The Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, defeat the Tulsa Drillers 8-4 in the first game back from the All-Star break, Thursday night. Key offensive production, and capitalizing on poor Tulsa defense, led to Frisco’s victory in the first matchup of a three-game set.
Pedro Payano started on the mound for the Frisco RoughRiders. He earned his first win since being promoted to Double-A ball on June 1. Payano tossed 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits and two runs (both earned). The 22-year-old righty walked four and struck out four. Of the six innings he started, Payano allowed the leadoff hitter to reach base in the first five. He was the beneficiary of solid defensive work, as the RoughRiders turned several double plays.
Despite a rough fourth inning, where Payano allowed five singles, he otherwise looked well poised. He seems to be adapting to the development he’s receiving with the RoughRiders. His fastball sat between 92 and 94. In the first inning, he had an excellent pickoff at second base. His timing was right and the throw couldn’t have been better placed. He’s the No. 27 prospect, according to MLB.com, and will likely advance successfully.
The RoughRiders were able to capitalize on poor defense from the Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate, with five of their last six runs being unearned. The Drillers committed three errors in total, with those and passed balls helping seal the deal for Frisco. They weren’t without error themselves, as catcher Jose Trevino committed a throwing error in a pickoff attempt. He has already committed more errors this season than all of 2016. That’s the give and take with aggressive defensive catchers. It’s not an area of concern now, as Trevino stays on the positive side of the double-edged sword.
Offensively, the club looked solid. Andy Ibanez hit a leadoff home run in the third inning, drawing first blood and giving the RoughRiders the lead. Michael De Leon hit a monster double and was sent across the plate by a single from Isiah Kiner-Falefa. At the end of three innings, the RoughRiders had a 2-0 lead. Juremi Profar also legged out a double, and Jose Trevino went 3-5 with one RBI.
News and notes from RidersBaseball.com:
- Isiah Kiner-Falefa collected his team-leading 32nd RBI in the third inning and his team-best 23rd multi-hit game with his fourth three-hit game. Juremi Profar scooped up his 20th multiple-hit performance with his fifth three-hit game.
- Scott Heineman continued his on-base streak, extending it to 15 games with a walk in the eighth, but snapped his seven-game hitting streak.
- Connor Sadzeck, who has been converted to a relief pitcher for the foreseeable future, worked a perfect eighth inning, inducing two weakly-hit ground balls while striking out one.
- Five of Frisco’s final six runs were unearned, thanks to three Tulsa errors.
The Frisco RoughRiders will take on the Tulsa Drillers again Friday night. Game two of the three-game set is scheduled to start at 7:05 PM CT, from Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. You can watch the game via MiLB.tv, or listen to the broadcast at RidersBaseball.com.
Follow Blake Cole, The Inscriber’s exclusive reporter to the Frisco RoughRiders and the Texas League, on Twitter (@blakeacole) for more news and information.