After a 2-1 victory Tuesday night snapped a 4-game losing streak, the Drillers came into Wednesday's game looking to get on a positive streak. But in a game that featured scoring in just two of the nine innings played, Tulsa found itself on the wrong side of the score as the Arkansas Travelers took advantage of a 5-run fourth inning to earn the 5-4 win at ONEOK Field.
Chris Anderson began the game for the Drillers looking to bounce back after two sub-par starts. He managed to put up 3 scoreless innings before seeing his day end in the fourth after giving up five runs.
For the Travelers, Kyle McGowin picked up his third win of the year. After giving up a big inning of his own to the Drillers in the second, he settled down to turn in five innings to put his team in position to seal the victory.
Following a quick first inning, Tulsa got the scoring started in a big way in the bottom of the second. Lars Anderson got the inning rolling with a leadoff double. He would then come around to score on the very next play as Yadir Drake knocked a single into right field. Brandon Dixon kept the hits coming as he crushed a triple into the right-center field gap to plate Drake. Dixon promptly scored himself as he beat the throw home from short on a ground ball off the bat of recent call up Kyle Farmer. Travis Witherspoon completed the scoring for the Drillers as he grounded a double down the left field line to give Tulsa a 4-0 advantage.
The Travelers attempted to respond to the Drillers outburst in the top half of the third as they loaded the bases with two outs. But Anderson was able to escape the predicament. Following a single and two walks, Anderson struck out Brian Hernandez to end the inning and keep Arkansas off the board. He would not be so fortunate in the fourth.
After getting Wade Hinkle to pop out to begin the fourth, Anderson hit a wall. Following a single, sandwiched between two walks, the bases were loaded yet again. Anderson was able to induce a ground ball off the bat of Maggi, but Drillers shortstop Luis Mateo was unable to handle it cleanly allowing a run to score. Sherman Johnson and Chad Hinshaw each had run-scoring singles as Tulsa saw its four run advantage evaporate.
That spelled the end of the day for Anderson as Razor Shines brought in Blake Smith. Smith managed to get out of the inning without any further damage but Arkansas had the lead 5-4.
From the fourth inning on, it was a battle of the bullpens. Tulsa's bullpen continued to perform well as Smith, Jacob Rhame and Ryan Dennick combined for 5.1 shutout innings. But Arkansas' bullpen was able to match the performance as their quartet of relievers also turned in four zeros. Angels prospect Trevor Gott picked up his 6th save of the year with a scoreless 9th inning.
Drake led the Drillers offense as he went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. He is now batting an even .400 through his first six games with Tulsa.
The Drillers and Travelers will continue their four-game series at ONEOK Field Thursday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:05PM. Julio Urias (1-2, 2.70 ERA) will get the nod for Tulsa while Arkansas will send out Albert Suarez (1-3, 2.89 ERA) to oppose him.
NOTE: Before the game, Shines announced that LHP Dustin Richardson had been assigned to Ogden. Taking his place on the Drillers roster is RHP Matt West who had just been signed by the Dodgers as a free agent.