San Antonio, TX-Dario Pizzano blasted a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning and the Arkansas Travelers rode a strong start from Dylan Unsworth to a 5-2 with over the San Antonio Missions on Thursday night.
Down a run entering the sixth, Ian Miller sparked the Travs with a one out single and then promptly stole second base on very next pitch. Two batters later, Seth Mejias-Brean singled home Miller to tie the score. Dario Pizzano then came up and crushed the next offering from Kyle Lloyd off the video board in right field to put the Travs up by two. It was Pizzano's fifth homer with Arkansas and only the second off of Lloyd in Double-A this season. Arkansas would add two more to the lead in the seventh inning on RBI singles from Nelson Ward and Joey Wong.
Meanwhile, Unsworth was cruising despite allowing a two out run in the fifth. He worked through seven innings on only 74 pitches before hitting some trouble in the eighth. The frame opened with a leadoff walk, Unsworth's only of the night, before he plunked the next hitter. After a groundout, Ty France singled in a run and cut the Travs lead to three with the tying run coming up. Zac Curtis was summoned from the bullpen and quickly recorded two outs, including a strikeout to end the threat.
Curtis came back for the ninth inning and quickly procured the first two outs before losing his command and walking three consecutive batters, putting the tying run on base and bringing cleanup hitter Franmil Reyes to the dish as the winning run. Curtis and Reyes worked to a two ball, two strike count before Reyes drove a ball to deepest centerfield but Ian Miller caught it on the warning track to end the game.
Unsworth earned the victory, matching his longest outing of the season at 7.1 innings while giving up two runs on eight hits and a walk with three strikeouts, to improve to 7-6. Curtis earned his ninth save in the closing effort. Lloyd (7-5) was charged with all five runs and took the loss.
Miller, Pizzano, Tyler Marlette and Kyle Waldrop racked up two hits apiece for Arkansas.
The rubber match of the series is Friday night at 7:05. Left-hander Anthony Misiewicz (0-0, 3.00) just up from Class-A Modesto for the second time this year will start for Arkansas against Brett Kennedy (7-4, 3.75). The game will be broadcast on the Sports Animal 920, the First Pitch App, TuneIn radio and milb.tv.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.