Minor League Roundup - 7/3

While there were three late-inning victories in the Texas Rangers' organization on Sunday, Spokane lefty Victor Payano stole the show by striking out nine and yielding one hit over six scoreless innings. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 9 – Nashville 6
W - Phillips (1-3)
49-34, 6.0 GU

The Express reached 15 games above .500––and a five-game winning streak––after more late-inning heroics from rehabbing slugger Mike Napoli. On Sunday, he belted a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Just one day prior, Napoli hit a game-tying three-run bomb with two outs in the ninth. He now has three homers in his last two games, and he's expected to be activated with the Rangers prior to Monday night's game.

Left-hander Zach Jackson (5.61 ERA/.300 BAA) kept Round Rock in the game early, as he worked 5.1 innings and yielded three runs. He walked two and struck out two.

Every Express hitter had at least one hit––except for first baseman Chad Tracy, who was 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a walk.

Leadoff man Julio Borbon appears to be pushing for a return to the majors. He went 3-for-4 with two triples, a walk, and two RBI. The 25-year-old speedster got out to a poor start in Triple-A, but he is now 14-for-34 (.418) with three doubles, two triples, five walks, and only three strikeouts over his last eight contests.

Esteban German (3/4, 2B) and Joey Butler (1/2, 2B, 2 BB) both reached three times and doubled once.

Cleanup-hitting left fielder Chris Davis had a single, a walk, and a strikeout in four plate appearances. He's slugging .838 with 43 whiffs in 36 Triple-A games.

Before Napoli hit the walkoff homer, hard-throwing reliever Pedro Strop actually blew the save by allowing two runs in the top of the ninth. Strop gave up two runs (one earned) in 1.1 total innings.

Napoli's game-winner came with nobody out in the ninth. It was preceded by a Borbon walk and an Omar Quintanilla bunt single.

Player of the Game: CF Julio Borbon
4 1 3 0 0 2 1 0 .268

AA: Frisco 7 – Springfield 6 (10 innings)
W - Castillo (3-4)
HR - Greene (9)
5-5, 2.0 GB

There were plenty of late-inning heroics from both Triple-A Round Rock and Double-A Frisco this weekend.

On Sunday, Frisco quickly erased a 6-0 deficit by scoring six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. They picked up the victory in the 10th on a walkoff single to center from Davis Stoneburner.

Stoneburner's game-winning hit helped rectify an otherwise forgettable night for him. He went 1-for-5 overall while committing a pair of errors at second base.

Frisco starting pitcher Martin Perez (3.19 ERA/.245 BAA) battled through command issues all night but ultimately posted a strong line. The southpaw threw 99 pitches (51 strikes) in five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on two hits. He walked four, uncorked two wild pitches, and struck out four.

Sunday's start was the first time Perez had faced the Travelers since he tossed a rain-shortened five-inning perfect game against the club in April.

The RoughRiders' offense had plenty of trouble against fireballing prospect and former University of Oklahoma hurler Garrett Richards. That is, until the eighth inning. Richards allowed five total runs in 7.1 innings of work.

First baseman Jose Ruiz (.291/.364/.466) singled, tripled, and walked in five plate appearances. He drove in three runs.

Renny Osuna (1/4, 2B, BB) added his 10th double while Guilder Rodriguez (1/2, 2 BB) reached three times.

Right fielder Jonathan Greene finished off the rally––and broke out of a brutal slump––by tying the game up with a solo home run. Before Greene went 2-for-4 on Sunday, he had 17 strikeouts without a walk or an extra-base hit in his previous nine games.

Jake Brigham (5.67 ERA/.264 BAA) worked long relief and allowed four runs (three earned) in 2.1 innings. The 6-foot-3 righty has now given up 11 runs (nine earned) in five innings since moving to the bullpen two weeks ago.

Corey Young (1 IP), Adalberto Flores (0.2 IP) and Fabio Castillo (1 IP) finished it out by keeping Arkansas off the scoreboard. Castillo (5.59 ERA/.234 BAA) was particularly effective, punching out two and throwing 10 of 11 pitches for strikes.

Player of the Game: 1B Jose Ruiz
4 1 2 0 0 3 1 0 .291

A+: Myrtle Beach 3 – (@) Lynchburg 5
L - Boscan (2-5)
5-6, 2.0 GB

The Pelicans were unable to recover from a rough first inning for the second consecutive night. After falling behind 4-0 through one on Saturday, Myrtle Beach faced a 3-0 deficit on Sunday.

Starting pitcher Wilfredo Boscan (4.57 ERA/.277 BAA) gave up a three-run homer following an infield single and a walk in the first inning. After that long ball, he allowed only one run and scattered five hits in 6.1 innings.

In the end, the 21-year-old Venezuela native surrendered four runs in seven innings. He gave up seven hits and fanned four while walking one.

Boscan opened the season with Double-A Frisco but was sent back to High-A after he allowed 20 runs in 22 innings over his first five starts. With the Pelicans, the righty has shown flashes but hasn't been consistent.

The offense had five hits in the game and went 0-for-9 with men in scoring position, stranding 10 runners aboard.

