Rangers Minor League Roundup – 6/25

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads got home runs from outfielder Chris Grayson and infielder Rougned Odor on Monday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 1 – (@) Iowa 2
L - Snyder (1-3)
35-43, 10.0 GB

Playing each other for the seventh consecutive day, the I-Cubs snuck past the Express on Monday afternoon.

Left-hander Ben Snyder (4.50 ERA/.285 BAA) made the spot start in place of righty Neil Ramirez, who was sent to Double-A Frisco last week.

Although he suffered the loss, the 26-year-old Snyder pitched well. He held Iowa to two runs on five hits in four innings, walking one and striking out four.

Recently signed reliever Willie Eyre was excellent in long relief, as he hurled three innings of one-hit shutout ball. He fanned three without issuing a walk.

Neal Cotts threw seven of eight pitches for a strike in a 1-2-3 eighth inning. The 32-year-old veteran has pitched well since returning from the disabled list––5.2 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 4 bb, 7 k.

The Round Rock offense was stymied by Texas A&M product and I-Cubs starter Brooks Raley for the second time in six days. Raley hurled 14 total innings in the two starts, giving up one earned run on seven hits.

Third baseman Yangervis Solarte (.281/.341/.406) led the club offensively by going 2-for-4 with his 18th double in 70 games.

Mike Bianucci (2/4), Brad Nelson (1/3, BB), Dusty Brown (1/3) and Matt Kata (1/4) had the team's other knocks.

Express manager Bobby Jones gave scuffling outfielder Julio Borbon a much-needed day off. Borbon is hitless in his last six games and 26 official at-bats.

Player of the Game: RHP Willie Eyre
3.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 3.18

AA: Frisco 4 – Corpus Christi 1
W - Ramirez (1-0)
SV - Rodebaugh (1)
HR - McGuiness (15)
2-4, 3.0 GB

The ‘Riders avoided the home sweep behind the power of a three-run fourth inning.

After posting a 7.66 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Round Rock to start this season, the Rangers sent Neil Ramirez back to Double-A to work on refining his mechanics and regaining confidence.

Ramirez got off to a rocky start on Monday, as Astros prospect Jonathan Villar hit the second pitch of the game well out of the ballpark.

But Ramirez quickly settled down and turned in a fine outing. The right-hander limited Corpus Christi to a run on two hits over six innings, walking three and striking out six. He threw 63 of his 106 pitches for a strike.

Red-hot first baseman Chris McGuiness (.253/.340/.489) helped power the Frisco offense by going 2-for-4 with a double and a solo home run––his fifth round-tripper in his last four games.

The 24-year-old McGuiness is batting .276/.375/.645 with eight home runs in 21 games this month.

Jared Prince (1/3, 2B) doubled while Jared Hoying (2/3) and Ryan Strausborger (2/4) each singled twice. Strausborger added his 14th stolen base.

In his first four Double-A games, Hoying is 5-for-14 (.357) with a double, a walk, and a strikeout.

RoughRiders manager Steve Buechele used Nick Tepesch out of the bullpen on Monday due to the upcoming Texas League All-Star break. Because Tepesch spent most of the first half at Myrtle Beach, he won't be participating in the Texas League All-Star Game and will have extra rest.

Tepesch pitched well, striking out a pair in the 1-2-3 inning and throwing nine of 11 pitches for a strike. The University of Missouri product has the following stat-line in three Double-A outings––15.2 ip, 13 h, 4 r, 3 bb, 12 k.

Righty relievers Tyler Tufts (1 IP) and Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) finished the game with one shutout frame apiece.

Rodebaugh (0.90 ERA/.157 BAA) was once again impressive, fanning two while firing 11 strikes and just one ball. He's yielded 11 hits and fanned 27 in his first 20 Double-A innings.

Player of the Game: RHP Neil Ramirez
6.0 2 1 1 3 6 1 1.50

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Lynchburg 3
L - Reyes (1-2)
3-2, 0.0 GU

The Pelicans and Hillcats combined for only five runs despite pounding out 23 hits on Monday.

Hard-throwing Myrtle Beach starter Luke Jackson, making his High-A debut, gave up two runs while scattering seven hits over five innings. He walked two and struck out one while inducing eight groundouts to three flyouts.

Catcher Tomas Telis (1/4, 2B) doubled home two runs in the top of the first inning, but that would ultimately be Myrtle Beach's only scoring output of the day.

Teodoro Martinez (3/4) had three singles while Christian Villanueva (2/4) and Brett Nicholas (2/4) logged two singles apiece.

After going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, outfielder Jake Skole is now hitless in his last 33 official at-bats, dropping his season batting average to .185.

Although lefty reliever Jimmy Reyes (3.41 ERA/.288 BAA) struck out four batters in 1.2 innings, he suffered the loss after allowing a run on four hits.

Closer Matt West worked around a single and a walk in 1.1 scoreless frames to finish the game.

The 23-year-old West has logged three blank innings in his first three appearances this season. He's yielded one hit, walked three, and struck out three.

Player of the Game: C Tomas Telis
4 0 1 1 0 2 0 2 .248

A: Hickory 6 – (@) Kannapolis 2
W - Payano (5-3)
HR - Grayson (8), Odor (8)
4-1, 0.5 GU

Hickory starting pitcher Victor Payano (3.13 ERA/.214 BAA) earned his fifth victory of the season in front of an announced crowd of just 681 in Kannapolis on Monday.

