T.J. Weir brought the grit, Webster Rivas brought the power and Andres Munoz brought the heat.
Weir tossed five innings to start Wednesday’s contest against Midland for the Amarillo Sod Poodles, Rivas hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Munoz shut the RockHounds down with a 1-2-3 ninth for a 3-2 Amarillo victory.
Weir struck out nine batters while allowing two unearned runs on four hits and two walks, and while he didn’t receive a victory while battling through multiple tough situations, the fact the Sod Poodles (16-19) won was all he cared about.
“Obviously, you want the wins (as a pitcher),” Weir said. “But at the end of the day, as long as your team wins when you pitch, that’s all that matters – as long as you give the team a chance to win.”
Weir has enjoyed his time playing in Amarillo.
“This place is unbelievable,” Weir said. “I’ve been around for a while, and this is one of the best stadiums to play in. Obviously, it’s good to win away from home, but it’s even sweeter to win at home – and we needed to win this one.
“Hopefully, we can keep rolling.”
One of the unsung heroes of the night was left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez, who entered the game in relief in the top of the sixth and threw three perfect innings with three strikeouts before handing the ball off to Munoz in the ninth. Munoz threw 100-plus MPH fastballs and topped out at 104 to ice the game and earn his third save of the season.
“Munoz … I don’t know, you just can’t describe that,” Sod Poodles manager Phillip Wellman said. “That’s just amazing – and he threw an 89 MPH slider tonight, too. There are guys that don’t throw their fastballs at 89, and he’s throwing sliders at 89.
“I really feel privileged and honored to watch that kid pitch.”
But Munoz might not have gotten the ball had Rivas not sent his three-run blast, his first homer of the season, well over the left-field wall in the sixth. He felt it was gone right off the bat and didn’t bother to see where it landed.
“I feel really good (at the plate),” Rivas said. “This season, I’ve been really up and down with my swing and everything, but I just keep doing my work every day. Today, finally, I got my first one – and I’m really happy.”
Amarillo will visit Frisco tonight at 7:05 p.m. at Dr. Pepper Ballpark to kick off a four-game series with the RoughRiders.