Little Rock - Alex Yarbrough sent the Arkansas Travelers to a 3-2 victory over the Midland RockHounds with a ninth inning sacrifice fly on Thursday night in the home opener at Dickey-Stephens Park. Yarbrough knocked in Eric Stamets, and previously delivered a game-tying single in the seventh inning as the Travs improved to 5-2. The Travelers stole seven base on Thursday to push their Minor League Baseball-leading stole base total to 20.
Yarbrough, the Angels' fourth-round draft choice in 2012, finished the game 1-for-3 with a walk and extended a hitting streak to six games. Michael Morin (1-0) earned the win with a scoreless ninth inning.
Michael Roth took the mound for the Travs on Thursday lasting 5.1 innings. The left hander allowed two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out three batters in a no-decision.
The Travs left five runners on base in the first two innings against RockHounds starter Zach Neal on Thursday. Neal, who had defeated the Travs last Friday, allowed a leadoff single in the third inning to Kaleb Cowart, who stole second base and took third on a groundout by Zach Borenstein. Cowart broke for home when Michael Snyder hit a bouncer to third baseman Jefry Marte, who threw home. Cowart danced inside the tag of catcher Beau Taylor and was safe for a 1-0 Travs lead.
The Hounds only had one runner to second base against Roth until the sixth inning when Roth faltered. D'Arby Myers worked a leadoff walk and advanced to third when Dusty Coleman doubled near the right-field fence. Roth was replaced after an intentional walk by Orangel Arenas, who entered with bases loaded and walked Marte to bring in the tying run. Then Josh Whitaker put the RockHounds on top, 2-1, with a sacrifice fly.
Neal was relieved by Murphy Smith for the sixth inning, but the Travs got to Smith in the seventh. A leadoff walk to Shawn O'Malley then a steal of second and a sacrifice fly Kyle Hudson put the tying run at third for Yarbrough. With the RockHounds playing in, Yarbrough found a hole through the right side for the game-tying single.
Michael Brady pitched a perfect eighth inning for the Travs, while Andrew Werner got around a single by Zach Borenstein in the bottom of the eighth. However Werner found trouble in the ninth when Stamets lined a one-out single. Werner followed with back-to-back walks to O'Malley and Hudson before leaving the mound in favor of Ryan Dull. Yarbrough lifted the 1-2 pitch to medium-depth right field, while Stamets scored well ahead of Whitaker's throw.
Time of game was 3:11 and the paid attendance was 5,547.
The Travs and Hounds are back at it on Friday night at Dickey-Stephens Park with Drew Rucinski (1-0, 1.80) pitching for the Travs against Tanner Peters (0-1, 5.06). First pitch is set for 7:10 and the gates open at 6:10 p.m.