Minor League Roundup - 6/26

Double-A Frisco left-hander Robbie Erlin recorded a career-high 14 strikeouts against Corpus Christi on Sunday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 14 – Oklahoma City 2
W - Hurley (1-0)
HR - Davis (16, 17)
44-33, 2.0 GU

Round Rock mashed its way to 14 runs on 15 hits to give starter Eric Hurley his first victory since July 14, 2008––while he was on rehab with Double-A Frisco.

Hurley missed the entire '09 and '10 seasons while rehabbing from both a right shoulder surgery followed by left wrist surgery. Then, in the first inning of his second regular-season start this year, he suffered a small skull fracture and a concussion after getting nailed with a one-hop smash.

On Sunday, the 25-year-old Hurley worked through some early struggles and ultimately yielded just one unearned run in five innings. He gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out three.

Hurley, who threw 50 of his 85 pitches for strikes, settled down from some early-inning wildness to retire 10 of the final 11 hitters he faced.

The Express offense socked nine extra-base hits in the game, including three in an eight-run sixth inning.

Left fielder Chris Davis (.374/.419/.862) went yard twice in five at-bats, driving in four runs. He now has 17 round-trippers in only 31 Triple-A games. The slugger belted 14 homers in 103 Triple-A contests last season.

Sunday marked Davis' fourth multi-home run game already this season.

Leadoff man Julio Borbon broke out of a cold spell by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs scored, three RBI, and his 11th stolen base. Brian Barden (2/5, 2 2B) also doubled twice, raising his average to .359.

Shortstop Omar Quintanilla fell a homer short of the cycle. In five at-bats, he had a single, a double, and a triple. He drove in three runs.

Esteban German (2/5, 3B) also tripled and swiped his 17th base.

Former Red Sox reliever Manny Delcarmen worked around five singles to post two scoreless innings. Pedro Strop struggled with his control in the ninth, walking a pair and throwing just 11 of 27 pitches for strikes. But he kept the RedHawks off the scoreboard.

Catcher Emerson Frostad, who played seven years in the Rangers' organization, was recently signed by the Astros and promoted to Triple-A Oklahoma City. As a Ranger, Frostad also played for the RedHawks in '08, '09, and last season.

Player of the Game: LF Chris Davis
5 2 2 0 2 2 0 1 .374

AA: Frisco 3 – (@) Corpus Christi 4
L - Castillo (1-4)
HR - Osuna (7)
1-4, 3.0 GB

Corpus Christi centerfielder T.J. Steele's walkoff homer off Fabio Castillo in the ninth meant that lefty Robbie Erlin was stuck with a no-decision despite his dominant effort.

In his sixth Double-A outing, Erlin fanned a career-high 14 batters over 6.2 innings. He allowed two runs (two seventh-inning solo homers) on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits were infield singles.

Erlin threw 77 of his 105 pitches for strikes and didn't go to a two-ball count until the fourth inning. The 20-year-old prospect induced 22 swinging strikes––nearly 21 percent of his offerings for the game.

Through 35.2 Double-A innings, Erlin has surrendered 38 hits while walking six and striking out 38. The home runs have been the primary blemish.

Because Erlin's height keeps him from getting great angle on his fastball, when he leaves it up in the zone, it can be hit out. He has allowed eight round-trippers with Frisco thus far. But his command still figures to improve, and he is also working on a two-seam fastball to help induce more ground balls.

The ‘Riders took an early 2-0 lead while getting three first-inning doubles from Davis Stoneburner (1/5, 2B), Tom Mendonca (1/3, 2B, BB) and Jose Ruiz (1/3, 2B, BB).

Mendonca's walk was intentional. As the season progresses, the slugger is clearly gaining a reputation around the Texas League. Three of his 10 free passes this month have been intentional.

Centerfielder Engel Beltre struck out three times but also tacked on his seventh double of the season.

Second baseman Renny Osuna launched his career-best seventh round-tripper.

Reliever Justin Miller (2.48 ERA/.211 BAA) hurled 1.1 shutout innings, giving up two hits and striking out one. The 24-year-old hasn't surrendered a run in his last 15.1 innings––a streak that spans nine appearances.

