Anchorage starter Garret Carruth tossed six scoreless innings and the Bucs benefited from a two-out, two-run error in the fifth inning in handing the Peninsula Oilers a disappointing 3-1 loss Tuesday night in Alaska Baseball League action at Mulcahy Stadium in Anchorage.
The setback was the Oilers fifth in their last six games, all in the league and on the road, as they fell to 1-5 in the ABL and 4-7 overall. The Bucs, meanwhile, took three of four from Peninsula in improving to 6-2 in the league.
In going with a pitcher-by-committee approach after playing five games in the last four days, Oilers starter Jacob Anderson lasted just 2 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and three walks.
Escaping the first and second innings unharmed behind a pair of double plays, Anderson's scoreless outing was aided by an initially strong performance from Mike Ratigan, who relieved him with one down in the third and immediately had his work cut out for him, entering with the bases loaded after Anderson surrendered a single and back-to-back walks.
Ratigan delivered in the third, catching Bret Atwood looking at strike three and then whiffing designated hitter Coley Crank on just four pitches. He appeared to be cruising, too, striking out two more in the fourth, but allowed a leadoff single to Michael Hur to open the fifth. It would cost him, too, as Hur advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, took third on a first-pitch single by Zach Vincej and following an infield single by Atwood, scored when Ratigan issued a bases-loaded walk to Crank.
Tom Briner, relieving Ratigan, who was saddled with the loss, nearly prevented further fifth-inning damage by getting Thor Meeks to ground out to the catcher. But third baseman Stephen Hagen's error on what could have been an inning-ending grounder allowed two more crucial runs to cross in staking the Bucs to a 3-0 lead.
Carruth, the winner who struck out two and walked just one, retired the side in the first before allowing a double to Kawika Emsley-Pai in the second inning and a two-out single to Garry Kuykendall in the third. The Oilers couldn't push either runner across, though, as Carruth worked his way out of the second with a pop out and ground out and then got out of the third with a fly out.
That's when he really settled into a groove, retiring eight straight Oilers, including Michael Miller to end the third. But Carruth nearly collapsed with one out in the sixth when he gave up a single to Kuykendall and followed that with a walk to Miller. After Kuykendall swiped second and third, Carruth induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play in quelling one of the Oilers best scoring chances all night.
Another solid opportunity for Peninsula arose in the seventh, however, when reliever Bryn Henderson surrendered a two-out single to Hagen. With Hagen on second following a wild pitch, Henderson struck out the side, getting Ryan Fisher swinging, but the ball escaped catcher Jake Johnson and Hagen moved to third. The miscue went for naught, though, when Henderson fanned Johnson in stranding two runners.
Peninsula lefty Scott Snodgress struck out five, including four straight, over two scoreless innings to close the game for the Oilers, who scored their only run with two outs in the eighth when Miller walked, took second on a passed ball, moved to third on a dropped third strike and came home on a double by Mark Tracy. Shayne Willson, on first after the dropped strike, was gunned down at home attempting to score from first on Tracy's double. Kevin Jacobs picked up the save for the Bucs after retiring the side in the ninth.
The Oilers have a much-needed day off today before opening a 12-game homestand on Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Anchorage Glacier Pilots.
Bucs 3, Oilers 1
Oilers AB R H BI Bucs AB R H BI
Kykndl cf 4 0 2 0 Vncj ss 2 0 1 0
Mllr rf 2 1 0 0 Atwd rf 4 1 1 0
Wllsn dh 4 0 0 0 Crnk dh 2 1 0 1
Trcy 1b 4 0 1 1 Meeks c 4 0 1 0
Em-Pai lf 3 0 1 0 Mrtnsn 3b 4 0 0 0
Kaskw ph 1 0 0 0 Mtuls 1b 4 0 0 0
Hgen 3b 4 0 1 0 Bllo cf 4 0 0 0
Fsher 2b 4 0 0 0 Hur lf 3 1 2 0
Jhnsn c 3 0 0 0 Sbly 2b 1 0 0 0
Bshyd ss 3 0 0 0 ------ -- -- -- --
Totals 32 1 5 1 Totals 28 3 5 1
Peninsula 000 000 010 --1
Anchorage 000 030 00x --3
E -- Bushyhead 2, Hagen. DP -- Oilers 2, Bucs 1. LOB -- Oilers 5, Bucs 7. 2B -- Emsley-Pai, Tracy. S -- Sibley. SB -- Kuykendall 2.
IP H R ER BB SO
Anderson 2 1/3 2 0 0 3 0
Ratigan, L 2 3 1 1 0 4
Briner 1 2/3 0 0 0 0 0
Snodgress 2 0 0 0 1 5
Carruth, W 6 3 0 0 1 2
Henderson 2 2 1 0 1 6
Jacobs, S 1 0 0 0 0 2
WP -- Henderson 2. PB -- Meeks 2.
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