L - Hankins (5-5)
37-30, 1.0 GB
The Express lost despite allowing just one hit in the contest. The club carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, when Nashville centerfielder Brett Carroll led off the frame with a solo home run. That would be the only scoring for either side.
Rehabbing starter Scott Feldman had his best outing yet, working five innings of no-hit ball and throwing 73 pitches. He induced six groundouts and struck out five while walking two.
In a postgame interview with MiLB.com, Feldman said his surgically repaired knee has been "night-and-day" from his first rehab stint during his last two starts and that he feels he's ready for a return to the majors.
Righty Derek Hankins, who was recently moved back to the bullpen, gave up just the solo homer in two innings of work. He fanned four.
Beau Jones (3.25 ERA/.275 BAA) tossed a perfect eighth inning on 10 pitches.
Right fielder Joey Butler had his season-long hitting streak snapped at 16 games after he went 0-for-2 with a base on balls.
Julio Borbon (1/4), Omar Quintanilla (1/4) and Brian Barden (1/3) singled for the Express' only hits of the night.
Chris Davis played in left field once again and went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a base on balls.
L - Bleier (1-3)
HR - Mendonca (14)
36-29, 10.0 GB
Frisco hurler Richard Bleier (5.56 ERA/.316 BAA) got out to a strong start, retiring the first 11 batters he faced and allowing just one ball to leave the infield. But the 24-year-old had a rocky finish, and he ultimately yielded five runs on 10 hits in six-plus innings. He fanned four without issuing a walk.
Righty reliever Mike Perconte (5.40 ERA/.257 BAA) threw 13 of 16 pitches for strikes over a pair of blank innings.
While the offense didn't get much going as a group, third baseman Tom Mendonca (.329/.380/.593) stayed hot. The left-handed slugger was 1-for-3 with a solo homer and a walk––his fifth free pass in three games.
Over his last seven games, Mendonca is now 19-for-30 with five doubles, a triple, and two round-trippers.
Travis Adair (1/4), Mike Bianucci (1/4) and Engel Beltre (1/3) singled for the team's other three hits.
Former Frisco catcher Emerson Frostad, who was recently picked up by the Astros and assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi, had one single in three trips. He's hitting .206 through his first 10 games.
W - Boscan (2-2)
HR - Strausborger (7)
38-29, 1.5 GU
Myrtle Beach and Kinston both won on Thursday, keeping the Pelicans' division lead at 1.5 games with three contests remaining in the first half.
The Pelicans dominated the team with the best record in the Carolina League on Thursday with a strong all-around performance.
Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger (.310/.369/.500) bumped his hitting streak to 16 and his on-base streak to 27 with another huge performance. The Indiana State product sparked the offense, going 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBI, and a walk.
Strausborger now ranks fourth in the Carolina League with an .869 OPS. He has some intriguing tools, including good speed, a strong arm, and a solid glove in the outfield. And the 23-year-old has clearly remained consistent at the plate this season after an up-and-down campaign at Spokane last summer.
Starter Wilfredo Boscan (3.86 ERA/.260 BAA) continued to improve with just about each outing, as he turned in seven strong innings. The 21-year-old righty scattered seven hits, giving up one run, walking two, and striking out four.
Boscan has a 2.52 ERA in four starts this month.
Jared Bolden (2/3, 3B, BB) belted his fourth triple while David Paisano (3/4, 2B) singled twice and had his first High-A double. Cleanup hitter Chris McGuiness also doubled for his lone hit in four trips.
Leadoff man Leury Garcia went 3-for-5 with his 15th stolen base.
Relievers Joe Ortiz and Zach Osborne worked one scoreless inning apiece to finish off the important victory.
Myrtle Beach could potentially secure a first-half division title on Friday evening.
W - Jackson (2-1)
38-27, 0.0 GU
Hickory won, Greensboro won, and Hagerstown was swept in a doubleheader for the second consecutive day. The Suns are now two games out––chasing two teams––with three games left.
At 38-27, the Crawdads are mere percentage points ahead of Greensboro, though the two are virtually tied for first place.
Young right-hander Luke Jackson––the Rangers' supplemental first-round pick in last year's MLB Draft––came through with a clutch performance.
Jackson (3.20 ERA/.232 BAA) struck out nine of the first 12 batters he faced. He had a four-strikeout second inning, as Charleston cleanup hitter J.R. Murphy reached on a wild pitch-punchout.
The 19-year-old began to struggle a bit in the fifth inning, but overall, he permitted just one run in five innings of work. Jackson gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out a career-high 10 batters.
The Crawdads jumped on top with a three-run third inning, and they held the lead until the end.
DH Andrew Clark (.284/.420/.369) had the big blow with his two-run double. he also walked twice, giving him 36 free passes in 53 games this season.
Right fielder Josh Richmond, who has been scuffling of late, was 1-for-3 with his second triple and a base on balls.
Jhonny Gomez (2/4, 2B) and Odubel Herrera (1/4, 2B) both doubled.
Third baseman Christian Villanueva singled, was hit by a pitch, and swiped his 15th base of the year.
Ben Rowen and Jimmy Reyes finished off the game with two shutout innings apiece. The 22-year-old Reyes has 15 strikeouts against three walks in his first 13.1 innings.
9-5, 0.5 GB
A rainy day in the Dominican Republic caused the postponement of the Dominican Rangers and the Dominican Yankees.
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