W - Brazoban (2-0)
HR - N. Cruz (2), Hamilton (1)
26-16, 2.5 GU
Both of the Rangers' rehabbing sluggers went deep on Saturday, as the Express belted seven total extra-base hits in the game.
Designated hitter Josh Hamilton was 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a walk. He also struck out. Nelson Cruz, who batted cleanup and played in right field, launched a solo homer for his only hit in four trips.
In five games between Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock, Cruz is 6-for-19 (.316) with a double, two homers, one walk, and one strikeout.
Starting pitcher Neil Ramirez (3.66 ERA/.231 BAA) had a bit of a strange start, throwing 92 pitches in 3.2 innings. He allowed four runs (three earned), giving up seven hits and striking out five without issuing a base on balls. Ramirez also uncorked two wild pitches and plunked a batter.
Omar Quintanilla (2/5, 2B), Brad Nelson (2/3, 2B, BB) and Joey Butler (2/4, 2B) all singled and doubled. Butler has caught fire since returning to Triple-A and is now hitting .292 with the Express.
Luis Cruz (1/4, 2B) and Robinzon Diaz (1/4, 2B) had two-baggers for their only knock in four plate appearances.
Diaz and the pitching staff had trouble with the Colorado Springs lineup––the Sky Sox swiped five bases without getting caught in the game.
The Round Rock bullpen kept Colorado Springs off the board for the game's final 5.1 innings. Yhency Brazoban (1.2 IP), Michael Kirkman (1.2 IP), Yoshinori Tateyama (1 IP) and Pedro Strop (1 IP) all twirled scoreless relief. Kirkman, Tateyama, and Strop retired the game's final 11 hitters.
Kirkman (5.60 ERA/.347 BAA) made a promising return to the bullpen, striking out four of the five hitters he faced. Strop needed only 11 pitches (eight strikes) to complete a perfect ninth in which he struck out two.
L - Aguero (2-1)
22-20, 7.0 GB
The RoughRiders took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning, but the bullpen allowed a four-spot in the eighth before giving up a walkoff grand slam to Kyle Blanks in the 11th.
Although the relievers struggled, left-hander Martin Perez (2.31 ERA/.226 BAA) turned in his third consecutive strong start. The 20-year-old threw 90 pitches over six innings, surrendering one unearned run on six hits. He walked four and fanned six.
Perez has posted a strong line over his last three starts––19.2 ip, 13 h, 2 er, 9 bb, 20 k. Fellow left-handers are just 7-for-44 (.159) against him this season.
Leadoff hitter Leonys Martin was 3-for-6 with a double and his fifth stolen base in nine attempts. Tom Mendonca (2/4, 2B, BB) and Davis Stoneburner (1/3, 2B, BB) also doubled.
After working only four free passes in his first 35 contests, Mendonca now has four walks in five games.
Relievers Ben Snyder (1 IP) and Justin Miller (2 IP) allowed two runs apiece in three total innings. Ramon Aguero suffered the loss after he gave up the grand slam to Blanks. He walked four in 1.2 innings, and he has now issued 14 walks in 11 innings at Double-A Frisco.
L - Boscan (0-2)
HR - Hoying (4)
25-17, 1.0 GU
Wilfredo Boscan allowed three extra-base hits and two walks before recording his first out on Saturday, appropriately setting the tone for a game in which the Blue Rocks led throughout.
Boscan eventually settled down but yielded six runs in 4.1 innings. He gave up nine hits (four doubles, one triple) while walking four and striking out two.
Saturday's start marked just the second time Boscan has issued more than three walks in his 95 professional outings.
Pelicans leadoff hitter Jared Hoying (.269/.369/.433) continued his strong month by going 2-for-4 with a solo home run––his fourth of the season.
Mike Olt (.293/.406/.514) singled twice, doubled, and walked in his four plate appearances. The 22-year-old leads the Carolina League in on-base percentage (.406) and ranks fifth in slugging (.514). His combined .920 OPS is third––behind Winston-Salem's Ian Gac and Salem's Reynaldo Rodriguez.
Left fielder Ryan Strausborger belted his 11th double for his only hit in four trips. Jared Bolden raised his average to .252 with two singles in three at-bats.
After going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, speedy shortstop Leury Garcia is now 0-for-10 with seven punchouts over his last three games.
Left-hander reliever Chad Bell continued his battle with control, as he issued two walks and allowed three runs (two earned) in one inning.
Zach Osborne (1.2 IP) and Johan Yan (1 IP) didn't yield any runs to finish the game.
Myrtle Beach managed just one run in 6.2 innings against Wilmington starter Jake Odorizzi, who scattered seven singles, walked one, and struck out four. Odorizzi has a 2.28 ERA and 59 strikeouts over 43.1 innings this season.
W - Van Meter (3-0)
SV - Rodebaugh (2)
23-19, 4.0 GB
Hickory starter Roman Mendez (2.64 ERA/.239 BAA) was hit around a bit for the first time this season, as he yielded four runs on six hits (including two doubles and a triple) over 5.1 innings. He walked two and struck out six.
The Crawdads offense plated five runs on seven singles, getting the help of three Rome errors. Only one of the club's runs was earned.
Leadoff hitter Teodoro Martinez (.270/.308/.311) and first baseman Andrew Clark (.283/.412/.367) both singled twice. After getting out to a strong start, the 19-year-old Martinez is just 6-for-39 (.154) in his last 10 contests.
Second baseman and right fielder Alejandro Selen was just 1-for-4 with two strikeouts, but he knocked in two runs.
Christian Villanueva (1/2, 2 BB) and Jhonny Gomez (1/3, BB) had the other hits.
Right-handed relievers Joe Van Meter (4.74 ERA/.246 BAA) and Ryan Rodebaugh (0.73 ERA/.213 BAA) held the Braves off the scoreboard for the final 3.2 innings. Van Meter fanned two in 2.2 scoreless frames while Rodebaugh struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Rodebaugh, 22, has permitted only two runs (while walking five and striking out 28) in 24.2 innings in the season at Single-A Hickory.
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