TULSA - The Arkansas Travelers rallied for four runs in the eighth inning to stun the Tulsa Drillers for a 5-2 victory at ONEOK Field on Saturday night. Mike Bianucci hit a two-run double for the lead as the highlight of a four-run inning. Four Travs relievers combined to strike out ten Tulsa batters in the last four innings with closer Cam Bedrosian punching out five batters during a two-inning save (13).
The Travs' win snapped Tulsa's winning streak at five games and also put Arkansas ahead of Tulsa for first place in the North Division by one game with a 15-14 second half record. Their record when trailing after seven innings is now 4-39.
Tulsa's starting pitcher Tyler Anderson had limited the Travs to two base hits, both by Matt Long, over a six-inning performance and left the game leading 2-0. Both runs scored off Orangel Arenas during a five-inning start in which he gave up five hits and three walks.
Maikol Gonzalez took his third of four walks to begin the eighth inning and advanced on a wild pitch by Nelson Gonzalez. Alex Yarbrough hit a single to left field moving Gonzalez to third. The Drillers changed pitchers and brought Nate Striz to face Brian Hernandez. He hit a sharp grounder right at third baseman Jayson Langfels, but the ball took a bad hop over his right shoulder down the left-field line bringing home Gonzalez and putting the go-ahead runs on base. Bianucci then ripped the next pitch for a double to left-center for a 3-2 lead. Jett Bandy produced a two-out single to right field that Tyler Massey bobbled allowing Bianucci to score for a 4-2 lead.
Drew Heid led off the ninth inning with a bunt single off Striz and was sacrificed to second base by Eric Stamets. Hernandez knocked in the last run with a two-out single to center for a 5-2 Travs lead.
Arenas struck out one batter in his five innings and allowed an RBI single to Chris O'Dowd in the second inning, and another RBI single to Ryan Casteel in the fifth.
Buddy Boshers pitched the sixth inning and allowed just one hit while punching out two batters. Danny Reynolds entered the game in the seventh and issued two walks before striking out the next three. Bedrosian earned his first two-inning save, although he allowed three base hits.
Langfels led off the eighth inning with a single, which Bedrosian followed with strikeouts of Brian Humphries and O'Dowd. He ended the inning getting Jose Gonzalez to ground to second base.
Leading by three runs Bedrosian allowed consecutive singles to Delta Cleary, Jr. and Tyler Massey. Then the All-Star righty struck out Taylor Featherston, Ryan Casteel and Trevor Story in succession to lock down the save. Reynolds (2-2) earned the win.
Time of game was 3:32 and the paid attendance was 8,076.
The series concludes on Sunday with Drew Rucinski (8-4, 2.37) on the hill against Richard Castillo (2-9, 5.20) at 7:05 p.m.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.