The Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, dominated the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Sunday night, 7-1. The series finale win was aided by a big fifth inning, where the RoughRiders plated five total runs. Two two-run homers and a quality outing from the starting pitcher was the formula for success that Frisco needed to earn the victory.
In the third inning, Jose Cardona broke the 0-0 tie with a monster two-run jimmy jack. It put Frisco on the board and was the beginning of an offensive bombardment for the club. Carrying a 2-1 lead into the fifth, the RoughRiders would send five runners home in that frame. The big moment from that inning came from Andy Ibanez, who hit a two-run homer.
Cardona would end his night 3-5, with his home run accounting for both his RBIs. Andy Ibanez finished 2-3, with both of his RBIs coming from his homer. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was another offensive key for the RoughRiders, as he went 3-3 in the game.
Ariel Jurado started on the hill for Frisco. His pitching performance was stellar. His confidence on the mound gave the batters confidence at the plate. In six innings of work, Jurado gave up four hits and just one run (earned). He finished his outing with five strikeouts and zero walks. It was one of the better performances Jurado has had all season.
Texas Rangers rehabber Jake Diekman relieved Jurado. In his second rehab start with the RoughRiders, he tossed a perfect inning. It only took 10 pitches, six for strikes. Diekman induced two groundouts and a flyout. Brady Feigl and Connor Sadzeck closed out the pitching work for the RoughRiders, each throwing one inning. They combined to walk one and punch out three, allowing no hits and no runs.
News and notes from RidersBaseball.com:
- Five Riders hitters – Jose Cardona, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Juremi Profar, Andy Ibanez and Michael De Leon – recorded at least two hits in Sunday’s win.
- Scott Heineman finished the six-game homestand 11-20 (.550) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, five RBIs, seven runs, six walks and two strikeouts.
- Connor Sadzeck worked a scoreless ninth inning and has not permitted a run in five of his last six appearances.
- Frisco went 3-10 with runners in scoring position Sunday after going 0-26 in such situations over the previous three games.
- Monday marks the final scheduled off day of the season. The Riders will play 13 games in as many days to close out the regular season.
The Frisco RoughRiders have the day off Monday, before embarking on a seven-day away stretch. In that time, they will face the San Antonio Missions for a four-game set and the Midland RockHounds for a three-game set.
Follow Blake Cole on Twitter (@blakeacole) for more on the Frisco RoughRiders, and other MiLB Texas League Double-A teams and players.
*Featured image courtesy of the Frisco RoughRiders.