North Little Rock, AR-Dylan Unsworth continued his recent run of sensational pitching in leading the Arkansas Travelers to a 5-2 series opening victory over the Springfield Cardinals on Wednesday night.
Unsworth pitched seven shutout innings for the second time in his past three starts. This time he surrendered only two hits and two walks while also hitting a batter and registering four strikeouts as he laid claim to his eighth victory of the season. All five Cardinal runners came at the start of innings but they never moved a man past second base.
Dakota Hudson was just as good for Springfield through four innings before the Travs got to him in the fifth. Kyle Waldrop began the frame with a double and Ryan Casteel followed with a single before a passed ball brought Waldrop home to open the scoring. Nelson Ward then walked and Joey Wong dropped down a bunt hit to load the bases. After a force out at the plate, Chuck Taylor drove a run home on a fielder's choice groundout and then after a walk by Seth Mejias-Brean reloaded the bases, Dario Pizzano was hit by a pitch from reliever Tyler Bray forcing home the third and final run of the inning.
Springfield made a push in the eighth inning, scoring twice off rehabbing big league righty Shae Simmons but a timely double play turned that inning around. Arkansas got those two runs back in the bottom of the eighth as Waldrop smoked a line shot into the right field corner for a two-run homer, his ninth of the year. Waldrop was one of three Travs along with Tyler Marlette and Casteel to have a multi-hit night.
Zac Curtis pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 10th save, making a winner of Unsworth who improved to 8-6. Hudson took the loss and fell to 7-4.
Game two of the series is Thursday night at Dickey-Stephens Park. Lefty Anthony Misiewicz (1-0, 1.38) makes his third Double-A start for the Travs against righty Sandy Alcantara (3-5, 5.76). First pitch for 70's theme night is 7:10. The game will also 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.