but were only able to get one runner as far as second base in the final three innings.

​What continued to be good news for the Soddies was that they got two more solid starting pitching performances from two pitchers who weren’t on the roster at the beginning of the season, left-hander Spencer Giesting and right-hander Billy Corcoran, who chalked up the only two wins in the series for the Sod Poodles.

Giesting opened the series on Tuesday, and he threw five innings, giving up two runs to get the win as the Soddies won 7-4. He improved to 2-0 in two starts since getting called up from Hillsboro the previous week.

Corcoran has been even less surprising in his consistency, as he chalked up another win by going five innings and giving up two runs in a 9-2 win. He’s now 4-2 since getting called up from Hillsboro.

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