Minor League Roundup - 6/24

The Spokane Indians picked up a shutout victory on Friday evening while the rookie-level Surprise Rangers continued to flash some power. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 3 – (@) New Orleans 6 (9 innings – Game 1)
L - Hunter (2-2)

Friday's first game was the continuation of Wednesday's contest, which was suspended due to rain in the second inning.

On Wednesday, rehabbing sidearmer Darren O'Day tossed a hitless first inning. Then Tommy Hunter entered.

Hunter came back and finished his work on Friday evening. In other words, he picked up where he left off in the second inning. On both nights, he struggled. In the second, Hunter combined to face 11 batters, allowing six runs on eight hits and a walk.

The rehabber eventually settled down to retire 10 of the last 11 he faced on Friday. Overall, he permitted six runs on nine hits in four innings, walking one, fanning four, and throwing 76 pitches.

While Hunter worked a total of four innings, it seems likely that he'll be groomed to return to the majors as a relief pitcher.

Left fielder Chris Davis bumped his average up to .374 with two singles in four trips. Unfortunately for the Express, those two hits were 50 percent of the club's output. Joey Butler (1/4) and Kevin Cash (1/4) also had knocks.

Right-handers Mark Hamburger (2 IP) and Manny Delcarmen (1 IP) kept the Zephyrs off the scoreboard in the final three innings.

Player of the Game: LF Chris Davis
4 0 2 0 0 1 0 1 .374

AAA: Round Rock 2 – (@) New Orleans 1 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - O'Day (1-0)
SV - Strop (3)
HR - Nelson (11)
42-33, 0.0 GU

Designated hitter Brad Nelson (.264/.368/.480) put the Express on top with his two-run homer in the second inning. That would be the club's only runs of the game, but it was also all they would need. Nelson would later add a single.

Third baseman Brian Barden went 1-for-3 with his 14th double.

New Orleans starter Todd Doolittle was the hard-luck loser, as he limited Round Rock to two runs while striking out 11 over seven innings of work.

Express left-hander Zach Jackson needed only 47 pitches to complete the game's first four innings. He permitted a run on three hits and struck out four.

Rehabber Darren O'Day, who got the victory, threw 24 pitches (17 strikes) in a shutout frame. The sidearmer gave up one hit and struck out one.

Closer Pedro Strop finished the game with 1.2 scoreless innings to earn his third save.

First baseman Chad Tracy struck out in all three of his plate appearances in Friday's second game. Immediately following his hottest stretch of the season, Tracy has fallen into his coldest spell. The 25-year-old slugger is now 4-for-37 (.108) with 13 strikeouts over his last 10 games.

Player of the Game: DH Brad Nelson
3 1 2 0 1 2 0 1 .264

AA: Frisco 2 – (@) Corpus Christi 4
L - Webb (0-2)
1-2, 2.0 GB

Former Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb tossed a season-high five innings on Friday, but he was stuck with the loss. The sinkerballer yielded four runs on six hits, walking two and striking out four. He threw 53 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

The ‘Riders offense was only able to log four hits against the Corpus Christi pitching staff that included starter Ross Seaton.

Engel Beltre (1/3, 3B) tripled and Davis Stoneburner (1/4, 2B) doubled for the extra-base hits. Renny Osuna (1/4) and Jose Ruiz (1/3, BB) also had singles.

Lefty Richard Bleier, who came on in relief of Webb, punched out two in a blank sixth inning.

Tanner Scheppers threw 25 pitches in two perfect frames to finish it out, striking out one. His work went as follows––K swinging, groundout to third, groundout to first, groundout to shortstop, flyout to right, flyout to left.

Reliever Mike Perconte, who was recently released by the Rangers and signed by the Astros, worked a scoreless seventh inning against the team he was pitching for just last week.

Player of the Game: RHP Tanner Scheppers
2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00

A+: Myrtle Beach 5 – Potomac 4 (13 innings)
W - Yan (3-3)
1-1, 1.0 GB

Though Justin Grimm didn't have his swing-and-miss stuff on Friday––he fanned only one batter––he was able to get by with the quality start. Grimm worked six innings, giving up three runs on seven hits. He walked two.

The offense collected 16 hits in the game but stranded 13 runners on base, going 5-for-19 with men in scoring position.

Jared Hoying (1/5, 3B) picked up his second triple. Corner infielder Mitch Hilligoss led the offense with four hits––including a double––in six at-bats.

Jared Prince (3/7, 2B), Ryan Strausborger (1/6, 2B) and Zach Zaneski (2/6, 2B) also doubled. Prince's double was the biggest, though––his two-bagger was a walkoff shot in the 13th inning.

Leadoff man Leury Garcia had three singles, an intentional walk, and a sacrifice bunt in seven plate appearances.

After Grimm exited the game, Myrtle Beach got seven total innings of excellent bullpen work.

Kenny Gomez (2.36 ERA/.236 BAA) permitted a lone walk in two clean innings. Joe Ortiz (2.43 ERA/.205 BAA) followed by allowing one run in three innings. And Johan Yan (1.85 ERA/.210 BAA) finished it with two scoreless frames, working around three hits and a walk.

