Missoula's Taylor Sinclair didn't just hand the Orem Owlz their first loss in over two weeks Monday night. He also got some revenge.
Sinclair and Pedro Rodriguez combined on a two-hitter as the Osprey stopped the Owlz's franchise-record 14-game winning streak by handing them their first shutout loss of the year with a 3-0 blanking at Allegiance Field.
Orem had outscored its opponents by a stunning 115-50 margin during the record-breaking run, which eclipsed the Provo Angels' 12-game streak in 2003. The Owlz also battered Sinclair (3-1) for seven runs on 10 hits over 3 1/3 innings en route to a 10-5 victory over the Osprey on Wednesday.
"I knew I was going to have to throw against them again, so I was really excited to get another shot," Sinclair said.
Undaunted by his worst performance of the year, Sinclair was sensational over the first six frames Monday, yielding a single to Darwin Perez in the third inning and a base hit to Pioneer League RBI leader Luis Jimenez in the sixth.
The 22-year-old left-hander struck out five and walked two before Rodriguez followed with three hitless innings for his first save of the year.
"It feels really good to stop the winning streak," Sinclair admitted. "Not too many people on the team even knew about it. But once we found out, we were definitely excited to go out and end it for them."
Sinclair, who was signed by the Diamondbacks as a non-drafted free agent out of Northern Iowa this summer, had been roughed up for 11 earned runs on 19 hits over 7 1/3 innings in his previous two outings. The Des Moines native tossed 12 2/3 scoreless frames in his first two starts of the year to earn Pioneer League Pitcher of the Week honors on Aug. 8.
"Me and [pitching coach Steve Merriman] went back and changed my leg kick a little bit," Sinclair revealed. "He also wanted to get in my head that I'm a good pitcher. So I just pumped the zone, used all my pitches and let the defense work behind me."
Missoula staked Sinclair to an early lead as Isaias Asencio ripped an RBI single in the opening frame.
Ryne White delivered a run-scoring groundout in the fifth and Bobby Stone doubled home Ascencio in the sixth as the last-place Osprey (5-16) gave the Owlz (16-5) their first taste of defeat since a 6-4 setback to Idaho Falls on Aug. 2.
Orem starter Baron Short (3-3) suffered his first loss since July 14 after yielding two runs on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings.
The Owlz fell well shy of Salt Lake City's Pioneer League-record 29-game run in 1987. That streak also remains the longest in professional baseball history.