MISSOULA, MONT -
Despite a solid outing from starting pitcher Derek Eitel, the Missoula Osprey could not get the offense cranked up and, as a result, dropped a 6-2 decision to the Billings Mustangs on Sunday at Ogren Park Allegiance Field.
Eitel showed his ability to work the zone to the 1,955 fans present, walking two and allowing four hits while striking out two and holding Billings to a single run in his four innings of work.
The Mustangs, who snapped a five-game losing streak, would do most of their damage against relief pitchers Sammy De Los Santos (0-1) and Casey Upperman, scoring five of their six runs (only three earned) against the right-handers out of the Osprey bullpen.
Chris Jarrett, Eric Groff and Roidany Aguila each had two hits for the Osprey, who finished with nine in the game. Groff plated Adam Eaton, who doubled with two out in the bottom of the first inning to extend his season-opening hit streak to seven games, with a run-scoring single that gave the Osprey an early 1-0 lead.
However, by the time the Osprey would score again in the home half of the ninth inning, the Mustangs had done their damage. Raul Navarro and Richie Rowland added base hits for the Osprey.
The game featured an oddity - Billings right fielder Yorman Rodriguez, who had three hits and three RBIs, lost a home run when he passed teammate Theo Bowe on the bases in the top of the ninth inning. It was ruled a two-run single, since Rodriguez passed Bowe between first and second base.
The Osprey will begin a five-game stretch against the Great Falls Voyagers, the first three of which will be played at Ogren Park Allegiance Field beginning on Monday. Kevin Eichhorn (0-1) will get the start for the Osprey, while the Voyagers will counter with right-hander Thomas Royse (0-0).
Fans can purchase tickets for any Osprey home game this season by calling the Osprey at (406) 543-3300, stopping by the Osprey Team Store at 412 W. Alder, or ordering online at www.missoulaosprey.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.