FRISCO, Tex - Michael Bianucci returned to Dr Pepper Ballpark with four base hits including a home run (1) leading the Arkansas Travelers to a 9-4 victory over the Frisco RoughRiders on Thursday night. Leading an 18-hit attack, Bianucci was a triple short of the cycle while knocking in three runs and scoring four.
The win helped the Travs even their series with the RoughRiders at 1-1 with the rubber match set for Friday night.
All nine Travelers starters recorded a base hit while seven of them had at least two base hits. The 18 hits were the most allowed by the Frisco pitching staff this season and the second-most for the Travs.
Kramer Sneed (5-6) earned his first win since May 15 with three runs allowed in five innings. He allowed a first-inning leadoff home run for the third game in a row when Ryan Strausborger jumped on his fourth pitch.
Wasting no time, the Travs took advantage of a fielding error by third baseman Joey Gallo on a slow roller by Bianucci in the second inning to score three unearned runs. After the error, Jett Bandy was hit by a pitch. Although Drew Heid hit into a double play, Kaleb Cowart tied the game with an RBI double to left field. Eric Stamets followed with a bouncer up the third-base line for another RBI double and a 2-1 Travs lead. The close call on the third-base line brought Frisco manager Jason Wood out for his second argument of the inning after also contesting Bandy's hit-by-pitch. After a couple of minutes home plate umpire Matt Czajak ejected Wood.
The rally concluded when Kyle Hudson scored Stamets with a line drive single to left field for a 3-1 Travs lead.
The Travs kept it going in the third as Maikol Gonzalez hit a leadoff single and stole second base. A two-out double by Bianucci near the right-field line increased the lead to 4-1. Then Bandy singled to center to score Bianucci for a 5-1 lead.
Five runs were charged to Frisco starting pitcher Alex Gonzalez (1-3), who earned his third loss in a row with two earned runs on eight hits in four innings.
When Bianucci smacked his home run, scoring Alex Yarbrough in front of him, in the fifth inning the Travs lead was at its apex at 7-1.
Sneed had retired 11 of 13 coming into the fifth inning when he allowed two runs on four base hits. Bandy cut the inning short when he picked off Jake Skole on a laser at second base for the third out with the Travs leading 7-3.
Michael Brady turned in a scoreless inning of relief then handed the ball to Carmine Giardina for the seventh, which began with Gallo hitting an opposite field homer (7th at AA and 28th overall).Giardina was replaced by Danny Reynolds after a one-out walk followed with a single. With the tying run batting Reynolds retired Skole on a fielder's choice and struck out Strausborger to hold the 7-4 lead.
After Reynolds pitched through the eighth inning with one hit allowed, the game was put out of reach in the ninth inning when four of the first five Travs batters collected a base hit. Brian Hernandez hit a leadoff single which Bianucci followed with a single to right. A groundout by Bandy moved the runners up a base, and Heid knocked in Hernandez with a single. Cowart capped the night with his second double to score Bianucci with the Travs' ninth run.
Cam Bedrosian worked a perfect ninth inning to secure the win.
Time of game was 3:20 and the paid attendance was 4,567.
The series ends on Friday night with Drew Rucinski (6-4, 2.40) pitching against Frisco's Edwar Cabrera (3-5 3.55) in a matchup of Texas League all-stars. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.