With 14 games remaining and a close race to decide the winner of the second half in the Texas League Standings, the Arkansas Travelers would be better off if they don’t have any extra inning contests.
Over the weekend, the Travs (61-64 overall and 28-28 for the second half as of Tuesday) went to extra innings in two of its three games against Corpus Christi. Last Friday, they lost 8-2 in 11 frames. With a 2-2 score after nine innings, the Hooks tallied six runs in the top of the 11th to claim the victory. On Sunday, the two teams once again went to extra innings with Arkansas suffering a 3-1 setback in 10 stanzas. The two clubs were knotted at one after nine frames. Sunday’s loss added to the Travelers’ extra inning woes as they are 3-10 in extra-inning games. Four of those losses have been at the hands of the Hooks, and Arkansas has lost its last four extra-inning contests. The last time they won an extra-inning game was July 20 at home against Tulsa, 6-5.
Monday was the last day off as the season starts winding down. The Travs are on a critical road swing with four games at Tulsa and three in Northwest Arkansas. They are one game behind Springfield and two games ahead of Tulsa and the Northwest Arkansas Naturals. After finishing at Northwest Arkansas on Monday, the Travelers host Springfield for four games and then the Naturals for three contests.
Perhaps, they won’t ride such a roller coaster during the next two weeks. On Aug. 11 at Corpus Christi, Arkansas snapped a seven-game losing streak after riding a five-game winning stretch. They then won a second game last Monday at home against San Antonio before losing the next two to the Missions and the first extra-inning contest against the Hooks. Last Saturday, the Travs broke the skid with a 9-3 victory over the Hooks. However, that was sandwiched between the two extra-inning losses.
While at home, the Travs have seen the resurgence of four and five hitters C.J. Cron and Caleb Cowart. Up to last Sunday’s contest, the duo combined for a 16-of-39 performance which was welcomed after they went 3-of-45 in the six-game road stretch. Last Thursday, Cowart hit the Travelers’ first inside the park home run. His fly ball was deep to centerfield and as he rounded third base the cutoff throw was bobbled allowing him to score.
Last Saturday, Cron smacked his 10th home run and the Travs’ third grand slam of the season. He also smashed an RBI double for five runs scored in his 2-of-4 performance.
Lefthander pitcher Nick Maronde came back to the Travelers last Wednesday after spending two weeks in the Big Leagues. In his second trip to the Angels, he has appeared in seven games out of the bullpen.