FRISCO, TEXAS (June 27, 2014) - The Frisco RoughRiders didn't take advantage when they got on base and showed sloppy fielding as the Arkansas Travelers won 3-2 at Dr Pepper Ballpark Friday night.
The 'Riders (3-5, 43-34) only went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position and grounded out into two double plays on the night. The Travelers (5-4, 39-40) didn't do much better but received help from Frisco thanks to some damaging mistakes in the second inning.
Arkansas starter Drew Rucinski (7-4) gave up seven hits but effectively pitched his way out of holes and threw strikes when his team needed him to.
Texas League All-Star Edwar Cabrera (3-6) threw a lot of balls in the strike zone (72.5 strikes) but took his sixth loss, tied for the team-worst.
It didn't take long for Ryan Strausborger to continue his recent hitting streak. On the second pitch of the night for Rucinski, Frisco's leadoff man placed one in the far right corner and sprinted all the way around to earn his first triple in a RoughRiders uniform. Patrick Cantwell bounced one over the catcher and into center field to give his team the early lead.
The 'Riders, though, shot themselves in the foot once they took the field in the second frame. After Anderson De La Rosa lined a single to center field, veteran shortstop Guilder Rodriguez committed an uncharacteristic error against Jimmy Swift as G-Rod bobbled a grounder and put two men on. Eric Stamets popped one up right by home plate that was discussed as an infield fly but was eventually ruled a base hit. With the bases loaded, Kyle Hudson knocked a soft groundball right to second baseman Odubel Herrera, but he had no teammate covering first base to toss the ball to. The Travelers would tack on one more run on a double play and lead 2-1 going into the bottom of the second.
Travelers Mike Bianucci obtained his sixth straight hit in the third as he was a perfect 4-for-4 Thursday night. A few more singles would bring home Arkansas' designated hitter and provide a little more cushion that would ultimately be the difference.
While the 'Riders opponent kept picking up hits, Rucinski started to find a groove and retired seven straight batters after giving up the first two base hits. The righty sustained this success as the game moved along and only gave up one run on seven hits over seven innings. He also had no walks and six strikeouts.
Cabrera's night came to an end when reliever Francisco Mendoza took the mound to start the eighth frame. The Dominican allowed three runs (one earned) on eight hits while striking out three. The Travelers quickly singled in back-to-back plate appearances but Mendoza got out of the inning unscathed.
After Jairo Diaz took care of the eighth frame for the Travelers, closer Cam Bedrosian entered to finish things off but had to work to earn his ninth save of the season. Tomas Telis took four straight balls to get on first and then moved to second on a defensive indifference. Two batters later, Herrera picked up his second hit of the night in the form of an RBI single to right field and became the tying man on base. Drew Robinson, though, was called out on strikes, and the Travelers took the three-game series.
The RoughRiders start a new series with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Saturday at 7:05 p.m. at Dr Pepper Ballpark. Frisco lefty Alex Claudio will take on fellow left-hander Sam Selman (3-4, 3.80 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.