The Idaho Falls Chukars are still chasing their first winning streak of 2014.
The top five hitters in the Chukars lineup were held without a hit in 19 at bats, helping lead the Orem Owlz to a 4-0 win over Idaho Falls in front of 1,988 fans Tuesday in Orem, Utah.
The Chukars have been outhit in all five games against the Owlz in the first week of the season, a streak that didn’t end Tuesday as Orem outhit Idaho Falls 6-5. All five of I.F.’s hits were singles, and three of them came from left fielder Robert Pehl, who went 3 for 3 and drew a walk.
Chukars pitchers performed well.
Starter Alec Mills, making another rehab start, allowed two earned runs on three hits and a walk while striking out one in two innings. He was relieved by Jake Newberry, who gave up two earned runs on three hits and three walks with six strikeouts in six innings.
The Owlz struck for two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Bo Way got things started with a one-out single to center, then Zach Houchins followed with a walk. Trevor Gretzky, the son of hockey great Wayne Gretzky, belted an RBI single to score Way and send Houchins to third. Tyler Palmer drove in Houchins with a sac fly to left.
Orem added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth. Palmer led off with a walk and went to third on Miguel Hermosillo’s double
to center. After a walk and a fielder’s choice, Raul Linares hit a line-drive single to center to score Hermosillo and Caleb Adams.
The Chukars threatened to score in the seventh, putting two runners on with one out. But Kyle Pollock lined out to center
and Jeckson Flores hit into a forceout to end the threat.
Idaho Falls went quietly in the final two innings, with five of the final seven batters striking out.
Idaho Falls plays another game in Orem today before returning to Melaleuca Field to begin a four-game series against Grand Junction on Thursday.