Player of the Game: RF Jared Prince
7 0 3 1 0 1 0 2 .269

A: Hickory 7 – West Virginia 5
W - Reyes (2-0)
SV - Rodebaugh (11)
1-1, 1.0 GB

After falling behind 5-0, the Crawdads came storming back with seven unanswered runs to claim the victory. They were helped out by relievers Ben Rowen (2.1 IP), Jimmy Reyes (2.1 IP) and Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP), who combined for 5.2 frames of one-hit, shutout ball.

Rodebaugh's earned-run average dipped to 0.47 in 38 innings this year. He hasn't allowed an earned run since May 19, a span of 10 appearances and 14.1 innings. He has also gotten the save in each of those 10 outings.

Luke Jackson didn't have his best command, and he surrendered five runs while walking four and fanning five in 3.1 innings.

Catcher Tomas Telis (1/4, 2B) hit his 10th double for Hickory's only extra-base hit of the game.

While no Crawdads batters had multiple hits, they did their damage on the base paths, stealing five bases (Roof twice, Skole, Profar, Herrera) without getting caught.

Jurickson Profar (0/2, BB, HBP), Christian Villanueva (1/3, BB), Jake Skole (1/3, BB) and Jonathan Roof (1/2, 2 BB) all reached multiple times.

Player of the Game: LHP Jimmy Reyes
2.1 1 0 0 0 2 0 2.55

SSA: Spokane 5 – (@) Yakima 0
W - S. Perez (1-0)
SV - Monegro (1)
HR - Nicholas (2)
6-2, 2.0 GU

Tall right-hander Santo Perez turned in the best start of the Indians' young season. The 22-year-old faced just two batters over the minimum in seven scoreless innings, scattering three singles and striking out five without issuing a walk. He also induced 11 ground ball outs.

Jose Monegro earned his first save by punching out four and giving up one single in two shutout frames.

Left fielder Guillermo Pimentel led the way with his perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a triple and a free pass. Catcher Jorge Alfaro (1/4, 3B) and left fielder Braxton Lane (1/4, 3B) also tripled.

Cleanup man and centerfielder Zach Cone notched his fourth multi-hit effort in as many professional games, as he was 2-for-4 with a double and his first stolen base. He also committed his first fielding error.

Trever Adams (1/4, 2B) socked his third double.

First baseman Brett Nicholas launched a solo homer––his second––for his lone hit in four trips.

Player of the Game: RHP Santo Perez
7.0 3 0 0 0 5 0 1.50

RK: AZL Rangers 9 – AZL Dodgers 4
W - Claudio (1-0)
SV - Strong (1)
HR - Edmonds (1)
3-1, 1.0 GU

Through four games, the Rookie Rangers are second in the Arizona League with a cumulative .883 OPS. They also lead the league with a .493 slugging percentage.

It's an incredibly small sample size, but last year's group––which had a number of speedy players with good hit tools––led the circuit in hitting at .299 but ranked last with just 12 home runs. They've socked four homers in four games this year.

Playing in his first official state-side game, Australian catcher Guy Edmonds went 1-for-2 with a homer, a sacrifice fly, a walk, and three RBI. While Edmonds has intriguing raw power, he had only two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 34 Dominican Summer League games last season.

Rehabbing centerfielder and leadoff hitter Leonys Martin went 0-for-3, striking out twice.

Starting pitcher Arlett Mavare fanned six batters over three scoreless innings, working around three hits and two walks.

Big Canadian right-hander Steven McKinnon, who signed for $150,000 as the Rangers' 32nd-round pick last year, allowed three runs (two earned) in 1.1 innings during his official debut. He walked one, plunked one, and uncorked a wild pitch.

Alexander Claudio (1.2 IP) and Phil Klein (1 IP) worked scoreless ball out of the ‘pen. Klein fanned the side in his inning.

Third baseman Drew Robinson had another strong game, going 1-for-2 with a double and two walks. He also stole a pair of bases.

Left fielder Chris Grayson was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple. Kevin Torres (1/2, 3B, 2 BB) added a three-bagger while Jordan Akins (1/4, 2B) doubled.

Akins has four extra-base hits in his first four games this summer. He had only five in 36 contests last year.

Player of the Game: C Guy Edmonds
2 2 1 0 1 3 1 0 .500

DSL: DSL Rangers 6 – (@) DSL Yankees1 11
L - Valdespina (0-1)
15-7, 0.0 GU

The Yankees1 moved into a tie with the Rangers for first place in the division with the victory on Friday afternoon.

Speedy centerfielder Chris Garia (.270/.400/.297) has gotten on base plenty at the top of the Dominican Rangers' order so far this season. On Friday, the Curacao native was 2-for-3 with two walks, two stolen bases, and two runs scored.

Shortstop Luis Marte (.352/.378/.408) was the big run producer, going 3-for-5 with a double and four runs batted in. He stole his seventh base but was also caught stealing for the fifth time. The 17-year-old ranks sixth in the Dominican Summer League with a .352 batting average through his first 19 professional games.

Starter Jose Valdespina, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound native of the Dominican Republic, dropped to 0-1 on the season after he yielded two unearned runs in two innings pitched.

Righty reliever Jorge de Jesus coughed up six runs in one inning, raising his ERA to 30.38. The 19-year-old had a 2.36 ERA in 34.1 innings with the club last season, but he has surrendered 19 runs in his first 5.1 frames this year.

Player of the Game: CF Chris Garia
3 3 2 0 0 0 2 1 .270

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