L - Hamburger (0-1)
23-13, 2.5 GU
The Express lost on a walkoff for the second consecutive night.
Left-hander Michael Kirkman (6.12 ERA/.364 BAA) turned in one of his more successful outings of the season, although he had some control issues. Kirkman threw 55 strikes and 45 balls in the game and issued four walks in five innings. Still, he punched out six and held Vegas to one run on five hits.
The 51s ran wild on Kirkman and his battery mate Kevin Cash, stealing four bags without getting caught in the five innings.
After getting out to a slow start, Kirkman has posted more promising results in his last three outings––15 ip, 16 h, 3 er, 7 bb, 12 k.
Right fielder Doug Deeds (.272/.327/.515) singled and tripled in his three plate appearances. Brian Barden was just 1-for-4, but the lone knock was his sixth double.
Shortstop Omar Quintanilla had two knocks in four trips, holding his average at a steady .500 through five games.
Chad Tracy was 0-for-4. Following a hot streak, Tracy has cooled down and is hitless in his last 19 at-bats over a five-game span.
Righty reliever Mark Hamburger's second Triple-A game wasn't quite as smooth as his first. He retired the side in order (two flyouts, one strikeout) in the eighth. After starting the ninth with a groundout and a K, he walked two consecutive hitters (Brett Lawrie, Travis Snider) before surrendering a walkoff double to Vegas left fielder Eric Thames. Thames had three two-baggers in the game.
W - Feldman (1-0)
HR - Ruiz (2), Martin (1)
18-17, 5.0 GB
Scott Feldman's first rehab start with a minor league affiliate appeared to be successful. The veteran righty threw 75 pitches (46 strikes) over five innings, limiting the Hooks to a run on two hits. He walked two and fanned four.
Feldman had been pitching in games at extended spring training while he regained strength in his surgically repaired knee.
Leadoff man Leonys Martin busted the game wide open with his two-run homer in the fourth inning. He added a two-RBI single to left field in his next at-bat. The Cuba native was 2-for-5 with four runs batted in for the game.
First baseman Jose Ruiz, playing in his first game since the birth of his child, was 2-for-4 with a two-run jack––his second of the season.
Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, 2B, BB) and Mike Bianucci (1/3, 2B, BB) both doubled once.
Left fielder Jonathan Greene raised his average to .315 with two singles in four trips.
Relief pitchers Chris Mobley and Ben Snyder worked one shutout frame apiece to finish out Frisco's fifth consecutive victory. Corpus Christi has now lost nine in a row.
W - Ross (5-1)
SV - Yan (4)
HR - Olt (5)
22-13, 0.0 GU
Myrtle Beach pitchers Robbie Ross and Johan Yan combined for the club's fourth shutout in their last 10 games.
Ross (2.79 ERA/.243 BAA) scattered six hits over six scoreless innings, walking two and striking out six. He induced eight groundouts and three flyouts in the contest.
Sidearming reliever Johan Yan (1.00 ERA/.188 BAA) closed out the game with three nearly perfect innings––he plunked one batter. Yan induced five groundouts and recorded four strikeouts.
As a unique sidearmer with mid-to-upper 80s velocity, the former third baseman is going to have to prove himself at every level. But his heavy sinker has been devastating on Carolina League hitters. The 22-year-old has yielded two earned runs on 12 hits in 18 innings, walking four and striking out 20. He is also inducing 7.5 groundouts per airout on the season.
Because Yan appears to release the ball behind right-handed batters, they are clearly having trouble picking up his stuff. Righties are just 4-for-42 (.095) with 16 strikeouts against him this season. But lefties are 8-for-22 (.364).
Third baseman Mike Olt (.295/.397/.492) showed signs of breaking through his mini-slump, as he was 2-for-4 with his fifth home run of the season.
Catcher Zach Zaneski (2/4, 2B) and DH Jared Bolden (1/4, 2B) both doubled once. Jared Hoying (2/5) and Jared Prince (2/2, 2 BB) singled twice.
The Pelicans, perhaps not surprisingly, lead the Carolina League with a 2.82 team earned-run average. The club is also pacing the circuit in shutouts (six), strikeouts (316), and WHIP (1.11).
While the offensive numbers aren't as staggering (in a historically pitcher-friendly league), Myrtle Beach also leads the league in batting average (.267), runs scored (172), walks (122), and on-base percentage (.344).
L - Melo (2-4)
20-15, 3.5 GB
The scuffling Crawdads offense has now scored one run or fewer in five of their last six contests, dropping the club to 3.5 games out of first place. Hickory has also lost seven of its last eight.
While the team as a whole isn't hitting well, outfielder Josh Richmond (.248/.350/.402) appears to be picking up the pace a bit. The 21-year-old had two singles and a walk in four trips on Saturday. He also stole his third base of the year.
Starter Carlos Melo (8.59 ERA/.205 BAA) continued his recent struggles, yielding five runs in four-plus innings. He allowed five hits, walked four, and struck out five.
Melo has walked 28 while fanning 27 in 22 innings this season. His control troubles have been particularly rough in his last four starts, issuing 20 free passes in 11.1 frames.
Tall right-hander Nick Tepesch (3.55 ERA/.327 BAA) worked three scoreless innings in long relief, giving up two hits, walking two, and striking out two. If Melo's struggles continue, he could eventually be replaced in the rotation by Tepesch––a talented hurler who profiles as a starting pitching prospect.
Aside from Richmond, DH Tomas Telis (1/3, BB) and shortstop Jurickson Profar (1/4) had Hickory's only other hits. Telis drew his sixth walk of the season, already matching his state-side career high. He walked six times in 37 games with the AZL Rangers last summer.
Colby Killian (2.79 ERA/.221 BAA) and Kevin Johnson (2.51 ERA/.149 BAA) added one shutout frame apiece to finish the game.
Subscribe to LoneStarDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on LoneStarDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites, and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual LoneStarDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.