Minor League Roundup - 4/19

There was plenty of pitching intrigue in the upper levels on Tuesday, as Round Rock righty Neil Ramirez fanned nine batters over five innings while Frisco's Martin Perez worked a five-inning perfect game. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 6 – (@) Oklahoma City 2
W - Ramirez (2-0)
9-4, 1.0 GU

Three Round Rock pitchers combined to strike out 16 batters over nine innings, as the club picked up its fourth consecutive victory. The Express have now won eight-of-nine games since starting the season 1-3.

Making his second Triple-A start, 21-year-old righty Neil Ramirez wasn't quite as efficient, but he missed plenty of bats. The prospect worked five innings, yielding one unearned run on two hits. He walked three, hit one, and struck out nine.

Ramirez fanned five consecutive batters at one point, getting Koby Clemens and Robinson Cancel looking to end a threat in the first before fanning Brian Dopirak, Anderson Hernandez, and Collin DeLome in order the next frame.

Both hits allowed by Ramirez were singles from former Round Rock shortstop Tommy Manzella.

Although Ramirez had a few lengthy at-bats and needed 96 pitches to complete the five innings, he threw 64 percent of his pitches for strikes.

Whether Ramirez will return to a lower level (High-A Myrtle Beach, Double-A Frisco) or remain with the Express for at least one more start is unclear at this point. The club may need him for another outing, as Eric Hurley has been placed on the seven-day disabled list after getting hit on the head by a one-hop smash in Monday's contest.

Catcher Taylor Teagarden committed two throwing errors in the game, including one that led to Ramirez's unearned run in the first inning. But he made up for it offensively, going 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, and a walk.

Teagarden, 27, has hit safely in all six games he's appeared in thus far. He is 7-for-18 (.389) with two doubles, a triple, and two home runs––good for a .944 slugging percentage.

The Round Rock bullpen shut the RedHawks down to close out the victory. A pair of hard-throwing righties––Ryan Tucker and Mark Lowe––worked two innings apiece.

Tucker retired all six batters he faced, getting four strikeouts. Lowe fanned three in two innings, giving up a run on three hits.

Centerfielder Craig Gentry went 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. He was also hit by a pitch.

Endy Chavez (2/5) and Luis Cruz (2/4) both singled twice.

Player of the Game: RHP Neil Ramirez
5.0 2 1 0 3 9 0 0.00

AA: Frisco 1 – (@) Arkansas 0 (5 innings – Rain)
W - Perez (1-0)
5-7, 3.0 GB

Martin Perez retired the first 15 batters of the game, and that was all he'd need to record the perfect game.

The RoughRiders and Travelers played the game while North Little Rock was under a tornado warning. And with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, the skies opened up, leading to a lightning and rain delay. The game was called after a 35-minute stoppage.

The 20-year-old Perez worked economically, throwing only 67 pitches (including 42 strikes) over the five innings. He struck out three batters while inducing seven groundouts, four flyouts, and a lineout.

Although the season is young, the top prospect has put together two consecutive lights-out performances. In those games, he has logged 10 scoreless innings while yielding four hits, walking two, and striking out 12.

Perez's perfect game is the second in Frisco RoughRiders history. The first was a nine-inning performance in 2005 at Corpus Christi, with A.J. Murray, Steve Karsay, and Scott Feldman combining on the feat. It was the third overall no-hitter. Left-hander Matt Harrison tossed a seven-inning no-no against San Antonio in 2008.

Frisco got its only run in the top of the first inning, when third baseman Tom Mendonca (1/2) singled home Davis Stoneburner. Stoneburner had doubled for the club's only extra-base hit of the night.

Mike Bianucci (1/2), Jose Felix (1/2) and Guilder Rodriguez (1/2) had the team's other knocks.

Player of the Game: LHP Martin Perez
5.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1.38

A+: Myrtle Beach 7 – Winston-Salem 4
W - Yan (1-0)
SV - Tufts (3)
8-3, 0.5 GB

Myrtle Beach took home its fifth consecutive victory by way of a five-run bottom of the eighth inning.

The unorthodox rally went as follows––single, error, passed ball, error, groundout, bunt single (plus error), groundout, single, caught stealing. Only two balls left the infield in the frame.

The Pelicans got a solid spot-start from hard-throwing reliever Ryan Kelly, who was filling in for Neil Ramirez. Normally a short reliever, Kelly faced the minimum through three but ran into trouble in the fourth. Overall, he allowed three runs in four innings, walking one and striking out three.

First baseman Chris McGuiness, who was 2-for-4 with his third double, had the club's only extra-base knock.

Leury Garcia (2/4), Mike Olt (2/4), Jared Hoying (2/4), Santiago Chirino (2/4), and Travis Adair (2/4) all singled twice in four trips.

The 19-year-old Chirino appears to be handling the advanced level just fine. Through his first eight contests, he is 11-for-34 (.324) with two doubles.

Reliever Chad Bell allowed a run on three hits in 2.1 innings. The southpaw struck out two without issuing a free pass.

Righty bullpen arms Johan Yan (1.2 IP) and Tyler Tufts (1 IP) worked scoreless ball to close out the victory. Tufts sat down all three he faced in the ninth, getting a groundout and two strikeouts.

Player of the Game: 1B Chris McGuiness
4 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 .310

A: Hickory – (@) Hagerstown – PPD (Rain)
8-4, 1.0 GB

The Crawdads and Suns were washed out on Tuesday evening. They'll play Wednesday's game as scheduled before squaring off in a doubleheader, beginning on Thursday at 4:05 p.m. Central. Nick Tepesch is scheduled to take the mound for Hickory on Wednesday, and he'll be going up against a Hagerstown lineup that includes 2010 first-overall pick Bryce Harper.

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