Minor League Roundup - 6/21

The Texas Rangers' two A-ball circuits played their All-Star Game on Tuesday evening while the Spokane Indians plated 15 runs for the second consecutive game. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock – (@) New Orleans – Suspended (Rain)
40-31, 1.5 GB

Tuesday's contest between the Express and Zephyrs was suspended in the third inning due to rain. They'll complete the game at 5:00 p.m. Central on Thursday before playing the regularly scheduled game. At the time it was suspended, Round Rock led 2-0 and had a solo home run from shortstop Omar Quintanilla. Rehabbing right-hander Scott Feldman tossed two scoreless innings on 30 pitches.

AA: Frisco 9 – Midland 10
L - Aguero (2-2)
HR - Sarmiento (3)
40-30, 9.0 GB

After falling behind 9-0, the RoughRiders came back to tie the game with four runs in the sixth inning followed by a five-run seventh.

Backup catcher Elio Sarmiento (.225/.276/.451) had two of the club's biggest hits in the come-from-behind attempt. Sarmiento launched a three-run homer in the sixth before knocking a two-run double in the next frame. He was thrown out trying to stretch the two-bagger into a triple, ending the threat.

Then, after Frisco had come all the way back to tie the game, reliever Ramon Aguero coughed up a solo home run with two outs in the eighth. It would be the last scoring of the game, giving Midland the victory.

Sinkerballing lefty Richard Bleier struggled in his start, surrendering eight runs on 12 hits over five innings, walking three and striking out two.

Aguero (8.18 ERA/.295 BAA) threw a whopping 54 pitches in 2.2 innings out of the bullpen. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out two.

The Rangers claimed the 26-year-old Aguero off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this season. They've since removed him from the 40-man roster. In 22 innings at Double-A Frisco, Aguero has allowed 23 hits, walked 21, and struck out 17––leading to an 8.18 ERA. Just as importantly, his former mid-to-upper 90s velocity has dipped into the low-90s.

Aguero has also allowed at least one earned run in eight of his last nine appearances out of the RoughRiders' bullpen.

Adalberto Flores (2.41 ERA/.208 BAA) finished the game by retiring all four hitters he faced, fanning a pair. He has sat down 21 consecutive batters, going back to his outing on June 14.

DH Mike Bianucci (2/4, 2B, HBP) and right fielder Davis Stoneburner (1/5, 2B) both doubled once.

Third baseman Tom Mendonca (.419/.480/.721 in June) singled twice in four trips, extending his hitting streak to 13 games. He was also hit by a pitch.

Renny Osuna (2/5) and Engel Beltre (2/5) also had a pair of singles. Beltre has now logged multiple hits in each of his last four contests.

Player of the Game: C Elio Sarmiento
3 1 2 1 1 5 1 1 .225

A+: Carolina League All-Stars 1 - (@) California League All-Stars 6

Myrtle Beach hurlers Joe Wieland and Robbie Ross both pitched in Tuesday's game at John Thurman Field in Modesto, Calif. But it wasn't a new environment for either player, as Wieland and Ross played in the California League––and in the same division as Modesto––last season.

Wieland got the start for the Carolina League and threw only six pitches––all strikes––in a perfect first inning. He got Gary Brown to fly out, Adam Eaton to ground out, and Jedd Gyorko to strike out looking.

Ross had a similarly smooth seventh inning, facing the minimum and throwing just 12 pitches. The southpaw got two punchouts sandwiched around a groundout to second base.

Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger batted third and played the entire game, going 1-for-4 with a strikeout. Catcher Zach Zaneski entered as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. The Rhode Island product grounded out in both of his plate appearances.

A: SAL North All-Stars 3 – SAL South All-Stars 6

Unlike in the Carolina League, the South Atlantic League's two divisions split up and play each other in their All-Star Game.

