LITTLE ROCK - Brian Hernandez knocked in two runs leading the Arkansas Travelers to a 3-1 victory over the Springfield Cardinals on Friday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. With a pair of hits Hernandez drove in the Travs first two runs, including the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning. Kurt Spomer (1-0) worked two scoreless relief innings for the win.
The Travelers picked up a game in the standings with the Tulsa Drillers' six-game win streak ending at Northwest Arkansas. At 29-30, the Travs sit four games behind Tulsa with 11 left to play in the first half.
Hernandez's first base hit, a double in the third inning, knocked in Alex Yarbrough for a 1-0 lead. Yarbrough reached with his Texas League-high 70th base hit which was also his league-leading 19th two-base hit.
Springfield answered in the fourth inning with a double by Curt Smith and a two-out single by Jonathan Rodriguez to knock in the tying run.
Leading off the Travs' seventh inning, Kyle Hudson walked and stole second base on a close play. Hernandez followed with a looping single to right field for a 2-1 lead.
Hernandez is 18-for-39 during a 10-game hitting streak and owns the second-highest batting average in the Texas League at .331.
Hudson increased the lead to 3-1 in the eighth inning with an RBI single.
Kurt Spomer (1-0) earned his first win with the Travs with two scoreless innings. He worked out of a jam with runners at first and third with no outs in the seventh inning. Patrick Wisdom led off with a single, while David Popkins followed with a base hit to left. Spomer got Starlin Rodriguez to bounce to third base and Kaleb Cowart threw home to Jett Bandy for a tag out of Wisdom. Matt Williams flied out deep to left, and Jacob Wilson grounded into a fielder's choice.
David Carpenter worked around a single in the ninth inning for his third save.
Kramer Sneed started the game lasting five innings with one run allowed on two hits and a walk while striking out five.
Time of game was 3:15 and the paid attendance was 6,076.
The Travs now host the Northwest Arkansas Naturals for five games in four days starting Saturday night. Drew Rucinski (3-4, 3.19) takes the mound for the Travs, while the Naturals counter with lefty Sam Selman (3-3, 3.42). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.