Sunday evening from Citibank Ballpark in Midland, Texas, the Arkansas Travelers snapped a 21-inning scoreless streak by scoring seven times in the first three innings, on way to earning an 11-8 victory over the RockHounds. The Travs went on to score in five different frames, while also pounding out a season best thirteen hits.
The Travs struck in the first inning when Matt Long doubled, stole third and scored on a ground out by C.J. Cron.
Arkansas was just getting going. In the second, the Travs marched nine men to the plate. In the inning the Travs scored five times and had five hits. Mark Fleury hit a two-run triple to left. After an RBI single by Travis Witherspoon, the Travs received two more extra-base hits on a pair of doubles by Cron and Robbie Widlansky.
On this day, a six run lead in the second inning was not going to be safe. With winds gusting above 20 mph toward centerfield, Midland answered with a five-spot of their own in the bottom of the second. Chad Oberacker had an RBI-double and D'Arby Myers blasted a three-run homer to left, that closed the Travs lead to one.
The Travs came right back in the third when Rolando Gomez homered to center for his first career Double-A long ball. Gomez entered the day hitting just .177 but exploded in the ball game and ended just a double shy of hitting for the cycle.
Leading by two, Travs starter Matt Oye began settling in. After surrendering a run in the fourth, Oye forced Jefry Marte to hit into an inning ending double play to third base. Oye finished by going 6 1/3 innings and retired eight of the final nine batters he faced.
The Travs added three more in the seventh to help break the game open. Randal Grichuk doubled to score the innings first run. Arkansas added another on a Midland fielding error. The 'Hounds committed four errors in the ballgame. The Travs went ahead 11-6 on a single by Gomez that scored Taylor Lindsey.
Caleb Graham and Daniel Tillman combined to pitch 1 2/3 innings of hitless relief. Kevin Johnson entered in the ninth inning and allowed a pair of unearned runs before getting the potential tying run, Jake Goebbert, to ground out and end the ballgame.
Matt Oye allowed 3 earned runs over 6 1/3 innings to pick up his first victory of the season.
Matt Long went 2-for-4 and has hit safely in nine of ten games to start the season. Long also has produced six multi-hit efforts.
The Travs look to clinch their second series win of the season Monday during the middle game of the series against Midland. Arkansas sends RH Mike Piazza to the mound to face Midland lefty Arnold Leon. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30, with coverage beginning at 6:05 on Sports Animal 920.