Right-hander Roman Mendez entered in the third inning, and he suffered the loss after coughing up five runs on five hits (including two homers) while recording only two outs. The hard-throwing prospect walked one and struck out one.

Luckily for Mendez, although it was an ugly game, it won't count against the stats.

Both of Hickory's position players in the game––third baseman Christian Villanueva and catcher Tomas Telis––entered as defensive replacements in the fifth inning. Villanueva went 1-for-2 with an RBI single while Telis flew out to left in his only plate appearance.

SSA: Spokane 15 – Salem-Keizer 8
W - J. Grullon (2-0)
4-1, 1.0 GU

The Indians were fueled by a seven-run fifth inning followed by a six-run outburst in the sixth. In the end, they had crossed home plate 15 times for the second consecutive game.

They were 9-for-14 with men in scoring position and, despite all the base runners, stranded only five on base. All nine starters had at least one hit in the game.

First baseman Trever Adams, batting at the bottom of the lineup, led the way by going 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and three RBI. Second baseman Rougned Odor was 3-for-5 with a triple of his own.

DH Brett Nicholas (1/4, 2B, BB) and LF Ruben Sierra (1/5, 2B) both doubled.

Making his professional debut, Rangers' supplemental first-round pick Zach Cone batted sixth and played in center field. He singled twice in five trips and knocked home three runs.

Starting pitcher John Kukuruda allowed two runs in four innings, giving up three hits, walking two, and striking out four. Lefty Juan Grullon earned the victory after he worked two shutout innings of relief, walking two and fanning three.

Carlos Melo's total loss of control continued out of the bullpen, as he walked four batters and plunked another in one-third of an inning. Melo allowed five earned runs in the outing.

The 20-year-old Melo has the following season line between Spokane and Hickory––23.1 ip, 20 h, 28 er (10.80 ERA), 33 bb, 31 k. While his control has never been plus, he walked only 31 in 58.1 innings in 2010.

Leonel de los Santos allowed an unearned run––working around two hits and a walk––in 1.2 innings. He struck out three. Dartmouth product Kyle Hendricks hurled a perfect ninth inning to close out the victory.

Player of the Game: 1B Trever Adams
3 3 2 0 0 3 1 0 .214

RK: AZL Rangers – OFF
1-0, 0.0 GU

The Arizona League season may be just a day old, but the entire circuit had the night off on Tuesday. The Rangers travel a few miles south to Glendale, where they'll take on the AZL Dodgers on Wednesday evening.

DSL: DSL Rangers 3 – (@) DSL Giants 1
W - Rodriguez (3-0)
SV - A. Leclerc (3)
HR - Abreu (1)
12-6, 0.5 GU

Four Dominican Rangers pitchers combined on Tuesday's gem, limiting the Giants to a single run on three singles.

Righty Dario Beltre got the start and allowed most of the minimal damage. He permitted a run in 2.2 innings, giving up two hits and walking two batters.

Then Ricardo Rodriguez (2.1 IP), Jose Leclerc (2 IP) and Angelo Leclerc (2 IP) combined to retire 19 of the game's final 21 batters. Rodriguez sat down all seven he faced while both Leclerc hurlers worked two shutout frames, yielding one base runner.

Angelo Leclerc, 19, has been particularly impressive early this season. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 11.2 innings, giving up only three hits. Jose, 17, is two years younger and has a 2.61 ERA through 10.1 innings of work.

Right fielder Esdras Abreu broke the scoring seal with his solo home run in the third inning. It was his only hit of the day.

Chris Garia (1/2, 2B, 2 BB), Luis Marte (2/4, 2B) and Smerling Lantigua (1/4, 2B) all doubled. Marte and Lantigua, both of whom are in their first professional season, are both batting over .300.

Catcher Fernando Vivili went 0-for-4 with three punchouts, and he has now struck out 20 times in 38 official at-bats.

Player of the Game: RHP Ricardo Rodriguez
2.1 0 0 0 0 3 0 3.12

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