As the month of August began, the Roadrunners showed signs of breaking out of a prolonged slump with two wins in five outings. They defeated McAllen 10-4 Tuesday to end an 8-game losing skid, and then won one of three at Harlingen against the WhiteWings, with the return of righthander Jose Pablo Oyervidez the highlight.
Oyervidez, who made some super starts last year for the club, was very sharp Friday night, pitching into the ninth of a 12-1 victory and striking out 11. The offense struck for six runs in the fourth to give the Valley native some breathing room, after the Wings had broken up the first game of the series with a big fourth-inning at-bat Thursday.
In that ball game, Tim Haines looked good until the fourth and R.J. Harris hit his ninth homer, but the ‘Runners lost a 7-2 lead, and eventually the game in the 10th, 8-7.
Saturday to close the series, closer Julio Castro got a rare start and though he fanned six in six frames, he also allowed six runs, half of it on a homer from former Edinburg star Eric Gonzalez.
The final was 6-1, with the bats getting just five hits for Castro, while Gonzalez, who was on the shelf for about six weeks with a torn oblique muscle, working his way back into shape and going deep off old pal Castro. "Gonzo" is hitting .348 this season for the offensive-minded Wings, who finished the weekend just three games begind Southern Division leader San Angelo.
As for the ‘Runners, they were a drab 26-43 after Saturday's action, and looked to a series at The Stadium against McAllen Monday through Thursday. Then it's San Angelo coming to town for four.
NOTES: Recently acquired infielder Jonathan Fernandez has been doing the job at the plate, with six hits last week in 17 tries. Reliever Andrew Dowl (9.95 ERA in 19 innings) was released to make room for Oyervidez.