9-6-1, 0.5 GB
Centerfielder Engel Beltre moved down to the nine-hole on Friday evening and had plenty of success, going 3-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases. He also drove home a run.
Beltre used his above-average speed in the second inning when he reached on an infield single, stole second base, and advanced to third on an error by the shortstop.
The 20-year-old only has a .245/.333/.377 slash line despite posting a handful of excellent performances. In addition to six walks in 12 games, he is a perfect six-for-six on the base paths.
Third baseman Davis Stoneburner provided some pop with a three-run homer––his first of the Fall League campaign––in the top of the fourth inning. Stoneburner was 2-for-5 with four runs batted in overall.
Catcher Jose Felix, who batted fifth, singled once, walked once, and struck out twice in five plate appearances.
Fabio Castillo worked the ninth inning and surrendered his first run of the season. The reliever permitted one run on two hits and a walk in one frame, striking out one.
According to pitch f/x, Castillo threw his fastball between 93-96 mph to go along with an effective changeup. He threw the pitch four times––all for strikes––getting three swings and misses. The tracker shows Castillo throwing three consecutive 86-88 mph changeups to record his strikeout of Reds prospect Kris Negron.
Max Ramirez helped power La Guaira to a 7-4 victory with his perfect day at the plate. Ramirez, who had DHed his previous seven games, got his first start at catcher and went 4-for-4 with two doubles and a run batted in.
Through eight games, the right-handed slugger is 10-for-26 (.385) with three doubles, a home run, and six walks.
David Paisano entered the game as a pinch runner in the eighth inning and scored a run. He played in left field during the ninth but didn't get a plate appearance.
No Rangers appeared on Friday.
After pitching his first game out of the bullpen, left-hander Kasey Kiker got the start for Ponce on Friday evening. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound hurler worked 2.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits. He walked zero, fanned three, and hit a batter.
Kiker plunked eight batters in 40 innings at Double-A Frisco this season after nailing 17 during his 2009 campaign.
The 22-year-old didn't figure in the decision, as the game was a back-and-forth slugfest that ended in an 11-10 walkoff Carolina victory.
The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.
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