|Updated: 7/11/2013 11:03 pm
||Published: 7/11/2013 11:01 pm
A familiar storyline played out for the Tulsa Drillers Thursday night in Little Rock. The Drillers got another strong pitching performance, but they were again held in check offensively. The result was a 3-2 loss to the Arkansas Travelers as Tulsa's losing streak was extended to eight straight games.
The Drillers have scored a total of only 13 runs in the 8-game skid. Conversely, they have allowed more than four runs in only one of the defeats.
The Travelers put Tulsa in an early hole with single runs in each of the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, Randal Grichuk led off with a triple and scored on a ground out by Taylor Lindsey.
Another run in the second doubled the Arkansas lead to 2-0. Travis Witherspoon drew a leadoff walk, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly from Jett Bandy.
Bandy helped the Travelers increase their lead to three runs in the fifth. He led off with a base hit, moved to third on a pair of infield ground outs and scored on a passed ball.
Both of Tulsa's runs in the game were unearned. The first came in the top of the sixth as Tim Smalling singled and eventually scored on a two-out error by second baseman Lindsey.
Another miscue helped the Drillers make things interesting in the ninth inning. With one out, Tyler Kuhn reached on a throwing error by shortstop Rolando Gomez. After Dustin Garneau was hit by a pitch, Joey Wong dropped a single into left field that plated Kuhn to make it 3-2, and put the potential tying run at second and the potential go-ahead run at first.
Reliever David Carpenter recovered to retire Delta Cleary Jr. on a fly out and Jaron Shepherd on a ground out to end the game
The loss spoiled a strong outing from starting pitcher Tim Gustafson and a perfect 1-2-3 inning by reliever Mitchell Boggs, who was making his Drillers debut.
In six innings, Gustafson surrendered five hits and three runs, but only two were earned. The tough loss dropped his season record to 5-7.
Boggs, who was acquired earlier this week by the Colorado Rockies, began the season in the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals. He has pitched in the big leagues with the Redbirds in each of the past six seasons.
The right-hander was one of three hurlers in the game that has previously pitched in the majors.
Arkansas starting pitcher Drew Carpenter, who began the season in the Rockies organization with Colorado Springs, has pitched in the majors with the Phillies and Padres.
Carpenter was making his Arkansas debut and allowed only four hits and one unearned run in six innings of work to collect the win.
Lefthander Nick Maronde followed Carpenter to the mound for the Travelers. Maronde appeared in three big league games with the Angels earlier this season. Like Boggs for the Drillers, he worked a perfect seventh inning.
Tulsa will again look to snap its losing streak Friday night in Little Rock. Christian Bergman (4-6, 2.91 ERA) will pitch for the Drillers against Manny Correa (3-8, 5.48 ERA) of the Travelers. Starting time at Dickey-Stephens Park is slated for 7:10 pm.