In the first three games of a four-game series in North Little Rock, the offenses for the Tulsa Drillers and Arkansas Travelers were practically non-existent. In Thursday's finale, the Drillers' bats came to life, but Tyler Anderson again limited the Travs' output. The result was an 8-3 victory for the Drillers at Dickey Stephens Park.
The win allowed Tulsa to claim the series 3 games to 1 while also improving it season record to .500 at 10-10.
The game began 46 minutes late due to a thunderstorm moving through the Little Rock area, and the delay seemed to adversely affect the starting pitchers, as both teams scored in the first inning.
For the Drillers, Cristhian Adames tripled off Arkansas starter Yeiper Castillo with one out in the top of the first. Adames then scored the game's first run on a two-out hit from Ryan Casteel.
The game also began auspiciously for Tulsa starter Tyler Anderson. Eight of the lefthander's first nine pitches in the bottom of the first were out of the strike zone as he walked the first two batters he faced. After Anderson recorded his first out, Zach Borenstein's run-scoring hit tied the game at 1-1.
The score remained even until the Drillers struck again in the fifth. Jayson Langfels drew a leadoff walk, and Delta Cleary Jr. singled. Taylor Featherston followed with a base hit that deflected off Castillo and into left field, allowing Langfels to come home with the go-ahead run.
After Adames grounded out, Castillo threw a wild pitch that brought Cleary Jr. home to make it 3-1.
Tulsa tacked on two more runs in the seventh inning, and it was nearly a replay of the rally in the fifth. The inning again started with a walk to Langfels and a base hit by Cleary Jr. Featherston added his second run-scoring hit before Adames bunted for a hit to load the bases. Tom Murphy walked to force home another run.
The Drillers made it 6-1 in the eighth inning when Tim Smalling led off with a double and scored on a hit by Langfels.
A two-run single from Smalling in the ninth capped Tulsa's 8-run night.
After the rough start, Anderson settled in and was outstanding. He worked five innings, surrendering only the one run on three hits while walking two and striking out two. The victory improved his record to 2-1.
Ken Roberts followed Anderson to the mound and did not allow a hit in 2.2 innings, but was still charged for two runs that scored in the eighth inning.
Cole White recorded the final four outs to close out the victory.
In the four-game series, Tulsa pitchers surrendered only four runs.
Offensively, the Drillers totaled 12 hits in the game. Adames finished 3-5, while Cleary Jr. added 2 hits, as did Smalling and Featherston, who extended his hitting streak to 14 straight games.
The Drillers will now return home for two games with Northwest Arkansas. In game one Friday night, Richard Castillo (1-0, 3.18 ERA) will take the mound for Tulsa against J.C. Sulbaran (0-1, 4.38 ERA) of the Naturals. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM with a Fireworks Show slated for after the game.