After enduring 21 scoreless innings last week against the Frisco RoughRiders, the Travelers erupted in a big way against the Midland RockHounds and piled up 23 runs in wins Sunday and Monday.
“I told them (about the scoreless innings),” Travelers Manager Tim Bogar said. “It wasn’t a formal sit down. I just said we haven’t scored in 21 innings, and it would be O.K. if we scored a run. They understand and know what they are doing.”
In the first contest against Frisco last Thursday, Arkansas won 6-3 and was propelled by Matt Long’s grand slam home run. The Travs tallied four runs in the sixth that were enough for the victory. They ended the last three frames without a run. On Friday, they were blanked 9-0 and on Saturday lost 6-0.
On Sunday, the Travs broke out of their scoring slump with an 11-8 victory at Midland and on Sundays outdistanced the RockHounds, 12-4. They did lose Monday but weren’t scoreless in the 6-4 defeat.
“That’s the nature of the game,” Bogar said. “We started getting back-to-back hits.”
Arkansas is also getting several extra-base hits. In the Sunday contest, Long doubled and tripled, and Rolando Gomez homered and tripled with Mark Fleury also adding a triple. C.J. Cron, Robbie Widlansky and Randal Grichuk also doubled. Monday, Jett Bandy, Cron and Drew Heid doubled with Gomez adding a home run. In the loss on Tuesday, Bandy and Kaleb Cowart doubled, and Long added his second home run.
“The playing conditions helped, but we are also getting better pitches to hit and better at bats put together.” Bogar said. “Lots of times, guys seem to press early.”
The Travs return home for a four-game stand with the Springfield Cardinals beginning today. Bogar is pleased with the trip to Frisco and Midland.
“We secured a split on the road, and that is all we want to do,” he said. “Obviously, we were shut out twice in Frisco, and they are a good club. Our guys bounce back well and don’t give up.”
Roth called up
On Saturday, the former South Carolina pitcher was called up to the Major Leagues. Bogar said the fast track helps when the Major League club needs a certain skill level, and in Michale Roth’s case a left-handed pitcher.
“Of course we’re sad, but he is very talented, and I’m extremely happy for him,” Bogar said. “That’s what it is about here helping the Major League club out.”
Long Player of the Week
Matt Long currently lead the league in RBIs with 13 and is third in percentage with a .391.
“He is a very talented player and is the glue in our lineup,” Bogar said. “He is one of the older players and understands what to do and is very aggressive on the bases. He has a lot of responsibility, and the younger players are learning from him and watching him to see how it is going to be.”