FRISCO, TEXAS (May 3, 2014) - Alec Asher pitched seven shutout innings and the 'Riders improved to 18-11 on the year in a 3-1 victory at Dr Pepper Ballpark on Saturday night. Jake Smolinski scored two of the three 'Riders RBI and Luis Sardinas finished a homer shy of hitting for the cycle.
Frisco wasted no time to plate a run and greet RockHounds starter Chris Jensen. Sardinas made the most of his speed to leg out an infield single in the first and busted out the wheels again to go first-to-third on a Rougned Odor single to right. Sardinas scored on Smolinski's sacrifice fly to left making it 1-0 RoughRiders.
'Riders starter Asher retired his first three batters but had to pitch his way out of a jam in the second. Jefry Marte and Max Muncy pestered Asher while in scoring position, but a strike out of Josh Whitaker and a stellar throw home on a fielder's choice by Ryan Rua saved what would have been the tying run. Asher induced a fly ball out off the bat of Hiroyuki Nakajima to end the threat.
Smolinski, who scored an RBI on the first pitch he saw of the game, made it 2-2 on the evening in his next plate appearance. Batting in the third the 'Rider outfielder hit is 16th RBI of the year on a single to right and Sardinas easily scored from third.
Frisco had an opportunity to bust the game open later in the third with the bases loaded and two outs, but Jensen navigated his way out of the jam by getting Drew Robinson to hit a grounder to second.
Sardinas added to the lead and really threw on the afterburners in the fourth by ripping a triple, which split the outfielders in left center and rolled to the warning track. Jake Skole scored on the play making it 3-0 and the hit gave Sardinas a single, double and triple in the game.
Following a perfect eighth inning of relief for Jimmy Reyes, Francisco Mendoza was given the task of nailing down the save for Frisco. Things got interesting as Colin Walsh ended the Frisco shut out after scoring on a Marte base hit, but Mendoza would rally to strike out Dusty Coleman on a nasty slider.
Asher (2-3) finished his night pitching seven shutout innings and yielded only four hits to the RockHounds. The tall right-hander struck out seven in his outing without walking a batter. Jensen (2-1) also exited the game in the eighth and finished his evening going seven innings, allowing ten hits and giving up three earned runs.
The second game of this four-game set with the RockHounds takes place Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. Left hander Edwar Cabrera (1-0, 3.72 ERA) takes the bump for the Frisco and faces off against fellow southpaw Andrew Werner (0-2, 12.54 ERA). For tickets to see the 'Riders in 2014, call 972-731-9200, e-mail Info@RidersBaseball.com or visit www.ridersbaseball.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.