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Oilers top Miners, snap 6-game skid

Posted: Monday, July 20, 2009

The Peninsula Oilers snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Mat-Su Miners 3-2 on Sunday in Alaska Baseball League action at Coral Seymour Memorial Park in Kenai.

Playing in gusty and rainy conditions, the Oilers finished their homestand with a 2-7 record. The team is off today before starting a 10-game road trip by facing the Miners at 6 p.m. on Tuesday. The Oilers' final two home games of the season will be July 30 and 31 at 6 p.m.

The Miners remain in first place in the league with a 21-13 mark -- just one-half game ahead of the Anchorage Bucs. The Oilers are in fifth place at 12-20.

The Oilers won behind a solid start from Kyle Barraclough, a down-and-dirty leadoff performance from Garry Kuykendall and a two-out, two-RBI double from Mark Tracy.

Barraclough had a 1.80 ERA coming into the game, but also sported an 0-3 record. He picked up his first victory of the season by throwing seven innings and giving up two runs on five hits while striking out nine.

"Their guy was outstanding," Miners head coach Russell Raley said. "I don't know that many teams would have had the opportunity to beat him today."

Barraclough established control of the game early, throwing 16 strikes and just three balls in keeping the Miners hitless through the first two innings. He said he had his fastball, change-up, slider and split-finger fastball working.

"I had all four pitches working really well, so I was able to keep them off-balance," he said.

Barraclough's only mistake came in the fifth inning, when Jonathan Johnson ripped a two-out triple to center field to score Bobby Jacobs. Johnson scored moments later on a passed ball to give the Miners a 2-1 lead.

"He competes," Oilers manager Jeff Walker said of Barraclough, who threw 90 pitches, 59 for strikes. "He throws strikes and goes after hitters. He's got great strikeout stuff."

The Oilers came back in the bottom of the fifth inning to assure that another solid Barraclough start would not be in vain.

Kuykendall, who finished 3-for-4, scored the Oilers' first run of the game in the third when Jonathan Kaskow got him home on a sacrifice fly. The leadoff hitter continued to torment Miners starter Justin Kraft, who came into the game 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA, by leading off the fifth inning with a single.

Kuykendall then made what quietly might have been the play of the game when Michael Miller lined out to short. Kuykendall was well off the bag when Chad Marshall caught the ball and immediately threw to first. Kuykendall adroitly touched the bag just before the throw arrived to avoid the double play.

After Shayne Willson flew out to center field for the second out, the Oilers loaded the bases when Kaskow walked and Glenn Johnson was hit by a pitch.

The mound twice had to be worked on in the fifth inning due to a thickening shower, but Raley said it was tough to say that Kraft's wild spurt happened due to the precipitation.

"I thought both pitchers did an excellent job of battling the conditions," he said. "There will be days like this when you're playing in Alaska."

Mark Tracy, who finished 3-for-4, cashed in on the two-out opportunity when he stroked a double to left center to score Kuykendall and Kaskow.

"Tracy picked us up with that big two-out hit," Walker said. "That's something we haven't had in the last week and a half, or pretty much all season."

Tracy chalked up his big game to a lesson learned the last time the Oilers played the Miners.

"My last series against them, they threw me a lot of curveballs and made me look pretty bad, actually," Tracy said. "I changed my approach."

He said all three of his hits came on off-speed pitches. He also said it was nice to see the Oilers get some runs on the board after hitting the ball well recently. The team scored just 12 runs during the nine-game homestand.

"We actually haven't been hitting the ball that bad lately," he said. "We just haven't been getting that much out of it."

Tom Briner and Josh Corrales each had hitless and scoreless innings of relief to finish off the Miners. Corrales earned his seventh save.

Sunday's game

Oilers 3, Miners 2

Miners AB R H BI Oilers AB R H BI

Arthr cf 3 0 1 0 Kykndl cf 4 2 3 0

Ramsy lf 3 0 0 0 Millr rf 4 0 1 0

Brown 1b 3 0 0 0 Willsn lf 3 0 1 0

Blndn 3b 4 0 0 0 Kaskw 1b 2 1 0 1

Csnrs dh 3 0 0 0 GJhnsn 3b 3 0 0 0

Cox ph 1 0 0 0 Tracy dh 4 0 3 2

Jcbs c 3 1 2 0 JJhnsn c 4 0 1 0

Allmn rf 2 0 0 0 Parkr ss 3 0 0 0

Mrshll ss 2 0 0 0 Bshyhd 2b 4 0 0 0

Cstn ph 1 0 0 0 ---- -- -- -- --

JJhnsn 2b 3 1 2 1 ---- -- -- -- --

Totals 28 2 5 1 Totals 31 3 9 3

Mat-Su 000 020 000 --2

Peninsula 001 020 00X --3

E -- G. Johnson, Parker. DP -- Oilers 2. LOB -- Miners 3, Oilers 9. 2B -- Ja. Johnson, Tracy. 3B -- Jo. Johnson. SB -- Tracy, Kuykendall, Parker. CS -- Arthur, Ramsey. S -- Arthur, Alleman, Willson. SF -- Kaskow.

IP H R ER BB SO

Miners

Kraft, L (2-1) 4 2-3 8 3 3 1 4

Jensen 2 1-3 1 0 0 0 6

Dew 1 0 0 0 1 1

Oilers

Barraclough, W (1-3) 7 5 2 2 2 9

Briner 1 0 0 0 0 0

Corrales, S (7) 1 0 0 0 0 0

WP -- Barraclough. BK -- Briner. HBP -- by Kraft (G. Johnson). PB -- Ja. Johnson. T -- 2:23.



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