Frisco, TX - The Frisco RoughRiders avoided a sweep on Tuesday with a 4-2 victory over the Arkansas Travelers at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Drew Robinson keyed a three-run bottom of the sixth with a tie-breaking double, while the Travs were limited to six hits by a trio of RoughRiders lefties.
Twice in the sixth inning Travelers left fielder Zach Borenstein just missed catching fly balls that were heavy affected by the wind. Rougned Odor led off with a wind-blown bloop single that was just out of Borenstein's reach along the left field line. Jordan Brown's bouncer was initially bobbled by second baseman Alex Yarbrough, allowing Odor to advance on the fielder's choice. Jake Smolinski walked to bring Robinson up. Travs starting pitcher Mark Sappington missed with his first three offerings to Robinson then battled back to a full count. Robinson lifted the next pitch towards left field, but the wind coming over the left field wall knocked the ball down on the left field line less than a foot away from Borenstein. Odor scored as the ball rolled away, while Smolinski advanced to third base.
Sappington, who took the loss falling to 0-1, was replaced by Ryan Chaffee. He got Trever Adams to pop out, but walked Tomas Telis to load the bases for Frisco. Ryan Rua followed with a single grounded up the middle to score two runs giving Frisco a 4-1 lead.
In his second start of the season, Sappington was charged with four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings. He walked two and struck out three on 93 pitches.
Texas Rangers pitcher Matt Harrison opposed Sappington on rehab after missing all of the 2013 season. He was mostly sharp in 4.2 innings surrendering one run on three hits and three strikeouts.
Frisco took the lead in the third inning when Odor hit a sacrifice fly scoring Rua from third base. Rua hit a leadoff single and took second on Sappington's wild pitch. A line drive single by Luis Sardinas moved Rua to third.
Jett Bandy hit a leadoff double off Harrison in the fifth and scored on a two-out double to the right field wall from Andy Workman. Frisco called on reliever Martire Garcia to face Kyle Hudson, and he got the Travs centerfielder thanks to a diving play by Rua at third base which kept the game tied, at 1-1.
In the top of the eighth inning the Travs threatened Frisco's lead when Yarbrough hit a one-out double off Edwar Cabrera and scored when Kaleb Cowart punched a single to center. Cabrera battled back to strike out Borenstein but walked Mike Snyder after Cowart stole second base. With the tying runs on base, Bandy hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
Cabrera threw a perfect ninth inning for his first professional save.
Time of game was 2:52 and the paid attendance was 4,312.
Wednesday the Travs are off before their first home stand of the 2014 season, which starts Thursday night against the Midland RockHounds at 7:10 p.m.
Will continue as coach of the Boll Weevil baseball team.
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