Minor League Roundup - 5/1

All three Texas Rangers affiliates in action on Sunday afternoon got dominant starting pitching performances. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock – (@) Memphis – PPD (Rain)
14-9, 0.5 GU

The Express and Redbirds had Sunday afternoon's series finale postponed due to rain. The contest will be rescheduled as part of a doubleheader when the club returns to Memphis in July. Round Rock now travels to Iowa, where they will begin a four-game series at the Iowa Cubs on Monday evening.

AA: Frisco 9 – (@) Corpus Christi 2
W - Brigham (2-1)
HR - Mendonca (7), Greene (3), Sarmiento (1)
9-14, 7.0 GB

Starting pitcher Jake Brigham (4.33 ERA/.257 BAA) turned in his best Double-A outing on Sunday, allowing one run over a season-high seven innings. He gave up five hits, walked two, and struck out three. The 23-year-old threw 61 of his 96 pitches for strikes, and he retired 16 of the final 18 hitters he faced.

The RoughRiders trailed 1-0 entering the seventh inning, but the offense busted out for nine runs in the final three at-bats.

Right fielder Jonathan Greene (.348/.456/.591) ended the shutout with his leadoff round-tripper in the seventh. He also singled and walked.

Catcher Elio Sarmiento (2/4, HR) and third baseman Tom Mendonca (2/5, HR) both added there-run shots in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Mendonca, who had four total runs batted in, is now batting .348 with seven homers and 20 RBI through 22 games.

Guilder Rodriguez (1/3, 2 BB), Mike Bianucci (2/5), Travis Adair (2/4) and Davis Stoneburner (1/2, BB) also reached multiple times. Adair's two singles were his first since being promoted to Double-A earlier this week.

Former Rangers relief prospect Matt Nevarez, who was sent to Houston in the Ivan Rodriguez deal in '09, threw just eight of 21 pitches for strikes in the seventh and eighth innings. He permitted three runs––and uncorked three wild pitches––while recording one out.

Player of the Game: RHP Jake Brigham
7.0 5 1 1 2 3 0 4.33

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – Frederick 1
W - Erlin (2-0)
SV - Ortiz (1)
15-8, 1.5 GB

The Pelicans earned contrasting one-run victories over the Keys in consecutive days. On Saturday, Myrtle Beach held off Frederick in a wild comeback attempt for the 11-10 win. Sunday's contest was a 2-1 affair that featured little offense.

Former third-round pick Robbie Erlin (2.48 ERA/.130 BAA) had a slightly rocky beginning to his season––by his standards, at least––but he has since settled into High-A ball in a big way.

The 20-year-old was dominant for the second straight outing on Sunday, permitting only a solo home run in seven innings of work. He walked one and struck out six.

Erlin's last two starts have produced the following line––14 ip, 3 h, 1 r, 1 bb, 16 k. He has fanned 32 while walking only four in 29 innings with the Pelicans.

The Myrtle Beach opening-day rotation––Erlin, Robbie Ross, Joe Wieland, Neil Ramirez, and Barret Loux––have the following line in High-A this season––94 ip, 75 h, 19 bb, 98 k––2.78 ERA. Ramirez has already advanced past High-A, and the other pitchers might all get an opportunity to do so at some point this season.

The Pelicans offense plated only two runs on six hits, but it was just enough to get the win.

Outfielders Jared Hoying (1/4, 2B) and Jared Prince (1/2, 2B, BB) both doubled once. Leadoff man Ryan Strausborger raised his average to .343 with two singles in four at-bats.

Slugging third baseman Mike Olt singled once, walked once, and struck out once in four trips––a seemingly normal day for him of late. In 23 games, Olt is 27-for-85 (.318) with 16 free passes and 25 strikeouts.

Lefty Joe Ortiz (2.08 ERA/.170 BAA) worked two shutout frames, giving up a hit and striking out one, to earn his first save of the season.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Erlin
7.0 1 1 1 1 6 1 2.48

A: Hickory 4 – Kannapolis 3
W - Grimm (2-0)
SV - Marban (1)
17-7, 2.0 GU

White Sox prospect Jake Petricka shut down the Crawdads earlier in the month, but Hickory––and starting pitcher Justin Grimm––got the best of the second-round pick on Sunday.

After retiring the side in order during the first inning, Grimm surrendered a pair of runs in the second. He then went on lock down, sitting down 15 consecutive batters in the second-through-sixth frames.

Overall, the 22-year-old Grimm permitted two runs on four hits in a career-high seven innings. He fanned 11––also a career best––without issuing a walk. Grimm, who can run his fastball up to 96 mph and features a swing-and-miss breaking ball, has punched out 37 batters in his first 28 professional innings.

Hickory's offense did its damage with 11 hits––all singles––and going 3-for-6 with men in scoring position.

Left fielder Jhonny Gomez (.386/.478/.474) just continues to hit, as he logged singles in all three of his plate appearances on Sunday.

Andrew Clark (2/4) and Christian Villanueva (2/4) singled twice while backstop Kellin Deglan singled once, walked once, and knocked home a pair of runs.

Jorge Marban picked up his first save by holding Kannapolis to a run in two innings. He walked one and struck out two.

Player of the Game: RHP Justin Grimm
7.0 4 2 2 0 11 0 2.89

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