CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS (JUNE 21, 2014) - The Corpus Christi Hooks popped off for three solo home runs and used a rare power display to defeat the Frisco RoughRiders 4-1 on Sunday night at Whataburger Field.
Since the departure of sluggers Matt Duffy and Preston Tucker to Triple-A, the Hooks' offense has primarily revolved around small ball tactics at the plate. Corpus Christi had knocked one extra-base hit in the first three games of the series, but drove the ball out of the park on three separate occasions Sunday night.
In contrast, the RoughRiders missed on a pair of early chances to strike first with runners in scoring position and the Hooks made them pay in the third inning.
Jio Mier took Edward Cabrera deep for his sixth home run of the season to put Corpus Christi up 1-0. The next batter, Telvin Nash, lofted a deep fly ball to left field in the direction of Ryan Rua.
As Rua leaped to make the catch, the ball tipped off his glove and over the fence for the second solo home run in as many batters for the Hooks.
Delino DeShields, Jr. stepped up next and nearly made it a long-ball trifecta for Corpus Christi, but Rua redeemed himself with a spectacular leaping grab at the fence to rob DeShields of a home run.
The first two Hooks' homers came off Cabrera (3-5), the losing pitcher of record. The Dominican right-hander allowed two runs on five hits over six innings with no walks and three strikeouts.
Leo Heras blasted the third bomb of the night for the home team in the seventh inning off Jerad Eickhoff. Typically a starter, Frisco's coaching staff elected to pitch Eickhoff in a relief role on Sunday. The righty lost part of his last outing against Midland because of a rainout and will not pitch again until Wednesday due to the Texas League All-Star break.
Heras has launched all three of his home runs this season against the RoughRiders.
Luis Cruz (5-5) garnered the win and allowed four runs and one walk over seven innings with four strikeouts. The lone blemish in the run column came courtesy of a solo home run from Teodoro Martinez, his second of the season.
Cruz did not allow more than one hit in an individual frame and never conceded multiple baserunners in an inning.
Jordan Jankowski earned his second save of 2014 and allowed one hit over two innings with two strikeouts.
With the loss, Frisco (2-3; 42-32) leads the Midland RockHounds by a half game for the best overall record in the Texas League. The 'Riders finish their 12-day road trip with a 4-7 record.
Corpus Christi (2-4; 36-40) salvages the series split with the RoughRiders and now owns an 8-12 record against Frisco this season.
At long last, Frisco's 12-day road trip reaches its conclusion. The RoughRiders enjoy their first day off on Monday since June 2. After the rest day, the 'Riders send a league-high ten players to North Little Rock, Arkansas for the Texas League All-Star Game on Tuesday, June 24.
Regular season play resumes on Wednesday, June 25 as the RoughRiders begin a six-game homestand at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Coverage of Wednesday's game against the Arkansas Travelers begins at 6:40 p.m. on www.ridersbaseball.com with the Frisco RoughRiders Pregame Show.