A "handful" of wins, that is, to open the 2013 season. The RockHounds made it five-in-a-row on the season-opening road trip, breaking a scoreless (and nearly hitless) tie in the sixth inning en route to a 4-0 win over the Arkansas Travelers Monday night at Dickey-Stephens Park.
Through five innings, the combined line score read "no runs, one hit, no errors." Arkansas had the game's only hit, a second inning single by C.J. Cron, while the 'Hounds had four walks but no hits.
Jake Goebbert and Anthony Aliotti had back-to-back singles to open the sixth, with Jefry Marte's sacrifice fly breaking the scoreless tie.
Chad Oberacker was the key to a two-run seventh, driving in Darwin Perez with an 0-2 single to right-center … stealing second … and scoring on Aliotti's single to left, giving the 'Hounds a 3-0 lead. Oberacker singled, again stole second, and scored in the ninth on Marte's second ribbie of the game (a single to left). Chad stole 30 bases (in 34 attempts) last season, the majority of those (25-28) at Advanced-A Stockton.
Arnold Leon went the first 5.0 innings for the win, allowing just one hit. He was backed by Paul Smyth's second outstanding, multi-inning performance. The right-hander allowed one hit, with no walks and three strikeouts, in 2.1 innings. Frank Gailey and Kyler Newby closed the game with Gailey pitching out of a second-and-third jam in the eighth. Newby allowed a hit in the ninth, with Dusty Coleman's tremendous play on a grounder back up the middle at second base saving the shutout and ending the game.
Kibbles & Bits
- In their first four games, the 'Hounds have outscored their opponents 34-5 with a team ERA of 0.80.
- Chad Oberacker has hit in each of the first five games, going 6-for-22 with a team-high seven RBI.
- Anthony Aliotti went 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. The Texas League's leading hitter is 9-for-17 (.529) and has reached base in 11-of-19 trips to the plate (a .579 on base percentage).
- Centerfielder D'Arby Myers had nine putouts (three times as many as first baseman Miles Head) and the 'Hounds outfield had a combined 13 putouts in the game. The 'Hounds had just four assists.
- Tough Division: The RockHounds are 5-0, but lead the Texas League South by no more than two games. After a South Division sweep of Monday's games, the 'Hounds lead Corpus Christi (4-1) by one game and both Frisco and San Antonio (each 2-2) by two.
- The 'Hounds and Travelers meet Tuesday, the final game of the season-opening, six-game road trip. Wednesday is a league-wide off day for travel with the RockHounds' home opener set for Thursday. The 'Hounds will host the same two clubs they have faced on the road swing, taking on Northwest Arkansas and Arkansas, each in a three-game set.
Line Score R H E LOB
RockHounds 4 7 0 10
Arkansas Travelers 0 5 1 5
WP Arnold Leon (1-0, 0.00)
LP Matt Oye (0-1, 1.80)
Tuesday, April 9 7:10 p.m. Radio at 7:00 p.m.
RockHounds at Arkansas Travelers
Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas
RockHounds Home Opener
Thursday, April 11 at 7:00 p.m.
vs. NW Arkansas Naturals (KC Royals Double-A Affiliate)
Tuesday's Probable Starters
RockHounds (RH) Murphy Smith (1-0, 0.00)
Arkansas (LH) Michael Roth (First start of 2013)