W - Eppley (3-1)
HR - Tracy (16)
43-33, 1.0 GU
The Express regained sole possession of first place with the walkoff ‘W' in Saturday's series opener against Oklahoma City––the Rangers' former and longtime Triple-A affiliate.
First baseman Chad Tracy (.264/.350/.507) led the way offensively, breaking out of his recent slump and going 3-for-5 with a two-run homer. Tracy also scored the game-winning run in the ninth. After he singled, Esteban German (1/4, 2B, BB) doubled and Brad Nelson (3/5) brought him home with a single.
Both clubs combined to go 0-for-16 with runners on scoring position before Nelson's walkoff hit.
Rehabbing starter Scott Feldman turned in a third consecutive dominant outing with the Express. The 28-year-old threw 87 pitches over six innings, holding the RedHawks to two runs (one earned) on five hits. He fanned five without walking a batter.
Another rehabber––sidearming reliever Darren O'Day––had his best outing yet. O'Day punched out all three hitters he faced in a perfect seventh inning.
Corner outfielders Chris Davis (3/5, 2B) and Joey Butler (3/4, 2B) both singled twice and doubled once. Julio Borbon was 1-for-4 with a two-bagger and a bases-loaded walk.
Although Cody Eppley walked a pair in 1.1 innings, he kept OKC both hitless and scoreless before earning his third victory.
Righty Eric Hurley is scheduled to make his second start back from injury on Sunday evening.
L - Pimentel 93-4)
1-3, 3.0 GB
Carlos Pimentel (4.56 ERA/.270 BAA) breezed through the first three innings before running into major troubles in the fourth and sixth.
Pimentel, who allowed back-to-back homers in the fourth, yielded four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings, walking one and fanning four.
Lefty Corey Young put out the fire briefly. After plunking the first hitter he faced, he retired the next five in order. The 24-year-old southpaw has been excellent in nine outings since returning from a back issue that kept him out for over a month––10.1 ip, 7 h, 1 er, 3 bb, 9 k.
The Hooks put the game out of reach in the eighth, when Jake Brigham scuffled in his second relief appearance. He coughed up three runs on four hits (including a solo homer) in the one frame.
Leadoff hitter Davis Stoneburner (.293/.355/.470) has gradually emerged as one of Frisco's top hitters, and he has become an everyday player while doing so. On Saturday, the Virginia native was 3-for-4 with two doubles and a triple.
Since batting .188 in April, Stoneburner has posted a fairly dominant .349/.394/.543 slash line in a span of 144 plate appearances.
Guilder Rodriguez (2/3, BB), Renny Osuna (1/4) and Travis Adair (1/3) had the club's only other hits.
Mike Bianucci and Jonathan Greene both went hitless and whiffed three times apiece. Bianucci was ejected by the home plate umpire after his last strikeout, which came with two outs in the ninth.
W - Loux (7-3)
2-1, 1.0 GB
After a contentious series opener on Friday that featured a couple of controversial calls, Saturday's game got interesting before it even started. P-Nats manager and former big leaguer Matt LeCroy was ejected during the pregame home plate meeting with the umpires.
Myrtle Beach went on to earn the victory, peppering the Nationals with 17 singles and going an impressive 10-for-22 with runners in scoring position.
Texas A&M product Barret Loux (3.44 ERA/.228 BAA) gave his club six strong innings, scattering seven hits and allowing two runs. He walked two and struck out seven. Loux now has 81 strikeouts and 21 walks in 73.1 innings on the season with Myrtle Beach.
Jared Prince, Andres James, and David Paisano all singled three times. Prince had a perfect day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by pitch.
DH Jared Hoying (2/5, 2B) doubled for the Pelicans' lone extra-base knock.
Leury Garcia (2/5, BB) and Mitch Hilligoss (2/5) each had two base knocks. Garcia, who stole his 19th base, is batting .340/.398/.479 in June. This comes after he hit only .184 with two extra-base hits in May.
First baseman Chris McGuiness was 1-for-5 in the game. Although he has been slowed by injury some, the former Red Sox product is batting only .230 with nine doubles and a lone home run in 37 games this season.
In 16 games since returning from the disabled list, McGuiness has 15 walks but he is also 9-for-57 (.158).
Ryan Strausborger went 0-for-3, snapping his on-base streak at 31 consecutive games.
Trevor Hurley allowed a solo home run in two innings while Ryan Kelly twirled a 1-2-3 ninth to finish out the win.
W - Thompson (3-4)
HR - Selen (7), Deglan (3)
2-1, 1.0 GB
After Matt Thompson began the season with some uncharacteristic control issues, he appeared to get over them for a handful of starts. But the control problems have recently returned in a big way.
On Saturday, Thompson issued a career-high nine walks while uncorking three wild pitches in five innings. He was able to limit the damage, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits, striking out four.
But the walks are troubling. The 6-foot-3 hurler permitted only 23 total walks in 129.1 innings at Hickory last season. He has 41 in 64.2 frames this year, including 17 in 11.2 innings this month.
Though he allowed 13 base runners in the five innings, Thompson was helped out in some unique ways––runner cut down at home plate on a single, a pickoff, a double play ground ball––and that was in the first two innings alone.