Middle infielders Leury Garcia (2/5, 2B) and Santiago Chirino (2/4) combined for all but one of the knocks. Jared Prince (1/3, BB) had the other.

Scuffling first baseman Chris McGuiness (.220/.335/.293) fanned three times in four hitless at-bats. The 23-year-old's slugging percentage has dropped below the .300 mark, as he has only nine doubles and one round-tripper in 44 games.

Player of the Game: SS Leury Garcia
5 1 2 1 0 1 0 1 .274

A: Hickory 7 – (@) Greenville 4
W - Killian (6-2)
SV - Van Meter (4)
6-5, 1.0 GB

Keeping with the come-from-behind victory theme, the Crawdads scored five runs in the late innings to pick up the win on Sunday.

Six of the nine starting position players logged multiple hits in the game. Leading the way was athletic second baseman Odubel Herrera (.288/.345/.402), who went 3-for-5 with his 18th double of the season.

The 19-year-old Herrera batted a brutal .176 in 25 games during May, but he has been red-hot for the rest of the season. Herrera batted .329 in April, .337 in June, and he is 4-for-8 through two games this month.

Tomas Telis (3/5, 2B), Andrew Clark (2/4, 2B) and Jonathan Roof (2/4, 2B) also added multiple hits and one double.

Roof's .160/.185/.200 performance in May killed his overall stat-line, but the utilityman has some raw bat speed and is 21-for-59 (.356) with eight doubles since the beginning of June.

Josh Richmond (2/4, BB) and Jake Skole (2/3, SF) had two singles apiece. Leadoff man Jurickson Profar singled, walked, and was hit by a pitch in his five trips.

Tall righty Nick McBride got the starting nod and surrendered four runs (three earned) on six hits in four innings. He walked one and struck out three.

Relievers Colby Killian (2 IP), Jimmy Reyes (2 IP) and Joe Van Meter (1 IP) slammed the door with five shutout frames to finish the game. Killian (3.67 ERA/.268 BAA) picked up his sixth victory and Van Meter (2.68 ERA/.197 BAA) got his fourth save.

Player of the Game: 2B Odubel Herrera
5 1 3 1 0 2 0 0 .288

SSA: Spokane 3 – (@) Tri-City 2
W - Payano (1-1)
SV - Mendoza (1)
9-8, 1.0 GB

The Indians had to hang on for dear life to get the win, but they held Tri-City to two hits on the night. Starting pitcher Victor Payano carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning.

Payano retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced over six shutout innings. The tall, lanky 18-year-old gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out nine. He punched out seven of the nine hitters he faced between the third and fifth innings, as well.

The Spokane offense was only 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. They also scattered 10 singles––without an extra-base hit––through the nine innings.

Second baseman Rougned Odor (.323/.373/.419), who is the youngest player in the Northwest League, had three singles and two walks in five plate appearances. Odor was born in February 1994.

Guillermo Pimentel (3/4), Edwin Garcia (2/3, BB) and Hirotoshi Onaka (1/3, 2 BB) all reached safely three times. Onaka has drawn 14 free passes in his first nine official pro games.

After left-hander Sam Robinson permitted two runs in two innings of relief work, hard-throwing Dominican Republic native Francisco Mendoza fanned the side in a scoreless ninth to get the save.

The 23-year-old Mendoza has intriguing stuff, including a fastball that can reach up to 96 mph at times. But entering Sunday, he had allowed 10 earned runs in 9.1 innings over his first five relief appearances.

Player of the Game: LHP Victor Payano
6.0 1 0 0 1 9 0 2.65

RK: AZL Rangers 8 – (@) AZL Reds 3
W - de los Santos (2-0)
8-3, 1.0 GU

Rehabbing right-hander Omar Beltre (spinal surgery) worked a scoreless inning against the AZL Athletics on June 30, and he pitched another shutout frame against the Reds on Sunday. Beltre loaded the bases with nobody out (double, single, walk) but got out of the jam with an infield popup followed by two swinging strikeouts.

After Beltre exited, Rangers' third-round pick Kyle Castro made his professional debut. The California native induced three groundouts sandwiched around an infield single.

Lefty Kevin Matthews, the club's first-round selection in this year's MLB Draft, also made his debut. The Georgia native surrendered a leadoff single but got a strikeout, a caught stealing, and a popout to third for the easy frame.

In between Castro and Matthews, righty Abel de los Santos worked four innings and gave up two runs, walking one and fanning five.

Third baseman Ryan Rua led the offense by going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk, and two RBI. Carlos Oropeza (1/2, 2B, 2 BB) and Kendall Radcliffe (1/4, 2B) also added a two-bagger.

Leadoff hitter Nick Urbanus went 2-for-5 with his first professional stolen base.

Player of the Game: 3B Ryan Rua
3 1 2 2 0 2 1 0 .417

DSL: DSL Rangers – OFF
20-9, 1.5 GU

The first-place Dominican Rangers were off on Sunday. They'll return to action on Monday against the last-place DSL Mets1 (9-20).

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