FRISCO, Texas — Under the scorching Texas heat, both the RoughRiders and Missions pitchers had trouble keeping leads, but an eighth-inning rally by Frisco helped them prevail over San Antonio 6-5.
Missions starting pitcher Lake Bachar wasn’t particularly sharp, allowing leadoff homers in both the first and second innings, but he worked around two other hits and four walks to keep any other runs from crossing the plate in his four innings of work. He threw 82 pitches and faced 19 batters, but only managed to induce one swinging strike. That’s a tough way to live. He didn’t strike anyone out but still managed to keep hitters off balance by mixing pitches and varying speeds to limit the damage.
The Missions offense struggled early against Riders starter Yohander Mendez (a top ten prospect in the Texas Rangers organization), getting only a booming, solo homer from Josh Naylor and an RBI sac fly from Buddy Reed through the first six innings. In the seventh inning, however, Nick Schulz hit a two-run homer for the second night in a row, and Michael Gettys hit an RBI double to push San Antonio to a 5-3 lead.
Josh Naylor leads off the 8th w/a double. pic.twitter.com/rhApq9msbh
— madfriars (@madfriars) July 22, 2018
After striking out a pair in his first inning of work and flashing a mid-90s fastball with a solid breaking ball, reliever Gerardo Reyes looked flat when he came out in the eighth inning. He gave up a leadoff homer to cut the lead to 5-4 and allowed the tying run to score after a catcher’s interference and three walks. An RBI single that flicked off the end of River Stevens’ glove at short plated the go-ahead run, and the Missions couldn’t respond in the ninth.
Despite the loss, Naylor went 2-for-3 with a home run and a double, as he continues his blistering July with a 1.003 OPS. The San Antonio offense looks a lot different without Fernando Tatis Jr., who may require season-ending surgery on a ligament in his thumb, and they’ll need a lot out of Naylor and catcher/first baseman Austin Allen, who had the night off on Saturday, if they want to make a run in the Texas League playoffs. Naylor started in left field yesterday and looked fine, though he took a somewhat longer route on a routine pop-up that he still had plenty of time to get under.
Gettys had a big RBI double, but just as valuable was his putout from center field in the eighth inning to limit the damage. As he ran forward from center to grab the hard grounder off Stevens’ glove, I didn’t think there was going to be a chance that he threw out the runner trying to score from second, but it wasn’t even close – he still beat him by three or four steps. Very impressive.
Though the numbers don’t look great for Reed since his Double-A call-up (he was 0-for-3 with that RBI sac fly on the night, and is 3-for-25 in his first six Texas League games), he hit the ball hard, getting robbed on diving plays by the second baseman in his last two at-bats.