Still, he earned the victory while the young Hickory offense flashed some power.
Third baseman Alejandro Selen gave Thompson an early cushion with his three-run homer in the first inning. It would be Selen's only hit of the game.
DH Kellin Deglan went 2-for-4 with a solo round-tripper of his own. The former first-round pick is quietly putting together a strong month, going 15-for-44 (.341) with six walks and eight strikeouts.
Josh Richmond (2/4, 3B) and Jurickson Profar (1/4, 3B) both tripled.
Catcher Yefry Castillo singled three times while Jonathan Roof went 2-for-4 with a pair of stolen bases.
Myrtle Beach native Ben Henry (2.45 ERA/.194 BAA) closed it out with two frames of no-hit, scoreless relief. The 22-year-old struck out two and walked one.
L - Hendricks (0-1)
6-3, 1.0 GU
Five Indians pitchers combined to allow 11 hits and walk nine batters.
Starter Richard Alvarez issues four of those walks. The Venezuela native yielded three runs (two earned) in three innings. He also struck out two.
Carlos Melo walked three more batters and gave up three more runs in 1.1 innings. The 20-year-old appears to have lost complete control lately, as he has the following line through three outings with Spokane––2.2 ip, 5 h, 10 r, 8 bb, 5 k.
Following Melo, Andres Perez-Lobo gave up four hits (three extra-base hits) and walked two in 1.2 frames, leading to a pair of runs.
Left-hander Chris Hanna logged Spokane's only 1-2-3 inning of the night. He did it in the fifth, getting one strikeout.
University of Georgia product Zach Cone tripled for his lone hit in five trips. Through five professional games, he is 10-for-26 (.385) with three doubles and a triple.
Brett Nicholas (2/4, 2B, BB) and Ruben Sierra (2/3, 2B) singled and doubled once.
Creighton alum Trever Adams raised his average to .320 with three knocks in four at-bats.
Leadoff hitter Hirotoshi Onaka was 0-for-3 with a walk and a hit-by pitch. Onaka is just 1-for-13 in five games, but he has drawn 11 free passes while striking out three times. That's a slash line of .077/.520/.077, if you're scoring at home.
W - Parra (1-0)
SV - Rijo (1)
HR - Leeds (2)
4-1, 2.0 GU
The Rookie Rangers traveled to Scottsdale on Saturday evening to take on the AZL Giants––and an old friend.
Starting for the Giants was 19-year-old southpaw Edwin Escobar, who was traded to San Francisco last spring in exchange for lefty Ben Snyder. Escobar, who has pitched the last two seasons between the rookie level and Low-A ball, gave up three runs in two innings.
Escobar allowed a first-inning solo home run to College of Charleston product Matt Leeds. Leeds went 3-for-5 on the day, raising his average to .364.
But the Rangers' star of the game was certainly left-hander Luis Parra. Making his second official state-side start, Parra worked six innings and limited the opposition to a run on four hits. The 19-year-old struck out eight without walking a man. He retired 16-of-17 batters at one point.
Ezequiel Rijo surrendered two runs on five hits in three innings out of the bullpen, but he recorded six strikeouts of his own. The duo combined to fan 14 Giants hitters.
Rehabbing centerfielder Leonys Martin got five plate appearances, getting one single, one walk, and striking out twice.
Third baseman Drew Robinson kept his average at an even .500 by going 2-for-4 with a walk and his fourth stolen base.
Guy Edmonds (2/5, 2B) singled and doubled––matching his extra-base hit output from the DSL last season in his first two games.
L - Nunez (1-1)
HR - Marte (1)
15-8, 0.0 GU
The Rangers lost to the Mets at the major league level on Saturday afternoon, and they also did so all the way down in the Dominican Summer League.
Despite the losing effort, shortstop Luis Marte (.368/.392/.487) shined, going 3-for-5 with two doubles, a homer, and four runs batted in. Over his last three games, the 17-year-old prospect is 9-for-14 with three doubles, a homer, and 11 RBI.
A talented 6-foot-1, 170-pound infielder, Marte is likely the top prospect on the DSL Rangers' club this year. The Dominican Republic native signed for a reported $215,000 bonus over the offseason. A scouting report and video of Marte from his November 2010 signing can be seen at this link.
Right fielder Jose Gonzalez, playing in his second professional game, had a triple and a walk in four plate appearances. Gonzalez is a 17-year-old switch-hitter from Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Alberto Triunfel (2/4, BB) singled twice and walked while leadoff man Chris Garia (0/3, 2 BB) walked two more times and added his 10th stolen base. Garia now has 16 free passes through 21 games this season.
Starting pitcher Nerfy Nunez worked five innings, yielding four runs (three earned) on seven hits. He walked one and fanned two.
Right-hander Angelo Leclec (0.00 ERA/.083 BAA) was the Rangers' pitching star of the day, hurling 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and fanned four without walking a batter.
Both Leclerc brothers––Angelo and Jose––sit in the low-90s with their fastball, bumping up to 94 mph on occasion. While Angelo's results have been better thus far this season, he is also about two years older (19).
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