Tuesday, April 19, 2011

SPORTS >> Travelers top ’Riders in fifteenth

Leader sports editor

The kids were out of school by the time the Arkansas Travelers wrapped up their school-day special on Monday.

Luis Jimenez hit a one-out RBI single in the 15th inning to lift Arkansas to a 4-3 victory, their fourth consecutive, over the Frisco RoughRiders at Dickey-Stephens Park.

In one of the Travelers’ more enduring promotions, the game began at 11 a.m. before a crowd of 8,779 most of them area schoolchildren who were on hand for the traditional kids day game.

But most of the kids were back in class by the time regulation play ended in a 2-2 tie, and the kids were no doubt home or on their way home when Jimenez delivered his game-winning hit 4 hours and 24 minutes after first pitch.

“I think that’s the longest one I’ve ever played,” Jimenez said.

Frisco took a 3-2 lead when catcher Robbie Diaz hit a two-out, bloop single to right to score Davis Stoneburner in the top of the 13th inning.

Arkansas center fielder Mike Trout tied it again when he led off the bottom of the inning with a home run over the left-field fence, hitting the base of the scoreboard.

Travs reliever Chris Scholl pitched three innings of scoreless relief, giving up two hits and striking out two without a walk. Matt Meyer (1-1) picked up the victory, pitching two scoreless innings while striking out two.

Trout went 3 for 6 with two runs and an RBI and Jimenez went 2 for 6 with his game-winning RBI. Frisco’s Engel Beltre went 3 for 7.

Adam Younger, who came in to play first base when Jay Brossman tweaked a hamstring in the third inning, led off the Travelers 15th with a double to left field.

Trout sacrificed Younger to third for the first out and Frisco reliever Justin Miller intentionally walked shortstop Darwin Perez looking for a double play. But Perez stole second, forcing the RoughRiders’ infield to play in and then Jimenez sliced the game-winner to left off losing pitcher Justin Miller.

“That was kind of like a sinker that tried to cut a little bit,” Jimenez said. “All I said was ‘Well, I’m going to put the ball in play, try to get it out of the infield,’ because the infield was in.”

The RoughRiders got to Arkansas starter Garrett Richards in the top of the first when Beltre singled to center. Richards retired the next two Riders on fly outs to center, but gave up consecutive singles to Tommy Mendonca and Diaz, the last one scoring Beltre for the first run.

The Travs got on the scoreboard in the third inning when Brossman hit a two-out infield single and Trout doubled to left, moving Brossman to third.

Perez scored the two runners with a double to right field to put Arkansas up 2-1.

Frisco tied it in the top of the fourth when left fielder Jonathan Greene led off with a double, moved to third on a groundout to second, and scored when Beltre hit an RBI single to center.

Beltre was caught stealing to end the inning.

The Travs went eight innings without a hit, getting its first since the third inning from catcher Orlando Mercado when he hit a one-out double in the 12th. The Travs couldn’t capitalize when Angel Castillo grounded out to third and Younger flied out to right.

Arkansas improved to 6-5 and is above .500 for the first time after opening the season 0-4.

“We have a good team. I think we can go with the competition,” Jimenez said.

On Tuesday, before playing Frisco in the series and homestand finale, Arkansas announced catcher Alberto Rosario (lower back strain) and Brossman (right hamstring strain) have been placed on the disabled list.

The parent Los Angeles Angels promoted Dillon Baird and Ikko Sumi from Class A Inland Empire, in the California League.

The left-handed hitting Baird is batting .372 with three home runs and 13 RBI and has played first, third and designated hitter.

Sumi, a catcher, is hitless in 12 at-bats.

Rosario is hitting .294 in five games and will be available to return April 24. Brossman is hitting .257 in 11 games and should be able to return on April 27.

Both injured players spent time at Arkansas last season.