Minor League Roundup - 4/22

Friday was a day of extremes in the Texas Rangers' minor league system, as the Triple-A club got a ninth-inning win, the Double- and High-A teams picked up double-digit victories, and the Single-A Hickory squad lost by 16 runs. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 2 – (@) Oklahoma City 1
W - Lowe (1-0)
HR - Cruz (3, 4)
12-4, 3.5 GU

Shortstop Luis Cruz (.266/.288/.500) provided all of Round Rock's offense with a pair of solo home runs, giving him four on the season. Cruz belted a round-tripper to start the scoring in the second. He hit the game-winner with two outs in the top of the ninth.

The 27-year-old Cruz has tied Chris Davis for the club lead in home runs. His career best is 12 homers, which he accomplished in 2006 with Double-A Mobile.

Round Rock's offense had eight singles in the game, but they didn't lead to any extra runs. Esteban German singled twice, giving him multiple hits in six of his last seven games.

OKC catcher Carlos Corporan's solo home run was the only hit allowed by Seth McClung in his five-inning start. McClung worked around four walks and struck out five batters.

Lefty Zach Phillips (1.74 ERA/.111 BAA in 10.1 innings) went six up, six down in his two innings of work.

Mark Lowe, who earned the victory, also kept the RedHawks off the scoreboard for two frames. Lowe surrendered two singles, walked two, and struck out three.

The win gave the Express an impressive 7-1 road trip against the division-rival Zephyrs and RedHawks. The same two clubs will now travel south to begin a four-game weekend set in Round Rock on Saturday night.

Player of the Game: SS Luis Cruz
4 2 2 0 2 2 0 0 .266

AA: Frisco 11 – Corpus Christi 0
W - de los Santos (1-1)
HR - Mendonca (5, 6), Greene (1), Ruiz (1)
6-8, 3.0 GB

Frisco put an all-around whipping on the Astros' Double-A affiliate, holding the Hooks to four singles and plating 11 runs on 19 hits.

Eight of the nine Frisco starters had at least two hits. Third baseman Tom Mendonca did a good bit of the damage, going 2-for-5 with two homers and three runs batted in. The Fresno State product has six homers on the season.

Left fielder Jonathan Greene (3/4, HR, BB) and first baseman Jose Ruiz (2/5, HR) both added their first long balls of the year.

The 25-year-old Greene may be the hottest hitter in the Rangers' organization. In 10 games, he is 16-for-36 (.444) with five doubles and a home run.

Davis Stoneburner (2/5, 3B) singled and tripled while Jose Felix (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled.

Right fielder David Paisano, who had been scuffling, picked up four base hits in five trips. Engel Beltre (2/5) and Mike Bianucci (2/3, BB) both singled twice.

Shortstop Guilder Rodriguez, the team's nine-hole hitter, was the only player that didn't join the hit parade. He was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt and a run batted in.

Frisco's bats certainly came through in a big way, but the pitching staff also contributed to the victory.

Left-handed starter Miguel de los Santos dealt five walks and plunked one over five innings, but he held the Hooks scoreless by giving up just one infield single. He threw 93 pitches (52 strikes) and struck out four.

Righty relievers Adalberto Flores and Fabio Castillo closed out the easy victory with two blank frames apiece.

Player of the Game: 3B Tom Mendonca
5 2 2 0 2 3 0 0 .327

A+: Myrtle Beach 10 – (@) Kinston 0
W - Ross (2-0)
HR - Adair (2)
10-4, 0.5 GB

The Pelicans cruised to a 10-0 victory on Friday evening, out-hitting the Indians 10-3.

After working 5.2 scoreless innings against Kinston, left-hander Robbie Ross has hurled 16.2 innings on the season and still hasn't yielded a run. Ross gave up three singles, walked two, and struck out four.

As usual, Ross' lively fastball helped induce lots of ground balls. He recorded nine groundouts and just one flyout on the evening.

The 21-year-old's current season line––16.2 ip, 8 h, 0 r, 7 bb, 15 k.

Nine-hole hitting designated hitter Travis Adair (.396/.429/.604) extended his hitting streak to eight games by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, a home run, and four runs batted in.

The 23-year-old Adair is an incredible 16-for-32 (.500) during his current hit streak. He entered the season with two career round-trippers in 170 games (both hit last season), and he has already matched that total in 14 contests this year.

Speedy shortstop Leury Garcia, who is beginning to heat up, was 3-for-5 with his third double of the season.

Second baseman Santiago Chirino singled and walked once in four trips, lowering his batting average to .349. While Chirino has advanced plate discipline for his age and experience level, the free pass was his first in 10 games this year.

The bullpen duo of Johan Yan (2.1 IP) and Chad Bell (1 IP) combined to retire the final 10 batters of the game. No Kinston hitter got the ball out of the infield against them––Yan and Bell induced seven groundouts and fanned three.

A former third base prospect, the 6-foot-3 Yan is now a sidearming reliever that relies on a heavy mid-to-upper 80s sinking fastball. He has induced 14 groundouts and one flyout in eight innings this season.

Player of the Game: DH Travis Adair
4 3 3 2 1 4 0 1 .396

A: Hickory 1 – (@) Hagerstown 17
L - Melo (2-1)
11-5, 0.0 GU

Hickory had its six-game winning streak snapped in convincing fashion. There are a handful of ugly-but-intriguing statistics from the whipping. The fielders committed five errors while collecting only seven singles at the plate. The pitching staff issued 16 walks over eight innings, including 15 in the first six frames.

In other words, it was ugly.

Starting pitcher Carlos Melo gave up only one hit and struck out three in 1.1 innings, but five walks and a hit batter led to five earned runs allowed.

Sinkerballing righty Braden Tullis, brought on to put out the fire, coughed up eight runs (six earned) in one inning. Tullis yielded eight hits, walked three, and uncorked three wild pitches.

Then came Andres Perez-Lobo, making his second full-season appearance. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 1.2 innings, walking two and striking out four.

The best work of the night was done by righty relievers Ryan Rodebaugh and Colby Killian, who each worked a shutout frame.

Hagerstown slugger Bryce Harper did plenty of damage, going 3-for-3 with a double, a homer, two walks, and six runs batted in. He was lifted from the game with the Suns carrying a 17-0 lead through six innings.

Tomas Telis (1/4) brought home Hickory's only run with an RBI single in the top of the eighth. Shortstop Edwin Garcia, who scored the run, had a single and a walk in four trips.

First-round pick Kellin Deglan punched out in each of his three at-bats. He is now 4-for-29 (.138) with two walks and 13 strikeouts to begin the season.

While a dominant defeat, Hickory still shares the Sally League's Northern Division lead with the Kannapolis Intimidators after Friday's games.

Player of the Game: RHP Ryan Rodebaugh
1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00

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