OREM, UTAH - In their return from the All-Star Break, the Missoula Osprey (19-21, 0-2) committed four errors in the bottom of the eighth inning, leading to three runs and an eventual 4-2 loss to the Orem Owlz (29-11, 3-0) at the Home of the Owlz on Thursday night.
With right-hander Jimmy Johnson on the mound, the Osprey sprinted to an early 2-0 lead, scoring twice in the top of the third inning. Short stop Brandon Leyton led off the inning with a triple to the left-center field gap and then scored on an opposite-field single by Gabriel Maciel. The single was one of two on the evening for Maciel, who extended his league-best hitting streak to 18 games. Three batters later, Andy Yerzy singled to score Maciel, doubling Missoula's lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, Orem responded with a run of their own, the only tally they managed against Johnson in his five innings of work. In his fourth start Johnson turned in his best overall outing, pitching a career-high five innings and surrendering only one run on three hits and three walks, while striking out two.
After Johnson's exit, right-hander Cole Stapler recorded a pair of scoreless innings, carrying Missoula's 2-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth. Clinging to their one-run advantage, the Osprey stumbled through the eighth by committing four errors that precipitated three Orem runs.
Trailing for the first time in the ballgame, the Osprey received a ninth-inning single from first baseman Francis Martinez, but nothing more, falling to the Owlz by a final score of 4-2. The loss dropped Missoula to 0-2 in the second half and 19-21 overall.
The Osprey return to action on Friday night at the Home of the Owlz, meeting up with Orem for a 7:05 p.m. first pitch. Coverage will begin at 6:45 with the Mission Paint Pregame Show on 102.9 ESPN Missoula.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.