Minor League Roundup - 6/14

The Single-A Hickory Crawdads continued to make a late push at a first-half division title with their eighth victory in nine games on Tuesday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 4 – (@) Nashville 5 (10 innings)
L - Strop (4-3)
HR - Davis (10), Kata (4)
36-29, 1.0 GB

Tommy Hunter made the third start of his most recent rehab stint––and his fourth overall––this time throwing 74 pitches. Although the pitch count was higher, Hunter lasted just 3.2 innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits.

The first three hits Hunter allowed were infield singles. He also walked one while striking out three.

Leadoff hitter Julio Borbon was 0-for-3 with a walk, a sacrifice bunt, and two stolen bases. In 11 Triple-A games, he is 9-for-42 (.214) with four doubles, six walks, 12 strikeouts, and eight steals in nine attempts.

Not surprisingly, Chris Davis (.364/.400/.857) launched a home run in his return to the minor leagues. It was his 10th in 19 Triple-A games.

Joey Butler (.336/.384/.521) extended his hitting streak to 15 games, going 2-for-4 with his 10th two-bagger. Doug Deeds (1/3, 2B) also doubled while Brian Barden (2/4) singled twice.

The Express tied the game with two runs in the ninth off former Rangers prospect Danny Ray Herrera. After Butler led off the 10th with a double, Matt Kata socked a pinch-hit two-run blast.

Round Rock ultimately lost the game in the bottom of the 10th when Pedro Strop yielded a walkoff single. He gave up just that run in 2.1 total innings.

Mark Hamburger (1.1 IP) and Beau Jones (1 IP) worked shutout relief earlier in the contest, though both had some strike zone issues.

Player of the Game: DH Chris Davis
4 1 1 0 1 2 1 1 .364

AA: Frisco 10 – (@) Midland 4
W - Pimentel (3-3)
35-28, 9.0 GB

Frisco has now combined for 23 runs on 36 hits in their last two games at Midland.

While the offense was solid, rehabbing starter Brandon Webb also turned in a successful outing results-wise. The former Cy Young winner tossed three shutout frames on 42 pitches, yielding one single, walking one, and striking out one. He recorded six groundouts and one lineout to center.

RoughRiders third baseman Tom Mendonca (.322/.367/.572) has been nearly impossible to retire of late, and he continued his streak by going 3-for-4 with a double and two walks on Tuesday.

In his last five games, Mendonca is 15-for-23 (.652) with five doubles, a homer, and 10 runs batted in.

Catcher Elio Sarmiento (.217/.266/.400) isn't quite known for his bat, but he fell just a home run short of the cycle. The 24-year-old switch-hitter had a single, a double, a triple, and a walk in five plate appearances. He also drove in four, nearly doubling his season total.

Right fielder Jonathan Greene raised his average to .310 with three singles in four official at-bats. He also worked a walk, stole a base, and gunned down a runner at third.

Jose Ruiz singled once and walked twice in five trips.

Right-hander Carlos Pimentel picked up the victory despite walking four batters and throwing 58 pitches in 2.2 innings. He gave up two runs on one hit.

Texas League All-Star reliever Adalberto Flores (2.78 ERA/.234 BAA) closed it out with 2.1 hitless, scoreless frames. He punched out four.

Player of the Game: C Elio Sarmiento
4 1 3 1 0 4 1 1 .217

A+: Myrtle Beach 1 – (@) Potomac 5 (7 innings – Game 1)
L - Grimm (2-1)

Justin Grimm cruised through his first three High-A outings but scuffled on Tuesday. After having early issues, the Virginia native settled down to retire 12 of 14 batters before struggling late.

Overall, Grimm worked 5.2 innings, giving up five runs (four earned). He allowed seven hits while walking three and striking out three.

Left-hander Kasey Kiker (7.32 ERA/.260 BAA) finished the sixth without allowing any further scoring. He walked a batter and induced a flyout.

The 23-year-old Kiker, a former first-round pick, has walked 27 and struck out 23 in 19.2 innings this season.

The offense didn't get much going overall, scoring only one run on four hits.

Catcher Vin DiFazio, who was 1-for-2 with a walk, notched his eighth double for the team's only extra-base hit. Ryan Strausborger (1/3), Jared Hoying (1/3) and Jared Bolden (1/2) all singled.

