15-12-2, 3.0 GB
Eric Hurley will finish his Arizona Fall League campaign with a streak of 20 consecutive scoreless innings.
Hurley logged his fourth straight outing of five shutout frames on Monday afternoon against the Peoria Javelinas. The 25-year-old scattered three singles, walked one, and struck out three. He needed just 54 pitches (37 strikes) to complete the five innings.
The former first-round pick maintained consistent velocity through the five innings, sitting right around 92 mph and reaching 94 a couple times. He ended the fifth inning with a swinging strikeout on a 94 mph heater.
According to pitch f/x, Hurley threw nine of his 12 sliders for strikes, ranging between 83-86 mph. Astros prospect Koby Clemens went down on strikes as he whiffed at thee consecutive breaking balls. Hurley also mixed in six changeups at 80-84 mph, throwing four strikes.
As pitching coach Brad Holman recently mentioned, Hurley underwent a mechanical adjustment after he struggled in his first two Fall League outings. In the final four games, the hurler posted the following line – 20 ip, 10 h, 0 r, 4 bb, 12 k. He currently ranks second in the circuit among starting pitchers with a 1.82 ERA, behind only big leaguer Marc Rzepczynski of Toronto.
The Rafters won Monday's game despite going 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranding 10 men on base.
Though DH Joey Butler (.208/.259/.377) was officially 0-for-3, he picked up Surprise's only RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning.
Catcher Jose Felix entered mid-game and went hitless in two at-bats, dropping his average to .326.
La Guaira catcher Max Ramirez raised his average to .260 with one single in three official at-bats. Renny Osuna saw action as a late-inning defensive replacement at third base.
Utilityman Guilder Rodriguez entered the game for Lara as a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth inning. He didn't score a run, didn't play in the field, and didn't get a plate appearance.
There were no games on Monday.
Liga Paralela was dark on Sunday, and no Rangers prospects appeared on Monday. However, former Rangers prospect and left-handed pitcher Edwin Escobar had a successful start for Lara. The young hurler permitted one unearned run over four hitless innings, walking two and striking out nine.
Licey left fielder Engel Beltre entered the game as a pinch runner in the seventh inning. He picked up a run-scoring single in his only plate appearance, raising his average to .368 through 10 contests.
Beltre played on Sunday––there were no games on Monday.
No Rangers appeared on Sunday, but lefty Alexander Claudio turned in a strong performance for Ponce on Monday evening. The 6-foot-3, 160-pound hurler tossed 3.2 shutout innings of long relief, scattering two hits and three walks. He struck out three.
Claudio actually scuffled early in the outing as he allowed all three inherited runners to score. But he eventually settled down and retired nine of the final 10 batters he faced.
Despite being one of the more inexperienced players in the circuit, the 18-year-old has yielded one run in six frames over his three appearances this season. Claudio has given up four hits while walking five and fanning five.
During his time with the rookie-level Surprise Rangers, the slim lefty flashed an 83-85 mph fastball, a 66-68 mph changeup, and a 65-68 mph curveball. While all three pitches had good shape and he threw them for strikes, Claudio clearly must add some muscle to give his pitches more velocity and firmness as he matures.
The circuit has begun its 2010 campaign, but there will be no Rangers players participating this season.
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