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Ejections, Unearned Runs Lead To Travs' Loss08/24/2011 11:55 PM ET
By Tony Lenahan
North Little Rock - The Travs lost their fifth consecutive game losing 5-2 to the Tulsa Drillers on Wednesday, Aug. 24, in front of an announced crowd of 3,071. The Drillers scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to come away with the win.
Relief pitcher Daniel Sattler came in the top of the eighth with the score tied 2-2 and induced a groundout for the first out and then hit Bronson Sardinha with the first pitch of the next at bat. Sardinha started for the pitching mound having words with Sattler, and home plate umpire Brandon Misun suddenly ejected Sattler from the game. Why Misun ejected Sattler is a mystery because it is unlikely Sattler meant to throw at Sardinha with the game tied and already an out in the inning.
When Travs' manager Bobby Mitchell realized Sardinha was allowed to stay in the game, he began emphatically arguing with Misun, eventually getting ejected. Mitchell spent another few minutes telling Misun what he thought about his decision and reliever Mike Piazza came on to pitch for Sattler.
With one out, right fielder Matt McBride hit a potential double-play ball to Piazza, who threw it into center field for an error allowing Sardinha to get to third base. Tommy Field scored Sardinha with a sacrifice fly to center field to give the Drillers a 3-2 lead and Brian Rike broke the inning open with a two-run home run onto the picnic area roof over the right-field fence to make it a three-run Tulsa lead.
Sattler (1-3, 5.06) picked up the loss giving up the unearned run in one-third of an inning. Tulsa reliever Stephen Dodson (9-2, 3.45) picked up the win throwing two scoreless innings, giving up a hit and a walk while striking out two.
Tim Wheeler continued his attack on Arkansas pitching with his 30th home run of the year to lead off the game. Wheeler went 3 for 4 on Tuesday and his shot to left field was his first since July 25, and put the Drillers on top 1-0. After a fly out by shortstop Hector Gomez, Travs' s starter Christian Scholl gave up a double to Ben Paulsen before striking out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Travs' designated hitter Matt Cusick drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the second inning and advanced to third base on Roberto Lopez' double to right field. Cusick scored on second baseman Dwayne Bailey's fielder's choice to the shortstop to tie the game 1-1.
The Travs took the lead in the bottom of the third when leadoff man, center fielder Matt Long hit a one-out triple off Tulsa starter Dan Houston to right-center field. Blake Gailen grounded it to the second baseman Tommy Field, who's throw beat Long to home plate, but Long slid under catcher Wilin Rosario's tag to make it a 2-1 Travs' lead.
Houston pitched six innings for the no-decision. He gave up two runs on three hits and struck out four with two walks.
After a single by Rike in the second inning, Scholl had retired 13 of the previous 14 Drillers until the designated hitter Sardinha hit a two-out solo home run over the Travs' bullpen in right field to tie the game at two runs apiece.
Scholl got into a jam in the top of the seventh when he loaded the bases with one out. Scholl walked the leadoff man Field, struck out Rike and gave up a single to Eric Wetzel that advanced Field to third base. Wetzel stole second base and with first base open, Scholl intentionally walked Wheeler to load the bases. Scholl struck out Hector Gomez for the second out and got a fly out from Paulsen to end the threat.
Scholl finished with the no-decision giving up two runs on five hits in seven innings. He struck out six and walked three.
The Travs put two on with no outs off of closer Daniel Turpen in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Alberto Rosario bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to end the rally, and Darwin Perez flew out to left field to end the game. Turpen got his 10th save for the Drillers.
The Travs had five hits on the night, led by Lopez' 2 for 4 outing.
The Drillers finished with seven hits. Rike went 2 for 3 with two RBIs and a run from his home run, and Wetzel went 2 for 4.
The Travs batted 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. The Drillers weren't much better, batting 1 for 12 with RISP and left eight men on in a 3-hour, 3-minute game.
The Travs look to stop the bleeding when they play the Drillers in the third game of the four-game set on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Dickey-Stephens Park. Righty Orangel Arenas (8-8, 4.42) starts for the Travs and righty Joe Gardner (1-2, 3.93) will start for the Drillers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 and gates open at 6:10.