TULSA, OK - The Arkansas Travelers continued to be a nemesis for the Tulsa Drillers Sunday afternoon at ONEOK Field in the final game of a four-game series. With the Drillers protecting a one-run lead and needing only one more out to close out a win, former OSU and Bishop Kelley product Donnie Walton delivered a base-loaded single that plated the tying and go-ahead runs for the Travs. They added four more runs in the rally and sent the Drillers to a demoralizing 8-3 defeat.
The comeback gave the first-place Travelers three wins in the series. On the season, Tulsa is only 6-13 against Arkansas while going 14-7 against the rest of the Texas League.
Sunday's loss was especially tough. With one more out and a win, the Drillers would have been only 3.5 games behind the division-leading Travelers, but instead the deficit increased to 5.5 games.
The final score disguised what was a pitcher's duel for most of the afternoon with starting pitchers Victor Gonzalez and Nabil Crismatt turning in good performances.
The two teams traded solo homers in the first two innings to open the day's scoring. Angelo Mora put the Drillers on the scoreboard with his first Double-A homer of the season in the bottom of the first. Logan Taylor answered for the Travelers with this third of the year in the top of the second.
Gonzalez, who was making his Double-A debut, was hampered by control issues in the third inning. With two outs and the bases empty, he issued consecutive walks, setting the stage for a run-scoring hit from Taylor that put Arkansas in front 2-1.
The Drillers took the lead with a sixth-inning rally that began with a one-out single from Gavin Lux. After Mora struck out, Cristian Santana deposited the first pitch from Crismatt into the Busch Terrace beyond the left field fence. It was the sixth homer of the season for the third baseman and gave Tulsa a 3-2 lead.
WHAT YOU MISSED
*Arkansas sent 11 batters to the plate in its ninth-inning rally. It began with a leadoff single by Jake Fraley off Kasowski. Following a one-out walk, Michael Boyle came on and uncorked a wild pitch before getting a pop out. With two outs and runners at second and third, the Drillers intentionally walked pinch hitter Evan White to load the bases and set the stage for Walton. After Walton's hit put the Travs in front, things unraveled for the Drillers as two more hits and two errors from Santana helped push the lead to 8-3.
*Gonzalez did not disappoint in his debut. The lefthander lasted 4.2 innings and threw a season high 91 pitches. He surrendered the two runs on just three hits while walking four and striking out seven. The seven strikeouts matched a season high the Mexico native.
*Lux finished with six hits in the series, with five of them being infield hits.
*Andre Scrub was outstanding out of the Tulsa bullpen. He relieved Gonzalez in the fifth inning and retired all seven batters he faced. Marshall Kasowski set the Travs down in order in the eighth before failing to get through the ninth.
*Cody Thomas finished 0-4 with three strikeouts, ending his 10-game hitting streak. It matched Logan Landon's ten games for the longest streak of the year for a Tulsa batter.
UP NEXT: Tulsa at Springfield, Monday, May 20, 6:30 PM at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO. RHP Michael Bowden (0-0, 17.36 ERA) vs. RHP Harold Arauz (0-4, 9.67 ERA).
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.