Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/14

Although the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders fell on Tuesday afternoon, first baseman Brett Nicholas clubbed his 10th home run of the season––and his third in three games. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 1 – (@) Tucson 12
L - Brigham (0-1)
20-19, 3.5 GB

The Padres battered Round Rock starting pitcher Jake Brigham for nine runs––all earned––in 1.2 innings in Tuesday's series finale. The 25-year-old righty surrendered nine hits while walking one and striking out two.

In his first two Triple-A outings, Brigham tossed 5.1 innings of one-hit ball. But in his last two games, he has coughed up 12 runs on 10 hits in 1.2 innings, walking three and fanning two.

Brigham actually worked a scoreless first inning on Tuesday before it unraveled. His second inning included a hit-by pitch, a walk, five singles, three doubles, and a throwing error.

Aside from the nine-run Tucson second inning, the contest was a relatively uneventful one. The Padres pounded out 20 total hits.

Leadoff man Engel Beltre (.278/.324/.346) went 1-for-4 with his 11th double, Round Rock's only extra-base hit of the game.

Jurickson Profar (2/4) singled twice while Yangervis Solarte (1/3, BB) singled and walked.

Outfielder Hirotoshi Onaka, who is playing with the Express temporarily, appeared in his first Triple-A game and went hitless in two at-bats.

Round Rock's defense helped soften the damage on the scoreboard by turning four double plays in Tucson's eight innings at-bat.

Yoshinori Tateyama hurled 2.1 scoreless innings despite allowing four hits. Nate Robertson then gave up three runs in two innings before Evan Meek tossed two shutout frames to finish the game.

The Express were defeated by former Rangers prospect Wilfredo Boscan, who tossed five innings of four-hit, shutout ball. Boscan was traded this past offseason for current Round Rock closer Cory Burns.

Player of the Game: SS Jurickson Profar
4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 .250

AA: Frisco 2 – Midland 6
L - Ramirez (3-1)
HR - Nicholas (10)
20-18, 2.0 GB

Despite having perhaps his best stuff of the season, hard-throwing righty Neil Ramirez (2.93 ERA/.152 BAA) was a hard-luck loser for the ‘Riders on Tuesday.

Ramirez struck out a career-high 11 batters over a season-best seven innings, giving up three runs on three hits without issuing a walk. On the season, he has quite the impressive stat-line––43.0 ip, 21 h, 14 er, 18 bb, 55 k.

Ramirez's 55 strikeouts currently lead the Double-A Texas League. Carlos Pimentel, his Frisco teammate, ranks second with 51 punchouts in 41 frames.

The Midland bats were plenty efficient on Tuesday, as they scored six runs on five hits and a walk. They didn't strand a runner on base.

Frisco first baseman Brett Nicholas (.295/.356/.591) continued his power surge by going deep in his third consecutive game. He went 1-for-2 with a home run, a sacrifice fly, and a hit-by pitch.

The 24-year-old Nicholas now has 10 home runs in his first 36 games this season. His previous career best came last year, when he hit eight in 122 contests for High-A Myrtle Beach.

Odubel Herrera (1/4, 3B) belted his third triple while Ryan Strausborger (1/3, 2B) hit his sixth double. Catcher Zach Zaneski added a pair of singles in four at-bats.

Midland broke the game open against reliever Ryan Rodebaugh, who allowed three runs in two innings of work.

Player of the Game: RHP Neil Ramirez
7.0 3 3 3 0 11 1 2.93

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Winston-Salem 5
L - Jackson (4-2)
24-14, 5.5 GU

Myrtle Beach had its seven-game winning streak snapped at the hands of second-place Winston-Salem on Tuesday. Still, the Pelicans sit 10 games above .500 and hold a 5.5-game lead in the division.

Although Luke Jackson (2.48 ERA/.246 BAA) had pitched well of late, his shaky command in Tuesday's start led to his second loss. The righty gave up season highs in runs (five––four earned), hits (seven), and walks (four) over five innings. He struck out four.

The Pelicans offense wasn't able to string much of anything together, plating just two runs on six hits while whiffing 12 times.

Left fielder Royce Bolinger, who was 2-for-4, was the only player with multiple knocks.

After hitting just .186 in April, Bolinger is off to a fast start in 11 May games––he has posted a .349/.356/.512 slash line and has multiple hits in seven of his last 10 contests.

DH Kellin Deglan saw his average drop to .205 after he whiffed three times in four hitless at-bats.

Righty Nick McBride (1.23 ERA/.210 BAA) kept the Dash at bay by striking out three batters over two shutout frames. Randol Rojas then worked a 1-2-3 ninth, fanning one.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick McBride
2.0 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.23

A: Hickory 2 – West Virginia 1
W - Edwards (4-1)
SV - Claudio (5)
20-17, 2.0 GB

Back-to-back run-scoring knocks from second baseman Ryan Rua (1/3, 2B) and first baseman Joe Maloney (1/3) was all the Crawdads would need to snap their four-game losing streak.

Hickory starting pitcher C.J. Edwards (2.18 ERA/.197 BAA) struggled with command but battled his way through 5.2 innings to earn the victory. Edwards allowed just one run despite giving up a season-high six hits and issuing a career-high five walks. He also struck out eight, which matched a season best.

Through eight starts, Edwards has the following stat line––41.1 ip, 29 h, 10 er, 15 bb, 47 k.

Leadoff man Lewis Brinson had one of his most complete games of the season, going 2-for-3 with his eighth double, a walk, and his sixth stolen base in eight attempts.

Nick Vickerson (1/3, BB) added a single and a walk.

Relievers Jose Leclerc (1.1 IP) and Alexander Claudio (2 IP) combined to retire the final 10 West Virginia hitters in the game. Both hurlers struck out a pair.

Although the hard-throwing Leclerc has been somewhat hittable, he's fanned 25 and walked only five in 19.1 innings while flashing mid-90s velocity.

Player of the Game: CF Lewis Brinson
3 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 .238

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