TULSA, OK - The Arkansas Travelers snapped their losing streak at eight games with a 7-3 victory over the Tulsa Drillers on Friday night at ONEOK Field. After trailing for 32 straight innings, the Travs led all nine innings after scoring four runs in the first. Mike Bianucci (4) and Alex Yarbrough (4) each hit a solo home run to help the Travs to their first win in July.
Kramer Sneed (6-6) dealt five innings to even his record with the victory. The left-hander held Tulsa to one run on four hits and a walk while whiffing four batters.
Yarbrough drove in two runs to run his Texas League leading total to 50, while he padded his lead in base hits with three hits including his league-best 31st double. Bianucci also collected three base hits to run a hitting streak to eight games.
The Travs loaded the bases before the first out on a bunt single by Maikol Gonzalez, Yarbrough's double and a walk to Matt Long. Tulsa second baseman Taylor Featherston kicked a possible double play grounder hit by Brian Hernandez allowing two runs to score. Bianucci punched a single to left field to score Long then Michael Snyder walked to load the bases again. With one out Kaleb Cowart hit a hot grounder that pitcher Ryan Kulik deflected up into the air for a run-scoring single and a 4-0 Travs lead. Bianucci tried to score on a fly out by Eric Stamets, but was thrown out by Tyler Massey.
Bianucci added to the lead for a 5-0 advantage with a line drive home run just inside the left-field fair pole in the third inning.
Sneed set down seven straight batters until giving up a solo home run to Jared Simon (9) in the third inning. The Drillers had a chance to get back into the game in the fourth inning after a double, walk and single but Sneed struck out Brian Humphries to strand three runners.
Yarbrough bash his first home run from the left side in the fourth inning off Tulsa reliever Ryan Arrowood to increase the Travs lead to 6-3.
Carmine Giardina replaced Sneed in the sixth inning and retired the first two batters. Casteel worked a walk and advanced to third on a double by Taylor Featherston. Stamets fielded a grounder to deep short by Trevor Story and threw wildly into the first-base dugout bringing two runs home on an infield single and an error. However that was the last Driller batter to reach base. Giardina retired Humphries on a ground ball. Danny Reynolds struck out three batters in two innings. Cam Bedrosian struck out all three batters in his first outing with the Travs since rejoining the team from the Angels on Thursday.
The Travs scratched out a run in the eighth inning on back-to-back walks to Cowart and Stamets, a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez and an RBI groundout by Yarbrough.
Time of game was 3:13 and the paid attendance was 7,876.
The Travs will try to split the series with Tulsa on Saturday night sending Nate Smith (4-2, 3.09) to the hill against Tyler Anderson (3-4, 2.78) at 7:05 p.m.