Up and down continues to describe the Travelers’ performance over the last week. A short two-game winning streak against Tulsa last week at Dickey-Stephens Park was stalled as the Drillers won the final matchup between the two. The four-game series was shortened to three with Thursday’s contest cancelled because of rain and wet field conditions.
Arkansas defeated Tulsa, 7-4, Tuesday of last week, and the win was highlighted by Robbie Widlansky’s three-run home run in the first frame. Manny Correra notched his first victory, Kevin Johnson got the save and Kaleb Cowart added a solo home run. On Wednesday, the Travs won in exciting fashion when Travis Lindsey’s walkoff home run ended the contest and gave Arkansas a 4-3 victory. Thursday’s contest will be made up as a doubleheader during the Drillers’ next trip to Little Rock, June 12-15. Tulsa won Friday’s contest, 5-4, and the Travs left bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.
In a four-game series with the Northwest Arkansas Naturals last Saturday through yesterday, the Travelers won the first and last contests of the series to notch a split. They begin a four-game swing at Tulsa today and go in with 15-16 mark.
The victories at Northwest Arkansas were a 4-2 triumph last Saturday and a 6-0 victory last Tuesday. In the 4-2 win, Brandon Hynick notched his first victory. In Tuesday’s win, Travis Witherspoon and Drew Heid homered and Lay Batista earned his second victory. Sunday’s contest was a 12-4 setback, but Rolando Gomez was 3-of-5 at the plate and missed hitting for the cycle lacking a double. His home run was the fourth for the season. A 6-1 loss occurred last Monday.
Righthander Josh Judy has been acquired by the Angels and assigned to Arkansas from Cleveland’s organization. He appeared in 11 major league games in five seasons spent with the Indians. Lefthander pitchers Nick Maronde and Michael Roth are back with the Travelers after spending time in the Big Leagues. Maronde went April 23 and appeared in three games. Roth went up April 13, and in his Major League debut, he pitched two perfect innings in a win at Houston.
With his sixth save last Saturday, Kevin Johnson and Springdale’s Michael Blazek are the Texas league leaders with six. So far this season, Johnson is 6-of-7 in save chances this season.
Home run firsts
Two first-time events for the season occurred in the Travs’ last seven games. In their 4-3 victory over Tulsa last Wednesday, Taylor Lindsey’s walk-off home run in the bottom of the 9th sealed the win and was the first for Arkansas this season. Against Springdale on Sunday, Rolando Gomez’s fourth homer of the season was the first time the Travelers began a game with a leadoff blast.
Second in triples
Gomez’s third three-base hit against the Naturals last Sunday moved him into second place in the league in triples. The Natural’s Thomas Pham leads with six.