Rangers Minor League Roundup – 5/19

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads turned in a pair of fantastic pitching performances on Sunday, yielding just one total hit in a doubleheader against Delmarva. After righty C.J. Edwards tossed a complete-game one-hitter, four pitchers combined for a no-hitter in the nightcap. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 1 – Colorado Springs 3 (10 innings)
L - Mavare (0-1)
22-21, 3.5 GB

Sunday's extra-innings loss meant the Express finished with a four-game series split against Colorado Springs. The Sky Sox currently own the Pacific Coast League's best record with a 25-16 mark.

Although he didn't factor in the decision, left-hander Ryan Feierabend (4.24 ERA/.307 BAA) turned in perhaps his best outing of the season. The 27-year-old hurler tossed seven innings of one-run ball, scattering five hits while walking one and striking out seven.

In nine total starts this season (five at Double-A, four at Triple-A), Feierabend has the following stat line––51.1 ip, 58 h, 23 er (4.03 ERA), 16 bb, 43 k.

At the plate, first baseman Chris McGuiness (.273/.392/.510) led the offensive attack by going 2-for-4 with his 14th double. After hitting just .228 in April, McGuiness is batting .328 in 17 May contests.

Third baseman Alex Buchholz (1/3, 2B, BB) and DH Mike Bianucci (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled and walked.

Bianucci, who hit .268/.316/.440 in 84 games for the Express last season, was appearing in his first game of 2013. He suffered an injury near the conclusion of spring training and had been rehabbing at the Rangers' minor league complex in Arizona.

Leadoff man Engel Beltre singled once in five at-bats. Following a scorching start that included a .317 April batting average, Beltre is hitting just .224 this month with three walks and 22 strikeouts in 17 games. He drew nine free passes with 15 K's in 25 contests last month.

Sidearming reliever Johan Yan (3.04 ERA/.247 BAA) tossed two scoreless innings, working around two hits and a walk.

Round Rock dropped the game when righty Arlett Mavare surrendered two runs on three hits and a walk in the 10th inning. Mavare, just up from Double-A Frisco, is likely filling a temporary spot in the Express' bullpen. The 23-year-old opened the year at High-A Myrtle Beach and had made only five appearances for Frisco, where he gave up eight runs in nine innings.

Player of the Game: LHP Ryan Feierabend
7.0 5 1 1 2 7 0 4.24

AA: Frisco 8 – San Antonio 4
W - Ramirez (4-1)
HR - Selen (2)
23-20, 2.0 GB

Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski made his first rehab appearance on Sunday, continuing his return from a strained right oblique muscle. Playing the game's first five innings, the veteran backstop went 0-for-3 with a strikeout at the plate but gunned down two of San Antonio's three attempted base stealers.

Frisco starting pitcher Neil Ramirez (3.19 ERA/.173 BAA) earned his fourth victory despite needing 92 pitches to work five innings. Ramirez allowed three runs on a season-high six hits, walking three and fanning five.

The RoughRiders' offense did plenty damage against the San Antonio pitching, plating eight runs on 10 hits––including four extra-base knocks.

DH Alejandro Selen (.253/.286/.379) went 2-for-4 with his third double and a solo home run, his second. Third baseman Guilder Rodriguez (3/4, 2B) singled twice and doubled once while second baseman Odubel Herrera (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled. Herrera also swiped his fifth base.

The 21-year-old Herrera has been hot of late, collecting hits in eight of his last nine contests. Over his last four games, he's 9-for-19 with four doubles and a triple.

Young shortstop Hanser Alberto (.243/.281/.277) went 1-for-4, breaking up a streak of five consecutive hitless games. Alberto hit .298 in April but is batting .172 this month without an extra-base hit in 17 games.

The ultra-aggressive Alberto can swing early and often, but he rarely whiffs with the help of his fantastic hand-eye coordination. Despite the lack of results lately, Alberto has actually been more selective at the plate––he's now up to eight walks and 14 strikeouts on the season, drawing a free pass in three of his last four games.

With Frisco shorthanded in the bullpen, tall righty Phil Klein (2.19 ERA/.205 BAA) was forced to work three innings of long relief, throwing a career-high 62 pitches. He allowed a run on two hits and three walks, striking out four.

Submarining righty Ben Rowen (0.83 ERA/.234 BAA) issued a leadoff walk in the ninth before retiring the game's final three batters. He struck out one.

Player of the Game: DH Alejandro Selen
4 3 2 1 1 1 0 1 .253

A+: Myrtle Beach 1 – (@) Wilmington 2
L - Jackson (4-3)
27-16, 5.5 GU

The Pelicans' offense has been unusually good for the pitcher-friendly Carolina League this month, plating at least at least eight runs eight times.

