FRISCO, TEXAS - Matt Long helped the Arkansas Travelers kick off a six-game road trip with a 6-3 victory by hitting the team's first grand slam in over a year and driving in five runs. Long reached base five times and was 2-for-2 with three walks while powering the Travs' second home run of the season. Randal Grichuk added three base hits including a double. Travs right hander Jarrett Grube (2-0) earned the win in a five-inning start where he allowed just three hits and one run.
The Travs win is their second straight and put them a game over .500 at 4-3. The RoughRiders fall to 3-4 after the loss.
Frisco pitching was extremely wild during the night with nine walks and three hit batsman. Travs pitching was solid with Jarrett Grube (2-0) earning his second win over Frisco in two starts. Grube retired the first eight batters and finished five innings with just three hits and one run allowed. He defeated Frisco's Cody Buckel (0-2) who the Travs scored twice against in 1.2 innings. Buckel walked six and threw just 21 strikes out of 50 pitches.
Buckel opened the second inning by loading the bases on three consecutive walks. Then Travs catcher Jett Bandy was hit by a pitch on the top of his helmet forcing Taylor Lindsey in from third base. Long recorded his first RBI of the night when he drew a bases-loaded walk from Buckel for a 2-0 lead.
The Travs threatened Riders reliever Randy Henry in the third inning by loading the bases on a single by C.J. Cron, double by Grichuk and a two-out hit batter when Bandy was clipped by a pitch on the tip of his nose. Henry squeaked out of it when Rolando Gomez lined out sharply to center.
Grube cruised through the first four innings with two exceptions. In the second inning Grube was hit on the right leg by a line drive off the bat of Alex Buchholz. He recovered the ball in front of the mound and got the out at first base. The only hit he allowed during the first four innings was a two-out single to Hanser Alberto in the third.
Grube's only real trouble came in the fifth when he walked consecutive hitters and gave up an RBI single to Alejandro Selen, which cut the Travs lead to 2-1. A two-out single by Odubel Herrera loaded the bases putting the go-ahead run at second base, but Grube induced Ryan Strausborger to bounce to deep short to end the threat.
Henry kept the Travs at bay during his 3.1 innings allowing no runs and three hits while striking out six. Frisco used Ryan Rodebaugh to open the sixth inning. Bandy reached base with one out when he beat a grounder to third for a single. Gomez walked and Travis Witherspoon singled to load the bases. Long then ripped the next pitch just over the right-center fence for a grand slam (1) and a 6-1 lead.
Buddy Boshers relieved Grube for the sixth inning and walked Brett Nicholas with one out. Buchholz then tripled to left-center knocking in a run and scored on a sacrifice fly by Chih-Hsien Chiang. Boshers struck out Zach Zaneski to preserve a 6-3 lead.
From there the Travs received dominant relief pitching with Mike Piazza striking out the side in one inning followed by another scoreless inning from Ryan Chaffee adding two more whiffs. Kevin Johnson closed the game (2) with a shutout ninth inning.
Friday night the Travs go for their third straight win sending right hander Manny Correa (0-0) to the mound against Frisco right hander Neil Ramirez (0-0) with first pitch set for 7:00 p.m.