Midland, Texas - The Arkansas Travelers jumped ahead early and led for the entire game during a 3-1 victory over the Midland RockHounds on Saturday at Security Bank Ballpark. Drew Rucinski (1-0) earned the win in his Double-A debut with just one run allowed in five innings while adding six strikeouts. First baseman Michael Snyder collected two base hits and an RBI as the Travs earned wins in two-of-three games in Midland.
Rucinski allowed at least one base runner each innings but also stranded six runners and didn't face more than five batters in any inning.
The Travs took an aggressive approach against RockHounds starter Tanner Peters (0-1) swinging early in the count to get a pitch to hit. In fact Kyle Hudson bunted Peters's first pitch of the game for a single. Alex Yarbrough grounded a single to right field to move Hudson to third, and Kaleb Cowart followed with a sacrifice fly for a 1-0 Travs lead.
Rucinski allowed a Billy Burns single and a walk to D'Arby Myers with no outs in the bottom of the first, but got Max Muncy to ground to Yarbrough at second base to start a double play. After his second walk of the inning, Rucinski struck out Miles Head looking on three pitches to retire the side. He then struck out the side in the second inning and left Myers on base in the third.
The Travs scored again off Peters in the fourth inning using aggressive base running to get Borenstein home. With one out Borenstein worked a walk from Peters and Snyder followed with a single to center. Testing Billy Burns's arm in center field, Borenstein ran for third easily beating the throw, which bounced through Head for an error that gave Snyder second base. Midland brought the infield up with Anderson De La Rosa batting, but he was able to hit a fly ball to short center field. Once again Borenstein challenged Burns, whose throw appeared to beat Borenstein to the plate, but catcher Ryan Lipkin bobbled the ball allowing the run to score for a 2-0 Travs lead.
The RockHounds scored their only run in the fifth inning when Burns made it around the bases. Rucinski offered a one-out walk to Burns and he stole second base. A two-out triple by Muncy scored Burns and put the tying run at third base, but Rucinski got Jefry Marte to ground out to second to hold the lead.
Peters came back for the sixth inning, but allowed a one-out double to Borenstein which Snyder followed with a single to center field for a 3-1 lead.
For the third game in a row the Travs bullpen shut down the RockHounds' attack as four relievers each fired a shutout inning. Dane De La Rosa relieved first on Major League rehab to pitch the sixth and allowed the last Hounds base hit, a single by Dusty Coleman. However the battery of De La Rosa and De La Rosa caught Coleman stealing second base.
Brandon Sisk and Michael Brady each threw a perfect inning in making their Angels organizational debuts, and Michael Morin (1) earned the save with an uneventful ninth inning.
Time of game was 2:41 and the paid attendance was 6,502.
Sunday afternoon the Travs have their first day game scheduled with a 4:00 tilt against the Frisco RoughRiders at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Travs lefty Kramer Sneed is scheduled to pitch against Riders righty Jerad Eickhoff.