The Arkansas Travelers touched Drillers starter Tim Gustafson for four runs in the first and placed Tulsa in a hole too deep to climb out of Tuesday night in North Little Rock. The Drillers rallied late, bringing the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but they were unable to convert, falling to the Travelers 7-4 at Dickey-Stephens Park.
The loss drops Tulsa to 13-12 and puts their record at 3-8 in games played away from ONEOK Field this season.
Rolando Gomez doubled to begin the Travelers big first inning. Matt Long then followed with a single to right. With runners on the corners and first baseman CJ Cron batting, Long broke for second, drawing a throw from Tulsa catcher Jose Gonzalez. On the throw to second, Gomez broke for home, scoring when Angelys Nina's return throw was off line.
Following a single from Cron, designated hitter Robbie Widlansky put an exclamation point on the Travelers first at bat, belting a three-run home run to deep right field to put Arkansas up 4-0 with no outs in the inning.
In the bottom of the third, Angels top prospect Kaleb Cowart deposited a 2-1 pitch from Gustafson into the grass berm in right field to increase the Travelers lead to five.
Arkansas added to that lead with a run in the fourth thanks to a Drillers miscue. Taylor Lindsey led off the inning with a harmless fly ball to centerfield. Delta Cleary Jr. lost the ball off the bat, however, and didn't to locate until it was too late, allowing it to fall in for a double. Lindsey advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single to center by Gomez.
The Drillers got on the board with two runs in the fifth. Designated hitter Kiel Roling singled on a soft liner to left to lead off the inning. Jayson Langfels was then plunked in the shoulder to put runners on first and second with no outs. Jose Gonzalez followed with a single to right field that was misplayed by Matt Long, allowing Roling to scamper home. After an out, Cleary Jr. bounced a single through the middle to plate Langfels, who had advanced to third on Long's error, cutting the Travelers lead to four.
The Travelers tacked on one more run in the eighth when Randal Grichuk scored on a sacrifice fly from Lindsey to make it 7-2.
In the ninth inning, Tulsa scored two runs, and had the tying run at the plate with two outs, but was unable to convert. Roling plated Henry Wrigley with an RBI single, and came around to score on a ground out from Cristhian Adames to make the final 7-4.
Jose Gonzalez collected three hits for the Drillers in the loss, while Roling finished 2-4.
The Drillers return to Dickey-Stephens Park Wednesday for a mid-day matchup with the Travs, beginning at 11:10AM. Tulsa will send left-hander Tyler Matzek (1-1, 2.95 ERA) to the mound against Arkansas' Lay Batista (1-3, 5.40 ERA).
Fans can follow the action by tuning to AM1430, The Buzz in Tulsa for the live play-by-play. The broadcast will also be available at TulsaDrillers.com, or through the I Heart Radio app or website.