L - Kirkman (0-3)
16-10, 1.5 GU
Express starting pitcher Michael Kirkman (7.77 ERA/.393 BAA) suffered the loss on Wednesday, but he did turn in his most promising outing of the season. The 24-year-old worked seven innings (105 pitches) and yielded three runs (two earned) on seven hits. He fanned four and walked two.
Kirkman had allowed at least eight hits in each of his previous four starts this season, and he hadn't worked longer than 5.2 frames.
The Round Rock offense was limited to one run on four hits in the contest. DH Brad Nelson, who was 1-for-4 with a double, had the only extra-base hit.
Chad Tracy (1/4), Luis Cruz (1/4) and Doug Deeds (1/2, SF) all singled once.
Lefty Zach Phillips bounced back from a rough outing to toss a scoreless eighth, giving up one hit and striking out one.
W - Miller (2-1)
11-15, 6.0 GB
The RoughRiders were able to get past the Texas League's best lineup with the help of a couple major league pitchers.
Rehabbing closer Neftali Feliz worked the first inning, topping out at 100 mph on the radar gun and striking out the side in a scoreless frame. Feliz, who isn't expected to make another rehab appearance, should rejoin the Rangers in Arlington for their series against the Yankees this weekend.
Tommy Hunter is expected to make another rehab appearance or two before he is ready for a return to the majors.
Hunter worked four innings on 71 pitches in Wednesday's game, giving up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out five. The outing was Hunter's first with an affiliated club. He made a recent three-inning appearance in extended spring training.
Another player coming just out of rehab is lefty Richard Bleier, who kept the Missions off the board for 3.2 innings after the big leaguers exited. Bleier scattered three hits, walked one, and fanned three.
Justin Miller (2.30 ERA/.185 BAA) struck out two in 1.1 hitless frames to finish out the extra-inning victory.
The ‘Riders offense was slowed early by San Antonio starter and Padres top prospect Casey Kelly, but the club won in the 10th on DH Mike Bianucci's walkoff sacrifice fly.
Shortstop Renny Osuna and left fielder Travis Adair led the offense, as both players went 3-for-4 with a double.
Right fielder Jonathan Greene singled twice and walked once in four trips.
Tom Mendonca was 0-for-4 with three punchouts, giving him three walks and 32 strikeouts through 25 games this season.
W - Wieland (2-2)
SV - Yan (2)
17-9, 1.0 GB
Joe Wieland (2.03 ERA/.239 BAA) dealt perhaps the best outing of his professional career on Wednesday, striking out 13 batters and permitting only two infield hits over six scoreless innings.
After the 13-strikeout, no-walk performance, Wieland now carries a fairly ridiculous strikeout-to-walk ratio of 41:3 through his first 31 innings this season.
Often overlooked in a system loaded with powerful arms, Wieland has a solid mixture of decent stuff with plus control and projected plus command. The 21-year-old throws his fastball in the upper-80s, low-90s (topping at 93) with some armside run and sink. He features a plus curveball and what figures to become at least an average changeup.
One of the things that sets Wieland apart currently––and allows him to miss so many bats without an overpowering fastball––is his ability to command both his secondary pitches in or out of the strike zone when necessary.
Wieland has an ultimate middle-of-the-rotation ceiling, and his hot start could land him in Double-A Frisco by the All-Star break.
The Pelicans' bullpen duo of Joe Ortiz (2 IP) and Johan Yan (1 IP) helped finish off the three-hit shutout.
Jared Prince (2/3, 2B, BB) and Jared Bolden (2/4, 2B) both started out the season in massive slumps, but the players are beginning to right the ship. The each had a single, a double, and an RBI on Wednesday.
Shortstop Leury Garcia singled twice in five trips, raising his average to .282.
18-7, 1.5 GU
The first-place Crawdads enjoyed a scheduled off-day on Wednesday. The club now travels to Greensboro, where they will take on the Grasshoppers (13-12) on Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. Eastern. Right-hander Roman Mendez––who is a perfect 4-0 in five starts––will take the mound.
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