TULSA, Oklahoma – The Tulsa Drillers could not overcome one huge inning in a 5-1 loss to the Arkansas Travelers Thursday that extended Tulsa's losing streak to four games.
The Drillers (41-48) scored the game's first run in the bottom of the third, when Thomas Field delivered a two-out double for a 1-0 lead. The Tulsa pitching seemed to take over from there, holding that 1-0 lead into the seventh inning. But that's when things fell apart.
After retiring two of the first three batters of the seventh, pitcher Dan Houston could not finish things off. The Travelers (48-38) strung together four consecutive two-out hits, all of which drove in runs. Arkansas scored four times in the inning to suddenly take a three-run lead, and Tulsa never recovered.
The Drillers did not record another hit for the rest of the night, and the Travelers added one more insurance run in the top of the ninth.
Houston (2-1) finished with his first loss of the season despite his solid start. He finished with two runs credited to him on five hits in 6.2 innings. Reliever Dustin Molleken allowed two more runs on three hits while only getting one out, which came thanks to a caught stealing.
Matt Shoemaker (8-1) dominated from the third inning on and finished allowing just one run on four hits in seven innings. His relievers combined to retire the six batters they faced in order.
Thursday's contest began a four-game series between the two teams and gave the Drillers four consecutive losses. After entering July just one game away from hitting the .500 mark, they have gone 3-9 since.
The Drillers and Travelers will continue their series at 7:05 p.m. Friday.