W - Strop (4-2)
SV - Eppley (5)
HR - Quintanilla (2)
34-26, 0.0 GU
Because of weather concerns, the Express and I-Cubs didn't resume Thursday's game as initially scheduled. They'll play that as part of a semi-doubleheader on Saturday.
But the regularly scheduled game was played, with the Express taking home the extra-inning victory and maintaining a share of first place.
The Express' bats showed off some gap power on Friday, belting six doubles and a home run out of 14 base hits.
Catcher Kevin Cash (.229/.331/.381) had the game-winning two-run double with two outs in the top of the 10th. He also singled, walked, and was hit by a pitch.
Third baseman Brian Barden, making his return from the disabled list, raised his average to .372 by going 4-for-5 with a double.
Chad Tracy (1/5, 2B), Brad Nelson (1/4, 2B), Luis Cruz (2/5, 2B) and Matt Kata (1/4, 2B, BB) all added one two-bagger apiece.
Shortstop Omar Quintanilla (.273/.365/.404) was 2-for-5 with a solo homer, his second in 25 games this season.
The 29-year-old Quintanilla, who is known more for his glove than bat, has 14 walks against only nine strikeouts in those first 25 contests.
Starter Seth McClung gave his team the definition of a quality start, as he limited the Cubs to three runs in six innings, throwing 60 of his 94 pitches for strikes. The big veteran right-hander walked one and fanned three.
Appearing in his first game with the Rangers' organization, former Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen surrendered two runs on three hits in one inning. He walked one and struck out one.
Pedro Strop (5.51 ERA/.333 BAA) got his sixth decision in just 13 Triple-A relief appearances. The 25-year-old worked two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out two to pick up his fourth victory.
Sidearming right-hander Cody Eppley gave up a run in the bottom of the 10th but held on for the save.
W - Castillo (1-2)
33-26, 7.0 GB
Robbie Erlin (3.26 ERA/.211 BAA) carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning––and then he didn't factor in the decision.
The 20-year-old southpaw retired 18 of the first 19 hitters he faced on Friday, with the lone hitter reaching on an error. Then, the first four hitters Erlin faced in the seventh went like this––double, double, single, homer. And suddenly Erlin and the RoughRiders were trailing by a run.
Still, it was an excellent start for Erlin against the top hitting team in the Texas League. He worked seven innings and yielded four runs on five hits, striking out eight without issuing a walk.
In his first three Triple-A starts, Erlin has struck out 16 and walked only two over 19.1 frames. He threw 62 strikes out of 88 pitches on Friday.
Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.295/.340/.535) broke out of his slump by going 3-for-4 with his 12th double of the season.
Renny Osuna (2/4, 2B) and Mike Bianucci (1/4, 2B) also doubled.
Righty relievers Ramon Aguero and Fabio Castillo finished out the game with one hitless, scoreless inning apiece.
Castillo was particularly solid, striking out a pair in a 13-pitch perfect inning. He has now logged seven consecutive scoreless appearances, giving up just one hit over seven innings.
L - Ross (7-2)
HR - Chirino (3)
35-26, 3.0 GU
Like Erlin, Myrtle Beach left-hander Robbie Ross (2.58 ERA/.233 BAA) also flirted with a no-hitter for awhile on Friday evening. And Ross ended up getting stuck with the loss.
While the defense was far from crisp––the Pelicans committed four errors behind Ross and reliever Ryan Kelly––Ross held the Indians hitless until there were two outs in the sixth inning. And that's when Kinston's Bo Greenwell laid down a bunt single to third base, breaking up the attempt.
The 21-year-old ended up working into the eighth inning for the third consecutive start. He logged 7.1 frames, yielding four runs––just two earned. Ross gave up six hits, struck out four, and didn't walk a man.
Second baseman Santiago Chirino (.271/.328/.361) isn't known for his power, but he went 3-for-4 with his sixth double and his third home run. It was the 19-year-old's first multi-hit effort since he went 3-for-4 on May 29.
Ryan Strausborger (1/3, 3B) hit his sixth triple while Mitch Hilligoss (1/4, 2B) and Jared Hoying (1/4, 2B) both doubled once.
L - Thompson (2-4)
33-27, 3.5 GB
Matt Thompson (4.07 ERA/.232 BAA) continued his strange battle with control on Friday, as he issued three more walks and uncorked four wild pitches in 3.1 innings. The Burleson native allowed four runs on five hits. He also struck out five.
Thompson has issued 12 free passes in 12.2 innings over his last three starts. He had walked just 10 in 34.1 innings during his previous six outings.
The bullpen was able to keep the Legends in check after Thompson, but the offense never got much going.
First baseman Andrew Clark (.280/.408/.360) was just about the only producer, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and a walk. Clark has just nine extra-base hits in 49 games this season, but he has also worked 31 walks.
Josh Richmond (1/4) and Jake Skole (1/4) had Hickory's only other hits.
Right-hander Colby Killian lowered his earned-run average to 4.09 after he hurled 2.2 shutout frames, working around three hits, walking one, and striking out two.
Joe Van Meter (3.62 ERA/.217 BAA) and Jimmy Reyes (4.22 ERA/.325 BAA) pitched one shutout frame apiece to finish the game.
L - A. Leclerc (1-1)
Starting pitcher Jose Valdespina began his outing with four scoreless innings, but things got out of hand in the fifth. Overall, the 6-foot-6 righty allowed three runs on six hits in 4.2 innings, walking and striking out two apiece.
The offense didn't get much going in the first game of Friday's doubleheader. Cleanup hitter and third baseman Smerling Lantigua singled twice in three trips, raising his average to .355.
Chris Garia (1/3) and Aneudy Feliz (1/3) also had singles. Garia stole his third base of the season.
The Phillies won in walkoff fashion by scoring a single run against Angelo Leclerc in the bottom of the seventh.
L - Moreno (1-1)
7-3, 1.5 GU
Although the Dominican Rangers were swept in Friday's doubleheader, they remain 1.5 games ahead of their closest competition in the division.
It simply wasn't the pitchers' day, as Luis Moreno (3 IP) gave up three runs, Richelson Pena (0.2 IP) coughed up three runs, and Jorge de Jesus (1.2 IP) surrendered four runs.
Mexico native and left-hander Luis de la Torre helped put out the fire by hurling 1.2 shutout frames, striking out two without issuing a walk.
First baseman Christefer Obispo went 1-for-3 with a double, his third of the season. Right fielder Esdras Abreu had two singles and his first stolen base.
Luis Cedeno (1/2, HBP) and Alex Gonzalez (1/2, BB) had the other hits.
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