As previously mentioned, Castillo (6.08 ERA/.242 BAA) served up the two-run homer while recording just one out in the ninth. It was his fourth blown save and his fourth loss of the season.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Erlin
6.2 5 2 2 1 14 2 4.79

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – (@) Salem 1
W - Ross (8-2)
SV - Bell (1)
3-1, 1.0 GB

The Myrtle Beach team bus broke down en route to Salem on Saturday evening, meaning the club didn't arrive until 7:30 a.m.––before a 4:00 p.m. first pitch. But there didn't appear to be much of a hangover.

Pelicans starter Robbie Ross (2.67 ERA/.235 BAA) had an excellent outing cut short due to a seventh-inning rain delay, but he still picked up the victory.

Ross, who recently celebrated his 22nd birthday, held the Red Sox to a pair of singles over six scoreless innings. He fanned four without walking a hitter and retired 13 consecutive batters at one point.

The Carolina League is no-doubt a pitcher-friendly circuit that suppresses home run numbers. But Ross has served up only one home run in 84.1 innings on the season.

Third baseman Mitch Hilligoss (.264/.309/.363) led the offense with two doubles in four at-bats. The former Yankees prospect also knocked home a run.

Andres James (2/4, 2B) and Jared Bolden (1/4, 2B) also doubled while left fielder Jared Hoying (2/4) singled twice and swiped his seventh base.

Left-hander Chad Bell (3.77 ERA/.257 BAA) first off the game and earned his first professional save. The 22-year-old hurler permitted only a solo home run in three innings, retiring nine of the 10 hitters he faced and striking out three.

Over his last eight appearances, Bell has the following numbers––15.2 ip, 11 h, 2 r, 2 bb, 20 k.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Ross
6.0 2 0 0 0 4 0 2.67

A: Hickory 1 – West Virginia 3
L - Buckel (3-3)
2-2, 1.0 GB

Cody Buckel (2.57 ERA/.259 BAA) pitched well aside from a couple trouble spots during his five-inning start. The 19-year-old gave up three runs in four hits (including a two-run homer in the fifth), walking three and striking out six.

The walk total was a bit higher than normal for Buckel, but he continued to miss Sally League bats at a high rate. Through 42 innings, the former second-round pick has walked 12 while striking out 51.

The Crawdads offense scratched out a lone run on five hits in the game. DH Tomas Telis (2/4, 2B) and third baseman Christian Villanueva (1/3, 2B, HBP) both doubled and stole a base. Villanueva has 17 steals in 21 attempts this year.

Josh Richmond (1/4) and Alejandro Selen (1/3) had one single apiece.

Righty relievers Ben Rowen (1 IP), Nick McBride (2 IP) and Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP) kept the Power off the board through the final four innings.

Rodebaugh was once again particularly impressive, as he worked a 1-2-3 inning with two punchouts and lowered his earned-run average to 0.46.

Player of the Game: DH Tomas Telis
4 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 .304

SSA: Spokane 2 – (@) Boise 3
L - Kukuruda (0-1)
6-4, 0.0 GU

John Kukuruda worked through a career-high five innings on Sunday evening. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound righty surrendered three runs (two earned) while yielding four hits, walking three, and striking out two.

His sinking fastball induced 11 groundouts against two flyouts during the start.

A pair of Creighton products had the club's extra-base knock output. Left fielder Trever Adams went 2-for-4 with his second triple of the young season. Catcher Carson Vitale (1/3, 2B) added his first double.

Guillermo Pimentel (2/3, BB), Brett Nicholas (1/4) and Rougned Odor (1/4, BB) had the team's only other hits.

Cleanup man Zach Cone went hitless for the first time in his brief career, although he did reach on a walk and a hit-by pitch while also stealing a base.

Southpaw reliever Juan Grullon retired all six batters he faced––striking out one––in two clean innings. Closer Matt West gave up a single but fanned one in a shutout eighth.

In his first four ‘official' innings as a pitcher, the 22-year-old West has yielded two hits and fanned six without walking a batter.

Player of the Game: LF Trever Adams
4 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 .345

RK: AZL Rangers – OFF
4-1, 2.0 GU

The rookie-level Surprise Rangers got Sunday off. They will look to continue their three-game winning streak across the complex––against the Surprise Royals––on Monday night.

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
15-8, 0.0 GU

The Dominican Rangers were also off on Sunday. They're currently tied for the DSL Yankees1 for first place in the Boca Chica South Division.

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