Drillers’ winning streak snapped

LOWELL, Ark.– The Tulsa Drillers’ season high six-game winning streak came to an end Wednesday night at Northwest Arkansas in the first game of a four-game road trip.

Things began promisingly for the Drillers as they took a four-run lead in the first inning, but the Naturals exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the fourth and eventually posted a 9-5 win at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale, Arkansas. The seven runs are the most given up by Tulsa in an inning this season.

The Drillers seemed on their way to another victory in the early going. With one out in the top of the first, Luke Raley singled and Yusniel Diaz walked. Will Smith brought both runners home with a double to left. After Zach Reks singled, Jacob Scavuzzo extended his hitting streak to 14 straight games with another two-run double that put Tulsa in front 4-0.

The lead held until the big fourth inning. Isaac Anderson, who was promoted to the Drillers from Rancho Cucamonga earlier in the day, blanked the Naturals through the first three innings, but Alex Liddi opened the bottom of the fourth with his 15th homer of the season to put the Naturals on the board.

Five of the next six batters hit safely off Anderson, tying the game at 4-4 and ending the right-hander’s night. Michael Boyle relieved and got a pop out before Jecksson Floresdoubled home the go-ahead run. After Boyle hit a batter, Elier Hernandez doubled home two more to give Northwest Arkansas a 7-4 lead.

After the Naturals added two more runs in the seventh, the red-hot Will Smith continued his home run spree in the eighth for the Drillers. Smith led off the inning with his 16th home run of the season. It marks the fourth straight game that he has hit a homer, and he has now homered in 9 of his past 14 games.

Tulsa finished with 10 hits in the loss with Smith and Scavuzzo contributing three hits each.

*The 14-game hitting streak by Scavuzzo is the longest for a Drillers player since Taylor Featherston hit in 15 straight games in 2014.

*Anderson replaced reliever Shea Spitzbarth on the Tulsa roster. Spitzbarth was promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

*Northwest Arkansas pitching coach Steve Luebber was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a check-swing call. At one time, Luebber was the pitching coach for the Drillers.

*As a team, the Drillers have now hit at least one home run in 12 straight games.

*Errol Robinson was held without a hit, ending his nine-game streak.

*Anderson was charged with six runs in 3.1 innings in his first Double-A outing this season.

The Drillers and Naturals will continue their series Thursday night with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05. The pitching matchups are scheduled to be:

TUL    Mitchell White (1-4, 6.24 ERA)
NWA Emilio Ogando (5-5, 6.23 ERA)

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