For the second night in a row Saturday, the Tulsa Drillers and the Arkansas Travelers battled in a pitcher's dual at North Little Rock's Dickey-Stephens Park. For the second straight game, Tulsa claimed a one-run victory. The Drillers broke a scoreless tie in the top of the eighth inning on Daniel Mayora's RBI triple and posted a 1-0 win, their third straight over the Travelers.
Starting pitchers Bruce Billings and Michael Anton were dominate through the first part of the game. Billings worked the first five innings for the Drillers, shutting the Travs out on only three hits.
Anton was even better. He kept Tulsa off the scoreboard, surrendering only four hits in seven strong innings.
The Drillers finally broke the dual shutout against reliever Robert Fish in the eighth. Jason Van Kooten, the first batter Fish faced, singled into left field to start the inning. Anthony Jackson then attempted to sacrifice Van Kooten into scoring position, but first baseman Efren Navarro fielded the bunt and threw to second for a force out. The failed bunt proved not to be a factor when Mayora drilled a triple into the gap in right-center field that plated Jackson with the game's only run.
Chris Malone, who had worked two scoreless relief innings, gave way to Huston Street in the bottom of the eighth for the Drillers. Street, who is on an injury rehabilitation assignment because of shoulder inflammation, struck out Carlos Colmenares before throwing two balls to Abel Nieves. After the second pitch, Street motioned to the Tulsa dugout. He was promptly removed and taken to the Tulsa clubhouse by trainer Austin O'Shea. There was no immediate word on what forced Street to leave the game.
Alberto Alburquerque came on and threw two straight balls to walk Nieves. He recovered to retire the next two batters to end the threat.
Alburquerque then worked a perfect bottom of the ninth to close out the victory and gain his first save of the season.
Malone was credited with his first Double A win after his two scoreless frames. For Billings, he ran his streak of scoreless innings to 13 straight with his five innings of work.
Tulsa out-hit Arkansas 7-4 in the game. Kenny Perez was the only player to get more than one hit in the game, finishing 2-4.
The Drillers will try to complete a four-game sweep of the Travelers Sunday afternoon. Keith Weiser (2-3, 3.09 ERA) will pitch against Tim Kiely (3-3, 5.24 ERA) in the finale. Starting time is scheduled for 2:00PM at Dickey-Stephens Park.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.