SPRINGFIELD, MO - Tyler DeLoach combined with two relievers on a six-hitter in his Class AA debut as the Arkansas Travelers finished their second four-game sweep of the Springfield Cardinals in a month with a 5-0 victory at Hammons Field. Jett Bandy blasted a three-run homer (10) to aid the Travs in their ninth straight win over Springfield and 17th win in 22 games.
The Travs' overall record improves to a season-best 59-54 after their fourth series sweep. They remain in first place in the North Division second-half standings by four games over Northwest Arkansas at 25-18.
DeLoach, who went 10-4 with the California League's second-lowest ERA (3.21), finished five innings and retired eight of the last nine batters he faced. He walked four batters, including three out of the first six he faced, and hit another batter but allowed no Springfield runner to third base.
Following a pair of two-out walks in the first inning the lefty struck out Patrick Wisdom. DeLoach picked off Mike O'Neill following a leadoff walk in the second inning. He hit his 17th batter of the seaso with two outs and allowed a single by Travis Tartamella but induced Charlie Tilson to fly out for the third out.
Meanwhile Cardinals lefty Jimmy Reed cruised through three innings and retired the first ten Travs batters when Alex Yarbrough sent a fly ball off the centerfield wall in the fourth inning for his Texas League high 35th double. Brian Hernandez lined a single to right moving Yarbrough to third base. Springfield shifted three infielders to the left side with Mike Bianucci batting, and the cleanup hitter rolled a single through the right side to knock Yarbrough home. Bandy crushed a 1-0 offering with two outs into the left field bullpen to take over the team lead in homers and increase the lead to 4-0.
Eric Stamets, Maikol Gonzalez and Yarbrough connected on consecutive singles off Reed in the fifth inning with Yarbrough taking over the league lead with his 63rd RBI.
DeLoach left the game after the fifth in favor of Kevin Johnson. Back-to-back singles by Wisdom and O'Neill with two outs brought Rafael Ortega to the plate. Johnson leaped for a high bouncer near the mound and fired towards second base, but his throw was wide of the bag forcing Stamets to lunge for the ball. O'Neill was called out on a force play, but Stamets still dove back towards the bag and tagged him anyway.
Cards manager Mike Shildt argued the call with third base umpire Nestor Ceja and was eventually ejected from the game.
When the inning continued, Johnson walked Alex Mejia to load the bases but preserved the shutout by striking out Tartamella for the third out.
Johnson got a double play off the bat of Curt Smith after a one-out single in the seventh inning.
Jairo Diaz completed the shutout with two innings of work. Diaz struck out three and got around a walk and a single in the ninth inning.
Time of game was 2:59 and the paid attendance was 5,533.
The Travs head into their first scheduled off day in 26 days on Monday and remain home to host a six-game home stand at Dickey-Stephens Park. Tuesday evening the San Antonio Missions and Travs begin a three-game series at 7:10 p.m. Gates open at 6:10 p.m.