Class AA Northwest Arkansas’ bullpen imploded Tuesday night in an 8-4 loss to Tulsa.
Right-hander J.C. Sulbaran allowed just one run on three hits in six innings, but Andrew Triggs gave up six runs (three earned) on four hits and a walk in the ninth.
Sulbaran, who walked three and struck out five, has caught the eye of the Royals’ brass after struggling in 2013 with a 6.16 ERA between Class A-Advanced Wilmington and Northwest Arkansas.
“He’s quietly had a very good year,” Royals assistant GM JJ Picollo said. “We acquired J.C. from Cincinnati in the (Jonathan) Broxton trade (in 2012). He pitched in the Futures Game a few years ago, but had a tough year last year. He spent a lot of time in the complex this last winter, had a good spring and continues to get back to the things that allowed him to have success prior to us acquiring him.”
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In his last eight starts, Sulbaran has a 2.19 ERA and opponents are hitting just .219 against him.
Shortstop Orlando Calixte, right fielder Jorge Bonifacio and catcher Parker Morin each had two hits in Tuesday’s game.