Minor League Roundup - 5/18

Frisco's Jose Ruiz hit a game-winning homer for the second consecutive day on Wednesday while Hickory outfielder Josh Richmond belted a pair of round-trippers in his game. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock – OFF
24-15, 2.5 GU

The Express had Wednesday off, as they traveled home from Las Vegas and prepared for a 12-game home stand against Colorado Springs, Reno, and Iowa. The club returns to action on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. Central, with rehabbing starter Scott Feldman on the mound.

AA: Frisco 8 – Midland 7
W - Miller (4-1)
HR - Ruiz (4), Hamilton (1)
21-18, 5.0 GB

The RoughRiders improved to 13-4 this month with their third consecutive one-run victory on Wednesday evening.

Frisco had a fairly solid Double-A lineup in the game, with rehabbing sluggers Josh Hamilton (DH) and Nelson Cruz (RF) hitting in the three and four spots, respectively.

Hamilton, who was making his first rehab appearance, was 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Cruz went hitless in four trips. After playing his first two games as a DH, Cruz worked all nine innings in right field on Wednesday.

The star of the game was Cuban first baseman Jose Ruiz, who now has an impressive .337/.402/.525 slash line on the season. The 26-year-old went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a game-winning two-run homer.

Since the birth of his child, Ruiz is 8-for-16 with two doubles and three homers––including game-winning shots in each of his last two games.

Starting pitcher Carlos Pimentel (5.21 ERA/.281 BAA) struggled, as he yielded four runs in three innings, giving up four hits and walking three. He struck out five.

Second baseman Renny Osuna (3/4, 2B) and third baseman Tom Mendonca (2/4, 2B) both doubled. Catcher Jose Felix had two singles, an HBP, and three RBI in four trips.

Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin was 1-for-4 with a walk. He was also caught stealing for the third time in six attempts.

Ben Snyder retired all three batters he faced out of the bullpen, striking out two. Righty Justin Miller earned the victory after allowing a run on two hits in 1.1 innings. He also fanned a pair.

Player of the Game: 1B Jose Ruiz
4 3 3 2 1 2 0 0 .337

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – (@) Winston-Salem 6 (8 innings – Game 1)
L - Yan (1-2)

Left-hander Robbie Erlin (2.22 ERA/.120 BAA) allowed only two solo homers––and three hits total––in 6.2 innings in the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader. He fanned nine without issuing a walk.

In eight starts, the 20-year-old has the following line––48.2 ip, 20 h, 12 er, 5 bb, 56 k. Seven of the 20 hits Erlin has allowed this season have left the park, but he has minimized the damage by keeping runners off the bases.

Four of Winston-Salem's six hits were home runs, and two came from longtime Rangers farmhand Ian Gac. The 25-year-old Gac now has 13 round-trippers on the season.

Things fell apart when sidearming righty Johan Yan entered the game. Yan, who has been dominant most of the season, coughed up four runs on three hits and two walks (one intentional) in one inning. He gave up the walkoff three-run homer to Gac with two outs in the eighth.

All five of the Pelicans' hits were singles. They came from Leury Garcia (1/4), Ryan Strausborger (1/4), Jared Prince (1/4), Santiago Chirino (1/4) and David Paisano (1/4).

Jared Hoying, Mike Olt and Zach Zaneski were all hitless, but they also drew two walks apiece.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Erlin
6.2 3 2 2 0 9 2 2.22

A+: Myrtle Beach 6 – (@) Winston-Salem 4 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Gomez (1-1)
SV - Osborne (1)
HR - Bolden (2)
24-15, 2.0 GU

Spot starter Kenny Gomez (2.16 ERA/.233 BAA) gave the Pelicans five scoreless innings, as he scattered four singles and struck out one without walking a batter.

First baseman Jared Bolden (.277/.292/.532 in May) provided the big blow with a three-run homer––his second––in the top of the sixth inning.

Jared Hoying (2/3, 2B, BB) and Brett Nicholas (1/2, 2B, BB) both doubled.

After getting out to a slow start, Hoying is batting .310/.423/.500 in May with 11 walks and 12 strikeouts in 17 contests.

The game got a little too close for comfort when left-hander Kasey Kiker (8.03 ERA/.265 BAA) allowed four runs while recording only two outs in the seventh inning. Kiker gave up only one hit but walked three batters. He has issued 20 free passes in 12.1 innings this season.

Player of the Game: 1B Jared Bolden
3 1 2 0 1 3 0 1 .250

A: Hickory 2 – Greensboro 3 (7 innings – Game 1)
L - Grimm (2-1)

Justin Grimm (2.93 ERA/.224 BAA) suffered his first professional loss after he allowed three runs (two earned) in five innings. The 22-year-old gave up seven hits while walking three and striking out four.

Righty Cody Buckel (3.60 ERA/.316 BAA), the Rangers' second-round pick in last year's MLB Draft, retired six of the seven batters he faced in two innings, allowing just a walk and striking out three.

Buckel has worked scoreless ball over each of his last three outings, totaling six frames.

Leadoff man and shortstop Jurickson Profar raised his average to .235 by going 1-for-3 with a double. He also drew a walk and struck out once.

Second baseman Odubel Herrera was 1-for-3 with his seventh double of the year.

Andrew Clark reached in all three of his plate appearances, getting a single and two walks.

Suddenly scuffling third baseman Christian Villanueva whiffed three times in four hitless at-bats.

Player of the Game: RHP Cody Buckel
2.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 3.60

A: Hickory 5 – Greensboro 0 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Thompson (1-2)
HR - Richmond (3, 4)
22-17, 5.0 GB

Right fielder Josh Richmond (.262/.358/.446) flashed his raw power in Wednesday's nightcap by belting a pair of home runs in three trips. The 21-year-old has notched multi-hit efforts in four of his last six games.

Starter Matt Thompson (3.67 ERA/.220 BAA) held Greensboro scoreless for 6.1 innings, scattering five hits, walking two, and striking out seven. Thompson also induced nine groundouts against only two flyouts.

After a slow start, the 21-year-old Thompson has now yielded two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five outings.

Odubel Herrera (1/2, 3B, BB) tripled, walked, and stole his 13th base of the year. Yefry Castillo (1/3, 2B) and Teodoro Martinez (2/4, 2B) both doubled.

Left fielder Jake Skole singled, walked, and drove home his 13th run of the season.

Reliever Colby Killian entered the game with two on and one out in the seventh, and he finished the game by striking out both batters he faced. Killian now has struck out 24 batters in 21 innings.

Former Rangers farmhand and Hickory Crawdads utiility man Joe Bonadonna, who was released over the offseason, batted second and played center for Greensboro. He is hitting .254/.300/.286 with four steals in 20 games.

Player of the Game: RF Josh Richmond
3 3 2 0 2 3 0 0 .262

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