Shortstop Leury Garcia committed his 19th error of the season.

Player of the Game: C Vin DiFazio
2 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 .220

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Potomac 0 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Loux (6-3)
SV - Yan (6)
37-28, 2.5 GU

The Pelicans shrunk their first half-clinching magic number to three with the victory in Tuesday's nightcap.

Right-handers Barret Loux and Johan Yan came up big for Myrtle Beach, combining on a two-hit shutout in the seven-inning affair.

Loux (3.48 ERA/.223 BAA) kept the P-Nats off the board despite walking the bases loaded in the first inning. But he settled down and retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced, with the only knock being an infield single.

Yan (2.03 ERA/.204 BAA) picked up his sixth save after hurling two scoreless innings, but not before making it slightly interesting. With two on and one out in the seventh, he got a strikeout followed by a groundout to end it.

After a rough first game, switch-hitting shortstop Leury Garcia (.245/.287/.329) rebounded by going 2-for-4 with a triple and his 14th stolen base.

The 20-year-old Garcia is having a bit more trouble stealing bases in High-A ball. With Hickory last year, he swiped 47-of-56 in 89 contests. So far in 59 games this year, he has just 14 in 22 tries.

Ryan Strausborger (1/4) and Zach Zaneski (1/3) plated both of the game's runs with a pair of run-scoring infield singles in the third inning.

Player of the Game: RHP Barret Loux
5.0 1 0 0 3 7 0 3.48

A: Hickory 2 – (@) Asheville 1
W - Mendez (6-1)
SV - Van Meter (3)
HR - Villanueva (7)
37-27, 0.5 GB

Hickory continued its late push for a first-half division title, winning for the eighth time in nine games on Tuesday. The Crawdads are now just one-half game out of first place, though they're chasing two teams––Hagerstown and Greensboro––with five games remaining.

They finish up the first half with five games against non-division opponents.

Dominican right-hander Roman Mendez (3.62 ERA/.264 BAA) came through with a clutch outing, as he worked a career-high seven innings. The 20-year-old allowed one run while scattering seven hits, walking one, and striking out six.

Mendez had just one 1-2-3 inning in the outing, but he was able to work out of trouble and clearly threw enough strikes to keep his pitch count at a reasonable level.

All three of the game's runs were scored in the second inning. Third baseman Christian Villanueva (.279/.340/.445) plated one with his solo homer––his second in as many nights. He also singled and walked.

First baseman Andrew Clark was 2-for-4 with his eighth double while centerfielder Jake Skole (2/4) singled twice in four trips.

Skole has put together a nine-game hitting streak, batting .406 (13-for-32) over that span.

After Ryan Rodebaugh worked overtime on Monday, Joe Van Meter (3.16 ERA/.190 BAA) closed out Tuesday's contest with two shutout innings. The Virginia native has allowed only one run in his last eight appearances, spanning 15 innings.

Player of the Game: RHP Roman Mendez
7.0 7 1 1 1 6 0 3.62

DSL: DSL Rangers 7 – DSL Nationals 6
W - A. Leclerc (2-1)
8-5, 0.5 GB

The Dominican Rangers got back into the win column with seven runs on 13 hits.

Of course, being helped out by seven Nationals errors––on top of five walks––helps as well.

Mexico native and second baseman Ramon Urias was the offensive star, as he was 3-for-4 with his first double of the season. Designated hitter Fernando Vivili raised his average to .261 with three singles.

Urias' run-scoring double in the bottom of the eighth ultimately proved to be the game-winning hit.

Luis Marte (2/5) and Oswaldo Pirela (2/4, BB) both singled twice. Marte stole his fifth base and committed his third error.

Veteran left fielder Alex Gonzalez was 1-for-2 with three free passes and a steal.

The run support was just enough for the pitching staff. Starter Dario Beltre lasted five innings, surrendering three runs on three hits, walking one and striking out five.

Angelo Leclerc picked up the victory after he retired the last four DSL Nats hitters. The 19-year-old righty got two groundouts, a popout, and a punchout.

Player of the Game: 2B Ramon Urias
4 1 3 1 0 1 0 0 .250

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