On Sunday, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington played a more Carolina League-style of affair––a 2-1 pitcher's duel.

Pelicans starting pitcher Luke Jackson (2.61 ERA/.238 BAA) suffered the loss after he permitted two runs on three hits in five innings, walking three and striking out six.

Myrtle Beach was going up against Royals prospect Sam Selman, an Austin native and Vanderbilt product. Although Selman had been erratic this season, he hurled five innings of one-run ball on Sunday, walking one and striking out six.

Left fielder Chris Grayson (.237/.321/.381) scored the Pelicans' only run. He was 1-for-3 with his third triple and a walk.

SS Luis Sardinas (1/3, HBP), 1B Trever Adams (1/3, BB), and C Pat Cantwell (2/4) all reached twice.

Prospects Rougned Odor (0/4) and Jake Skole (1/4) both took a hat trick, striking out three times. Odor saw his average dip to .300, though he also stole his 12th base in 13 attempts.

Pelicans relievers Will Lamb (1 IP), Francisco Mendoza (1 IP), and Ryan Harvey (1 IP) all worked one scoreless inning apiece. Mendoza struck out the side in his frame, walking one.

The 22-year-old Lamb issued two walks and fanned one. A second-round pick of the Rangers in 2011, Lamb flashed a fastball that touched 97 mph in his debut summer but has seen significantly decreased velocity since. He's off to a slow start in High-A, yielding 12 runs on 16 hits in 16.2 innings, walking 10 and striking out 13.

Player of the Game: RHP Luke Jackson
5.0 3 2 2 3 6 1 2.61

A: Hickory 4 – (@) Delmarva 1 (7 innings – Game 1)
W - Edwards (5-1)
HR - Gallo (12), Brinson (10)

Right-hander C.J. Edwards got out to a rough start on Sunday, walking the game's first two batters before allowing a run-scoring single. He then settled down to retire 20 of the game's final 21 batters, with the only man reaching on an error.

Edwards (2.05 ERA/.178 BAA) tossed a complete-game one-hitter in the seven-inning contest. He allowed one run while walking two and striking out seven.

On the season, the 21-year-old Edwards has posted the following stat line––48.1 ip, 30 h, 11 er, 17 bb, 54 k.

Perhaps not surprisingly, all four of the Crawdads' runs came via the long ball.

Third baseman Joey Gallo knotted the game with his fourth-inning solo shot––his 12th of the season. Gallo also belted his eight double, going 2-for-3.

Then leadoff man Lewis Brinson came through with a three-run jack in the top of the seventh, which ultimately proved to be the game winner. The round-tripper was Brinson's 10th.

Jordan Akins (1/3) and Joe Maloney (1/3) both singled once.

After getting out to a relatively hot start this season, Akins is now hitting just .234.

Player of the Game: RHP C.J. Edwards
7.0 1 1 1 2 7 0 2.05

A: Hickory 1 – (@) Delmarva 0 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Bores (1-1)
SV - Claudio (6)
23-19, 2.5 GB

After tossing a one-hitter over seven innings in the first game on Sunday, the Crawdads' bullpen combination did one better in the nightcap––they threw a combined seven-inning no-hitter.

Between the two games on Sunday, Hickory held Delmarva to just one total hit––and hitless over the doubleheader's final 13 frames.

Up from extended spring training, left-hander Luis Parra made his first ever start outside the complex league on Sunday. He'd spent the last four years pitching between the Dominican Summer League and rookie Arizona League.

Parra pitched like a veteran, tossing three hitless innings while walking one and striking out three. Right-hander Keone Kela, recently off the DL, followed by fanning one in a perfect fourth inning. He flashed a fastball at 96-97 mph.

Sinkerballing righty Ryan Bores (3.31 ERA/.286 BAA) then pitched around a walk in two hitless, scoreless frames, inducing five groundouts and fanning one. Alex Claudio finished the contest with a clean ninth inning, striking out one.

The no-hitter was Hickory's first since 2009, when Martin Perez, Tyler Tufts, and Fabio Castillo no-hit Bowling Green.

Slugging third baseman Joey Gallo (.224/.327/.537) singled twice in three at-bats, and he scored the game's only run. Lewis Brinson (1/4), Nick Urbanus (1/4), Jorge Alfaro (1/3), and Nomar Mazara (1/3) had Hickory's other knocks.

Alfaro stole a pair of bases, giving him six on the season. Brinson's three punchouts brought him up to 75 through 41 contests.

Player of the Game: LHP Luis Parra
3.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0.00

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