After five games, the Arkansas Travelers are getting a feel for the Texas League and what to expect.
As of Monday, the Travs were 2-3 and suffered consecutive losses to Midland. After a rainout Thursday caused the opening day to be pushed back to Friday, the Travelers played a doubleheader against Frisco and took a 7-0 opening win. They lost the second game 6-3 on Frisco’s come-from-behind campaign. Arkansas won the rubber match Saturday with a 4-3 10-inning triumph. They fell to Midland, 4-1 and 4-0, before the third game of the series last night.
“On paper, we have a good squad,” Manager Tim Bogar said. “We are still learning to execute. We had some games where we played good and some not so good. I like our aggressiveness.”
One thing the squad is getting used to is the pitching in the Texas League. Bogar said the hitters are learning to make adjustments and be patient.
In the first game, Travs’ pitcher Jarrett Grube was bidding for a no-hitter but lost it in the seventh inning after Frisco’s Jared Hoying hit a double. Randal Grichuk highlighted a four-run first inning with a three-run home run. In the second contest, Frisco scored four runs in the sixth inning to take the lead.
In Sunday’s 10-inning game, C.J. Cron hit a two-RBI double in the eighth frame to force extra innings. In the 10th stanza, leftfielder Matt Long’s single with two outs scored Jimmy Swift, who also singled.
“Obviously, that was good,” Bogar said. “We didn’t give up and got to the 10th inning and got the base hit to win. We need to execute and do what we need to do throughout the game and not just at the end.”
In Sunday’s contest against Midland, the Travs didn’t score until the seventh inning. Taylor Lindsey walked and scored on Long’s single. The Travelers tried to cut into Midland’s lead with singles in the fourth, fifth and sixth frames. In the fifth stanza, Matt Long hit a double with two outs and was trying to reach third but was thrown out.
“I like our aggressiveness on base and trying to get extra bases,” Bogar said. “We are trying to play the game the right way.”
Monday night, Midland pitcher Arnold Leon yielded one hit to Cron on a single in the second inning. Travs’ pitcher Matt Oye threw five innings with no hits but gave up consecutive singles in the sixth.
“Our pitching right now is holding its own,” Bogar said. “Our starters are giving us a chance, and the bullpen at times is very good. It’s early, and we are still making adjustments.”
Thursday, Arkansas starts a six-game road stretch with three contests at Frisco followed by three at Midland. After opening the season at home with six games, the Travelers will see how they fare away from Dickey-Stephens.
“It will be different,” Bogar said. “It’s tough to hit here so we’ll have to make complete adjustments.”