L - McClung (2-1)
HR - Davis (6)
27-19, 0.5 GU
Not many things went well for the Express on Wednesday evening, but third baseman Chris Davis impressed by launching a solo homer––his second in as many games since returning to the minors. It was his only hit in four trips.
Starting pitcher Seth McClung suffered his first loss after he yielded five runs over four innings pitched. The big veteran gave up six hits, walked four, uncorked three wild pitches, and struck out three.
Beau Jones (4.02 ERA/.328 BAA) worked a pair of no-hit, shutout relief innings, walking one and striking out two.
Righty Ryan Tucker issued three walks and allowed three hits in one-plus innings out of the ‘pen, but he managed to allow just one run. Cody Eppley, who put out the fire, gave up a run in two frames.
Right fielder Doug Deeds (.285/.328/.496) went 3-for-4 with his seventh double and his 20th RBI in 32 games on the year. DH Chad Tracy, who was 2-for-4, also doubled.
Kevin Cash raised his average to .225 with a pair of singles in four trips.
Joey Butler, who had little-to-no center field experience coming into the season, played his sixth consecutive game in center for the Express. The club is desperate for outfielders with both Craig Gentry and Endy Chavez in the major leagues.
L - Bleier (0-2)
23-22, 8.0 GB
Left-hander Richard Bleier retired the first 10 batters of the game and started his outing with four scoreless innings. But things unraveled for him in the fifth, sixth, and seventh.
Overall, Bleier surrendered six runs on nine hits––all singles––over six-plus innings. The sinkerballer induced 12 groundouts and two flyouts, but many of the ground balls began to find holes in the later innings.
Scuffling right fielder Engel Beltre broke out of a slump by going 2-for-3 with his second double of the season, raising his batting average to .238. Left fielder Mike Bianucci, who was 1-for-4, also added a two-bagger.
Renny Osuna (1/4) and Jose Felix (1/3) had Frisco's only other hits.
Right-handed relievers Mike Perconte (2 IP) and Tyler Tufts (1 IP) combined for three shutout frames. The two threw 23 strikes out of 31 total pitches.
Between High-A and Double-A, Tufts has posted a 2.18 ERA while striking out 20 and walking two in 20.2 innings.
W - Loux (4-3)
SV - Kelly (5)
HR - Strausborger (5)
26-19, 1.0 GU
Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger (.299/.362/.497) launched a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Pelicans an early lead. He also drew a walk in four plate appearances.
Strausborger has only one multi-hit effort in his last 20 games played. However, he has hit safely in 15 of those contests.
The run support provided by Strausborger was plenty for starting pitcher Barret Loux (3.40 ERA/.223 BAA), who matched a season-high with six scoreless innings. The 22-year-old allowed three singles while walking two and striking out five. He induced nine groundouts against just one flyout.
For the season, Loux has struck out 52 and walked 11 in 47.2 innings. He has also surrendered only one round-tripper in his nine starts.
The Red Sox got back into the game when they plated a pair of runs against righty reliever Trevor Hurley in one-plus innings. But left-hander Joe Ortiz (0.1 IP) and righty Ryan Kelly (1.2 IP) slammed the door with scoreless ball to finish it out.
Cleanup hitter and third baseman Mike Olt raised his average to .285 with two singles in four at-bats.
Shortstop Leury Garcia, who is hitting just .183/.194/.183 in May, moved down to the nine-hole in the batting order and singled once in three trips. Although Garcia generally makes plenty of contact, he has suddenly struck out at least once (and 16 total times) in his last 11 contests.
W - Thompson (2-2)
SV - Rodebaugh (3)
25-20, 3.0 GB
Crawdads pitchers Matt Thompson, Joe Van Meter, and Ryan Rodebaugh combined on a shutout of the RiverDogs in Wednesday's series opener.
Thompson (3.26 ERA/.228 BAA) worked scoreless ball for the second consecutive start, this time scattering six singles over 5.1 innings. He fanned seven without issuing a walk.
In the 21-year-old's first three starts of the season, he issued 10 walks in 12.1 innings. Over his last six outings, he has posted the following line––35.1 ip, 29 h, 7 r, 10 bb, 41 k. Although Thompson is walking hitters at a higher rate than last season, he has also been much less hittable. Sally League opponents got him at a .310 clip last season versus just a .228 average this year.
Van Meter (4.45 ERA/.225 BAA) worked around a walk while fanning three in 2.2 hitless and scoreless innings. Rodebaugh (0.70 ERA/.207 BAA) closed it out with a perfect ninth, recording two punchouts.
The 21-year-old Rodebaugh has struck out 30 and walked only five in 25.2 frames on the year.
Red-hot leadoff man Jurickson Profar (.275/.405/.517) reached in all four of his plate appearances, getting a single, two walks, and a HBP. He now has 23 walks and 20 strikeouts in 34 contests on the year.
Even more incredibly, the 18-year-old has a .452/.595/.744 slash line over his last 10 ballgames.
Right fielder Josh Richmond (.263/.348/.442) had both of the Crawdads' extra-base hits, with two doubles in four trips. He has 14 two-baggers on the season.
Catcher Tomas Telis (2/3, BB) and third baseman Christian Villanueva (1/3, SF) had Hickory's other hits. Jake Skole (0/2, 2 BB) and Kellin Deglan (0/2, 2 BB) were both hitless but drew a pair of free passes.
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