Payano hurled five shutout innings while allowing three hits, walking one, and striking out four. He's yielded only 55 hits (while striking out 61) in 72 innings this year.

While Payano pitched well, the Crawdads' offense provided plenty of support by pounding out five extra-base hits.

Chris Grayson (.294/.390/.498) put the game out of reach with his three-run homer––his eighth of the year––in the seventh inning. Grayson was 2-for-5. He also struck out three times and stole his 18th base.

After turning some heads with a .400 batting average and .500 on-base percentage in April, Grayson scuffled through May. But he's turned it on again in June, hitting .270/.372/.568 with six home runs. Grayson has three round-trippers in his last five contests.

Shortstop Rougned Odor (1/4, HR) also added his eighth homer, a first-inning solo shot.

Drew Robinson (1/3, 3B, BB) tripled while Alejandro Selen (2/4, 2B) and Jordan Akins (1/4, 2B) both doubled.

Robinson has a .500 on-base percentage this month with 19 walks and 17 strikeouts in 21 games.

Left fielder Jeremy Williams raised his batting average to .298 with two singles in four at-bats.

The Hickory defense turned four double plays behind pitchers Payano, Jose Mavare (2 IP) and Chance Sossamon (2 IP).

Player of the Game: RF Chris Grayson
5 1 2 0 1 3 0 3 .294

SSA: Spokane 4 – Boise 1
W - Blackwell (1-0)
SV - McElwee (1)
3-8, 3.0 GB

The Indians won consecutive games for the first time this season after claiming Monday's series opener against Boise.

The trio of right-handed pitchers Eric Brooks, Shawn Blackwell and Josh McElwee combined to surrender only one run.

Brooks, making his second professional start, worked the first three innings and permitted a run on two hits. He walked one and struck out four.

Blackwell was perhaps Spokane's most impressive hurler of the evening, working four shutout innings while striking out three and inducing eight groundouts. He gave up two hits without walking a batter.

McElwee, a Newberry College product from South Carolina, pitched around two hits in two blank frames. He fanned three.

Speedy leadoff man Chris Garia (.278/.381/.417) powered the Spokane offense by going 2-for-3 with a triple and a base on balls.

Better known for his raw speed than polish at the plate, the switch-hitting 19-year-old prospect is 10-for-36 (.278) with a double, two triples, five walks, and seven strikeouts in his first nine contests this summer.

Garia played on the Willemstad, Curacao, Little League World Series team with Jurickson Profar. He played his first two professional seasons in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .315/.418/.374 with 31 stolen bases in 61 games last year.

Catcher Joe Maloney (1/3, 2B) knocked his second double while first baseman Ryan Rua (1/4) singled and drove home two runs.

Player of the Game: RHP Shawn Blackwell
4.0 2 0 0 0 3 0 2.45

RK: Surprise Rangers 4 – (@) Scottsdale Giants 0
W - Lopez (1-0)
3-2, 0.0 GU

Rookie Rangers hurlers C.J. Edwards and Aliangel Lopez teamed up to twirl a two-hit shutout in Scottsdale.

Edwards worked the first 4.2 innings and gave up one hit while walking three and striking out six. In his first two starts, the 20-year-old has yet to allow a run in 9.2 frames. He's yielded six hits, walked three, and fanned 10.

Lopez, 18, punched out seven batters in 4.1 innings of one-hit shutout ball. He didn't walk a batter.

Listed at 6-foot-1, 175-pounds, Lopez is a left-handed pitcher from Venezuela. He posted a 2.03 ERA in eight games (seven starts) for the DSL Rangers last season, yielding 20 hits in 31 innings while striking out 29 and walking 13.

His first two appearances in Arizona have been superb––7.1 ip, 2 h, 0 r, 0 bb, 8 k.

Rehabbing catcher Elio Sarmiento led the Surprise Rangers' offense with a perfect 3-for-3 performance that included a double and a hit-by pitch. The minor league veteran has nine hits in 20 rookie ball at-bats.

Slugging third baseman Joey Gallo (.250/.609/.667) tripled and walked in four plate appearances. He had two RBI. Shortstop Alberto Triunfel (1/4, 2B) added his first double.

Making his official pro debut, first baseman Ronald Guzman batted third and went 1-for-3 with a base on balls. He also committed a throwing error.

Lewis Brinson struck out four times in five hitless at-bats.

Player of the Game: LHP Aliangel Lopez
4.1 1 0 0 0 7 0 1.23

DSL: DSL Rangers 16 – DSL Mets2 6
W - Vasquez (1-1)
10-10, 4.0 GB

The Dominican Rangers pounded out 16 runs on 15 hits against the DSL Mets2. Ten of their 15 hits were doubles.

Switch-hitting centerfielder Jose Cardona (.280/.413/.400) had three doubles in four official at-bats. He also walked and drove in three runs.

Ramon Urias (3/4, 2 2B) and Belarmino Campos (2/4, 2 2B) both doubeled twice. Eduard Pinto (3/6, 2B), Diego Cedeno (1/5, 2B) and Elio Castillo (1/3, 2B, HBP) added one two-bagger apiece.

Through 18 games, the left-handed hitting Pinto is 25-for-70 (.357) with four doubles and a triple plus 11 walks and only four strikeouts. He currently sports a .448 on-base percentage.

Rangers starter Nerfy Nunez gave up two runs in four innings pitched, working around four hits and three walks. He struck out three.

Player of the Game: CF Jose Cardona
4 3 3 0 0 3 1 0 .280

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