The Arkansas Travelers snapped their three-game losing streak in a 9-2 victory over the Frisco RoughRiders on Saturday night at Dickey-Stephens Park in North Little Rock.
The Travs evened its three-game series with the RoughRiders by scoring all of its runs in the second and third innings, with home runs by first baseman Joey Curletta and catcher Joe DeCarlo scoring five combined runs.
Curletta went 2 for 5 with a three-run double in the third inning, and the 24-year-old has the highest slugging percentage of his career (.500).
He said he's "felt stronger this year" and that he "understands [himself] more as a hitter."
"It was just lowering my effort level," said the 6-4, 235-pound Curletta, who slugged .496 at High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2016. "Not trying to hit the ball too far, because I don't need to try to hit the ball too hard. I can miss it and still hit it out."
Travs right-handed reliever Tyler Jackson (1-2, 5.68 ERA) earned the victory, pitching 4⅓ innings with 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.
Jackson flew from Class AAA Tacoma on Friday night, when he was assigned to the Travs after former Seattle Mariners prospect Andrew Moore was included in a four-player trade with the Tampa Bay Rays for major league reliever Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span.
Moore was scheduled to start Saturday, and left-hander Spencer Herrmann pitched four scoreless innings in Moore's place.
"The Jackson kid coming in, eating up some inning for us. He just flew all night to get here today," Travs Manager Daren Brown said. "It was good for us to get some runs and make it a little easier on him."
Travs shortstop Yonathan Mendoza recorded his first RBI in 13 games, hitting an RBI single in the bottom of the second for a 1-0 lead. The Travs loaded the bases and scored a run on a groundout before Curletta hit his eighth home run of the season, which barely snuck behind the metal barricade above the left field padding to set the Travs ahead 5-0.
DeCarlo hit a two-run home run to left field in the bottom of the third, and Curletta hit his three-run double five batters later.
All the Travs runs came against Frisco right-handed starter Tyler Davis (0-5, 10.33), who was relieved after 2⅓ innings after surrendering nine hits.
Frisco did not score until the sixth inning, when center fielder Michael O'Neill hit a home run to left field to make it 9-1. RoughRiders catcher Carlos Garay hit an RBI single in the ninth to set the final score.
It was the first time that multiple Travs hit home runs at Dickey-Stephens Park this season. Multiple Travs have hit home runs in three road games.
The Travs' 25 total home runs are the second fewest of the three Class AA leagues. The Eastern League's Erie SeaWolves have the fewest with 19.
The Travs have hit 10 home runs at home, 15 on the road.
VS. FRISCO ROUGHRIDERS
WHEN 2:10 p.m. WHERE Dickey-Stephens Park, North Little Rock RADIO KARN-AM, 920, in central Arkansas WEBSITE travs.com PITCHERS Travs: RHP Chase De Jong (3-3, 4.09 ERA); RoughRiders: LHP Wes Benjamin (3-3, 3.53) TICKETS $12 box, $8 reserved ($5 kids), $6 general admission ($4 kids). Gates open one hour before first pitch. PROMOTION Pre-game kids clinic (Gates open at noon; kids learn from the professionals); kids run the bases; $3 discount with military ID; families admitted for $10 with church bulletin.
Sports on 05/27/2018
Print Headline: Travs rip 'Riders, end three-game skid