FRISCO, TEXAS (APRIL 8, 2014) - In his second rehab appearance with the Frisco RoughRiders this season, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Matt Harrison pitched well over 4.2 innings as the RoughRiders defeated the Arkansas Travelers 4-2 on Tuesday. With the win, the 'Riders avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Travelers and improved their record to 2-4 on the young season.
Pitching in a day game at Dr Pepper Ballpark, Harrison held the Los Angeles Angels' Double-A affiliate scoreless until the fifth inning and allowed just one run on three hits. The 6-foot-4, 240 pound left-hander struck out three batters, walked none and threw 38 of his 60 pitches for strikes.
Harrison exited the game with the score knotted at one run apiece in the fifth inning. Frisco opened the scoring in the third inning with an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of second baseman Rougned Odor to take a 1-0 lead. Arkansas answered two innings later when right fielder Andy Workman drove in teammate Jett Bandy on a double to right field off Harrison. It was Workman's fourth RBI in two games and marked the end of Harrison's tenure on the mound.
Frisco (2-4) responded shortly thereafter in the sixth inning. Travelers starter Mark Sappington ran into trouble when he gave up a leadoff single to Odor to start the frame and later walked Frisco left fielder Jake Smolinski to put two men on with just one out. On the ensuing at bat, Smolinski's compatriot in the outfield, right fielder Drew Robinson, delivered an RBI double that landed beneath a diving Zach Borenstein in left and put the 'Riders on top 2-1. Later in the inning, third baseman Ryan Rua delivered the first multiple-RBI hit of the season for the 'Riders on a single off Arkansas reliever Ryan Chaffee. Smolinski and Robinson both scored to extend the Frisco lead to 4-1.
The three-run sixth inning proved decisive for the RoughRiders although Travelers third baseman Kaleb Cowart drove in a run in the eighth to bring Arkansas (4-2) to within two. But left-handed pitcher Edwar Cabrera kept the Travs off the scoreboard the rest of the way and picked up his first career save in Frisco's 4-2 win. Fellow lefty Martire Garcia (1-0) notched his first stateside win since 2011 for the 'Riders while Sappington (0-1) picked up his first loss.
With the win, Frisco concluded a six-game home stand to begin the season. After a day off on Wednesday, the 'Riders hit the road for the first time in 2014 and open up a three-game set with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals on Thursday at 6:05 p.m. The game broadcast will air live on www.ridersbaseball.com beginning at 5:40 p.m. The RoughRiders next play at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Thursday, April 17 at 7:05 against Corpus Christi. For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.