Sunday at Frisco, the RockHounds hit six home runs in a 16-4 win. Monday, pitching was front-and-center, with just six hits for each team, and a combined five walks and 21 strikeouts. Still, it was a home run that would win the game.
After the RockHounds broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth, Ryan Strausborger opened the home half of the inning with an infield single. One out later, Chi-Hsien Chiang sent Carlos Hernandez' first offering onto the right field berm, and the two-run home run would stand up as the game winner.
The RockHounds "Frankensteined" their run together in the fifth, with D'Arby Myers reaching on an error by third baseman Alex Buchholz to lead off the inning. Darwin Perez dropped down a perfect sacrifice bunt, and Anthony Aliotti singled to right, putting runners at the corners. On a 3-2 pitch to Jake Goebbert, "Ali" broke for second. Jake struck out swinging, with Aliotti then stopping short of the bag at second to force a rundown, and Myers breaking off third. D'Arby beat the throw, swiping home on the double steal, to give the 'Hounds a short-lived, 1-0, lead.
The RockHounds had their best chance for a big inning in the fourth, with back-to-back leadoff singles from Vinnie Catricala and David Freitas. But, with the bases loaded and one out, RoughRiders starter Nick McBride got Miles Head to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-2 double play.
Hernandez pitched well, going six innings and allowing two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out seven. Frank Gailey tossed two scoreless innings in relief, lowering his ERA to 1.76 while striking out three. Frisco pitchers whiffed 11, with Rangers' prospect Wilmer Font earning his eighth save in as many chances.
Kibbles & Bits
- Anthony Aliotti went 2-for-4, finishing the first half with a .364 average. The All-Star first baseman played in all 70 games and collected a remarkable 96 hits. His hit total leads the league by at least 20 and his average tops the Texas League by 30+ points.
- The RockHounds and RoughRiders meet Tuesday (7:05 p.m.) and cap the set with an 11:05 a.m. start Wednesday.
- Tuesday's Texas League games open the second half pennant race. All eight clubs revert back to 0-0, making this "opening day, part two." With the exception of a potential wild card playoff entry, the two half-seasons are complete, separate, pennant races.
- The 'Hounds then return home for a four-game home stand, beginning with a "Thirsty Thursday" (June 20) and including Electronics Giveaway Night (sponsored by Best Buy) on Friday the 21st and a post-game fireworks show on Saturday the 22nd.
WP Nick McBride (1-2, 6.50)
LP Carlos Hernandez (3-6, 3.36)
H R Frisco Chih-Hsien Chang (6) A 2-run HR in the 5th (off Carlos Hernandez)
vs. Frisco RoughRiders (Texas Rangers' AA Affiliate)
Tuesday, June 18 7:05 p.m. Radio at 7:00 p.m.
Dr Pepper Ballpark Frisco, TX
Frisco (RH) Carlos Pimentel (7-3, 3.60)
RockHounds (RH) Murphy Smith (5-7, 2.70)