The Tulsa Drillers not only lost a game Friday night, they also lost their shortstop, Josh Rutledge. The Drillers were blanked 3-0 in North Little Rock by the Arkansas Travelers in a game they played without Rutledge, who was called to the majors and made his big league debut Friday evening with the Rockies.
The loss was the second straight for the Drillers and dropped their second-half record to 8-12.
Rutledge flew to Denver Friday morning and was the starting shortstop for the Rockies in their 6-2 win over Philadelphia. He finished a perfect 2-2 with 2 RBI in his MLB debut despite not having his glove, bats or cleats because of lost luggage.
The departure of Rutledge was not the only roster move for Tulsa, as relief pitcher Cory Riordan was also promoted to Triple A Colorado Springs. The Drillers received pitcher Tyler Chatwood who has split time this season between the Rockies and Triple A Colorado Springs.
On the field, the Drillers were blanked with only six hits by a group of four Arkansas pitchers. Travelers starting pitcher A.J. Schugel worked the first six innings, keeping the Drillers scoreless on only five hits. Andrew Taylor, Caleb Graham and Kevin Johnson combined to keep Tulsa scoreless over the final three innings.
Dan Houston was the tough-luck loser for the Drillers, allowing only two first-inning runs in six innings of work. Overall, he allowed the two runs on five hits, while not walking a batter and striking out four.
Reliever Joe Torres pitched a scoreless seventh inning before the Travs added an unearned run off Josh Sullivan in the eighth.
The two first-inning runs for Arkansas scored after Houston had retired the first two batters of the initial frame. With two outs and the bases empty, four straight singles produced the two runs to give the Travs an early 2-0 lead.
The score remained the same until Renny Osuna doubled and scored in the eighth to increase the margin to three runs.
Tulsa's best chance to score in the game came in the seventh inning when Ben Paulsen singled and Kent Matthes was hit by a pitch. With runners at first and second and only one out, the threat ended when Jimmy Cesario and Jose Gonzalez were retired on fly outs.
The Drillers and Travelers will play the third game of their four-game series Saturday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Chatwood, a former Travelers hurler, will make his Drillers debut against Johnny Hellweg of Arkansas. Chatwood is 1-1 with 1 save and a 7.62 ERA for the Rockies this season. He is 0-2 with a 5.79 ERA for the Triple A Colorado Springs Sky Sox.
First pitch in North Little Rock is scheduled for 7:10PM.