‘Riders Rewind – June 4
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Magic Number: 9
Frisco drew even in its series with the Missions thanks to a 6-0 shutout on Wednesday. Click here to read the full game recap.
Dropping the first two games in this series would have spelled trouble for the ‘Riders (34-23), who would have been forced to win the final pair in the set just to salvage a split and keep the persistent Missions (30-28) at arm’s length.
Furthermore, the Midland RockHounds (31-27) won their second straight game last night, and thereby claimed sole possession of second place in the standings. Nonetheless, the ‘Riders remain 3 1/2 games up on the Hounds, and cut the Magic Number to below ten with the win.
To calculate the Magic Number, determine the number of games yet to be played (12), add one (12+1=13), and subtract the number of games ahead in the loss column of the standings from the closest opponent (13-4=9).
It behooves both teams to win Thursday’s game with the series now knotted at a game apiece. Strong starting pitching told the tale of the first two meetings (Juan Oramas on Tuesday and Luke Jackson on Wednesday). That motiff may end tonight given the pitching matchup; it could be a high-scoring affair at the Doc.
Both starters hold a 1-3 record. Australian John Hussey owns a 4.54 ERA this season as he makes his second start and fifth appearance against the ‘Riders in 2014. Hussey does have a win against Frisco (May 2), but opponents are batting .309 against the righty.
Like Hussey, Ryan Bores’ ERA would be much higher were it not for eight unearned runs in his stat line. Bores carries a 3.57 ERA, but has allowed 15 runs (seven earned) in 17 2/3 innings with the ‘Riders this year. The other team bats .352 against him this year, and Bores suffered a loss in his last three outings.
Against Springfield on May 30, the right-hander surrendered a grand slam to Jacob Wilson in the second inning to blow the game open in favor of the Cardinals (Frisco lost the game 8-4). All half dozen runs were unearned because of an error on Drew Robinson at first base, but Bores allowed five straight runners to reach base with two outs in the inning.
In case you missed it: For the second time this season, the RoughRiders shut out the Missions by a 6-0 final score. Luke Jackson was the starting pitcher on both occasions. The first happenstance occurred on April 21 when Jackson took a perfect game into the sixth. In those two games, Jackson has allowed no runs on seven hits with two walks and 12 strikeouts over 13 innings. The righty tops the Texas League with seven wins this season.
There have been four shutouts in the season series thus far (three by Frisco, one by San Antonio).
Rehabber Jim Adduci played in left field in his second game with the ‘Riders. The lefty played first base on Tuesday. Adduci took a poor angle on a Cody Overbeck double to left in the fourth inning, but settled in nicely as the game progressed and made a tumbling snare on a line drive by Yeison Asencio to retire the side in the seventh. The Missions had runners on first and second at the time and Adduci’s grab almost assuredly saved a run. Adduci also belted an RBI triple in the third inning and looked gassed after he slid head first into third. He wore a protective mitten over his left hand to guard his injured little finger, which he fractured on a head first slide into second base on April 18. Jake Skole replaced Adduci in left field after the eighth inning. Jake Smolinski made his third appearance of the season in right field. He has made 42 starts in left.
San Antonio manager Rich Dauer submitted an identical lineup for games one and two of the series. However, by the end of the night, the Dauer instituted two defensive replacements, a pinch hitter and two other position adjustments. Lots of scratch marks on the scorecard last night.
Star of the Game: RHP Luke Jackson – 6.0IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 4K
Jackson is now 7-2 on the season with the fourth-lowest ERA (2.55) in the Texas League. His 65 strikeouts rank second in the league. Sixty-two of Jackson’s 94 pitches were for strikes, and although his pitch count ran a touch high after four innings (70), the native of Florida buckled down and threw 24 pitches the rest of the way while his velocity never wavered.
Honorable mention goes to Ryan Rua, who batted 2-for-3 with a walk and a pair of runs. It was the third straight multi-hit night for Rua, who raised his batting average to .315, fourth-highest in the Texas League. He now has an 11-game on-base streak.
Enjoy the highlights, and thanks for tuning in.