ARKANSAS PARLAYED Jose Fernandez' two-run homer in the eighth
inning and Mark Grater's scoreless relief into an 8-4 Texas
League decision over Tulsa at Drillers Stadium Friday night.
A crowd of 3,826 saw the Drillers pull to within a run of
the Travs with a two-run seventh inning spiced by Paco Burgos'
RBI double and Kevin Belcher's sacrifice fly.
However, the Travs retaliated with three straight hits off
Phil Bryant in the eighth, including the clinching homer by Fernadez.
The Travs led from the start on singles by Charlie White and Joe
Hall and loser Robb Nenn's (0-3) wild pitch for a run in the first inning.
Nenn walked three in forcing another run home in the second.
A Fernandez double and singles by Ric Christian and Greg Carmona
provided two more runs off Nen.
Solo home runs by Tony Scruggs, his third, in the third
inning, and Rob Maurer, his 17th, in the fifth inning cut
the Arkansas lead to 4-2.
The Travs got their first run off Bryant in the seventh
as Greg Carmona and Lonnie Maclin singled around a walk to Hall.
Left-hander John Lepley got winner Len Picota (8-6) out
of trouble in the seventh after Scruggs had an infield hit,
stole second and raced home on Burgos' extra-base blow.
Then Grater allowed only Dan Rohrmeier's leadoff double
in the eighth in earning his 12th save of the season.
"We got timely hitting tonight," said Arkansas Manager
Dave Bialas. "Lepley and Grater did a great job in relief."
The Drillers had another opportunity in the sixth inning,
loading the bases on hits by Dan Peltier and Rohrmeier and
a walk to Maurer. However, Picota struck out Pat Garman
to end the threat.
The victory was Arkansas' 10th in 24 meetings with the Drillers
"I thought we had a chance to come from behind in this one,"
said Thompson. "When we got close, they responded.