W - Hankins (4-1)
HR - Nelson (4), Butler (1)
15-9, 0.5 GU
Three Round Rock pitchers combined on a three-hit shutout of the Iowa Cubs in Monday evening's series opener. After getting knocked around in his last outing, right-hander Derek Hankins (4.94 ERA/.281 BAA) righted the ship with five scoreless frames, giving up two singles, walking one, and striking out three.
A pair of right-handed relievers––Yhency Brazoban (4.20 ERA/.224 BAA) and Mark Lowe (2.89 ERA/.200 BAA)––worked two frames apiece to finish out the victory. Brazoban retired all six batters he faced while Lowe permitted one single, walked none, and struck out four.
First baseman Brad Nelson (2/4, HR) started the scoring in the top of the fourth inning with his solo home run. Then, after a Luis Cruz double and a Craig Gentry walk, right fielder Joey Butler launched a three-run blast for his first Triple-A homer.
Second baseman Esteban German (1/4, 2B, BB) and catcher Kevin Cash (1/4, 2B) both doubled. Centerfielder Endy Chavez singled twice in five trips, raising his average to .356.
Express pitchers combined to retire 15 of the game's final 16 hitters.
L - de los Santos (1-3)
HR - Bianucci (8)
9-15, 8.0 GB
In Miguel de los Santos' April 27 outing against San Antonio––the top-hitting club in the Texas League––he fanned 10 batters while permitting two runs over seven innings.
Monday's game was the polar opposite for the 22-year-old prospect. Facing Corpus Christi, de los Santos was battered for nine earned runs in just 2.1 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked three, and struck out two.
Through five Double-A starts, de los Santos has an 8.22 ERA in 23 innings. He has allowed 21 hits while issuing 15 walks and punching out 29.
Things didn't go much better for reliever Mike Perconte, who surrendered six runs on seven hits in 2.1 frames, raising his earned-run average to 6.28.
Corpus Christi scored 13 runs in the first three innings.
One of Frisco's lone bright spots of the evening was left fielder Mike Bianucci (.319/.375/.606), who belted a three-run homer for his only hit in four at-bats. The slugger has eight long balls in his first 24 Double-A games.
Renny Osuna (1/3, BB) and Guilder Rodriguez (1/3, BB) both singled and walked once. Rodriguez also stole his sixth base.
Hard-throwing relief arm Justin Miller (2.51 ERA/.200 BAA) worked a perfect eighth inning on 12 pitches, striking out two.
L - Gomez (0-1)
HR - Bolden (1)
15-9, 2.5 GB
Monday's series opener in Virginia went scoreless for six innings before Potomac plated single runs in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings. The P-Nats won on a walkoff infield single from right fielder Destin Hood.
The story of the game, though, was right-hander Barret Loux (2.88 ERA/.208 BAA), who dealt the best outing of his young professional career. The 22-year-old kept the Nats off the board for 5.2 innings, giving up one hit, walking two, and striking out 10.
Through his first 25 innings at High-A Myrtle Beach, Loux has walked six and struck out 31.
The Myrtle Beach offense got its only runs of the night on a Jared Bolden (.232/.306/.375) two-run homer with one out in the top of the ninth. The long ball was Bolden's only hit of the game.
Jared Prince (1/3, BB), Mitch Hilligoss (1/3, BB) and Andres James (1/4) had the Pelicans' other three hits. Leadoff hitter Ryan Strausborger was 0-for-3 but drew a pair of walks.
Third baseman Mike Olt, who was also hitless, worked a base on balls for the fifth consecutive game.
Reliever Kenny Gomez was stuck with the loss after he yielded two runs on four hits and a walk in 1.2 innings.
W - Rojas (4-0)
HR - Villanueva (3)
18-7, 2.0 GU
Third baseman Christian Villanueva (.354/.409/.549) delivered the game-winning walkoff hit for Hickory for the third time in his last seven games. This time, Villanueva blasted a solo home run––his third––in the bottom of the ninth. He also added a single earlier in the game.
Aside from Villanueva, shortstop Jurickson Profar (1/4) and catcher Tomas Telis (1/3, HBP) had the Crawdads' only other hits in the contest. Telis had a bit of a rough day behind the plate, committing his first two errors and his fourth passed ball.
Starting pitcher Matt Thompson (3.91 ERA/.208 BAA) continued to get himself back on the right track following a rocky start to his season, as he held the Intimidators to one unearned run in six innings. The Metroplex native scattered five singles while walking two and striking out three.
Sinkerballing righty Randol Rojas (4.09 ERA/.294 BAA) did a fine job in relief, surrendering a run on three singles in three frames. The Venezuela native fanned three without walking a man.
The 20-year-old Rojas has continued to pound the strike zone in full-season ball. He has walked four batters (while striking out 15) in his first 22 innings.
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