Minor League Roundup - 7/9

Nick Tepesch continued to roll at Single-A Hickory, as he logged another seven-inning complete game on Saturday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action.

AAA: Round Rock 5 – Memphis 4
W - Tomko (5-3)
SV - Strop (6)
HR - Tracy (19), Butler (6), Diaz (3)

On a 99-degree night in Round Rock, the Express flashed some power by scoring all five of their runs on homers.

First baseman Chad Tracy (1/4, HR) launched a two-run shot to tie the game in the fourth inning. Then, in the sixth, Joey Butler (1/3, HR, BB) hit a solo homer to tie it once more before DH Robinzon Diaz (2/4, HR) added a two-run job later in the frame that put Round Rock up for good.

Express starting pitcher Brett Tomko improved to 5-3 on the season after he permitted three runs on eight hits in six innings. He threw 61 of his 97 pitches for strikes, fanning four without issuing a walk.

Lefty reliever Michael Kirkman bounced back from a poor outing with two shutout frames. Kirkman gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out four.

Pedro Strop worked around four hits in the ninth inning––giving up one run––to get his sixth save. The inconsistent reliever needed 22 pitches to get out of the frame.

Three of Round Rock's eight hits left the yard. Left fielder Brad Nelson (2/3, B) and third baseman Kevin Cash (2/4) both singled twice.

Shortstop Guilder Rodriguez, playing in his first Triple-A game this season, batted ninth and went hitless in three at-bats.

Player of the Game: C Robinzon Diaz
4 1 2 0 1 2 0 0 .333

AA: Frisco 5 – (@) Springfield 3
W - Bleier (3-3)
SV - Tufts (3)

Left-hander Richard Bleier stepped back into the rotation to take the spot of Martin Perez, who headed off to Arizona for the MLB All-Star Futures Game. And Bleier turned in one of his better efforts of the season.

The sinkerballer scattered seven singles over 6.2 innings, limiting the Cardinals to two runs (one earned) while fanning two. He threw only 78 pitches (55 strikes) and induced 13 groundouts against four flyouts.

Frisco's offense plated five runs without the benefit of an extra-base knock and after going 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position. Three of their five runs were unearned.

DH Jose Felix (2/3) singled twice and was hit by a pitch. Catcher Elio Sarmiento was 1-for-2 with two walks, raising his average to .284.

Engel Beltre, who is beginning to heat up a bit, singled, drove in two runs, and gunned down a runner at third base. Beltre will go back to center field on a full-time basis now that Leonys Martin is in Triple-A.

Righty Justin Miller gave up a run in 1.1 innings out of the bullpen. Tyler Tufts (1.72 ERA/.252 BAA) threw all six pitches for strikes in a perfect ninth inning––which included one strikeout––to get his third save. The 24-year-old Tufts has 30 strikeouts and three walks in 31.1 innings at Frisco this season.

Player of the Game: LHP Richard Bleier
6.2 7 2 1 0 2 0 5.51

A+: Myrtle Beach 7 – (@) Wilmington 6 (10 innings)
W - Yan (5-3)
SV - Ortiz (4)
HR - DiFazio (4)

Catcher Vin DiFazio pushed Myrtle Beach to victory on Saturday with his solo home run in the top of the 10th inning, giving the club a one-run lead.

The Pelicans' offense battled back from a 6-2 deficit after five innings, outscoring Wilmington 5-0 over the final five innings.

Starter Kenny Gomez (3.60 ERA/.252 BAA) had his second consecutive rough outing, as he was knocked around for five runs (four earned) in only four innings. The 23-year-old walked and struck out one apiece.

After Gomez, Ryan Kelly allowed one run in two innings. And then Ryan Rodebaugh (1 IP), Johan Yan (2 IP) and Joe Ortiz (1 IP) all kept the Blue Rocks off the scoreboard.

Rodebaugh, who was making his High-A debut, gave up a double but fanned two in an otherwise clean inning.

First baseman Jared Bolden doubled twice––giving him 14 on the season––and laid down a sacrifice bunt in four plate appearances. Jared Prince (1/3, 3B, BB, SF) tripled while David Paisano (1/4, 2B) also doubled.

Middle infielders Andres James and Travis Adair had three singles apiece in five at-bats.
,br> Ryan Strausborger had another tough night at the plate, going 0-for-5 and dropping his batting average to .280. He is just 6-for-37 with one double so far this month.

Player of the Game: C Vin DiFazio
4 1 1 0 1 1 1 1 .219

A: Hickory 6 – Lexington 2 (7 innings – Game 1)
W - McBride (1-1)

The first game of Saturday's doubleheader was actually a continuation of Friday's second game, which was suspended due to rain in the third inning.

On Friday, right-hander Roman Mendez worked three innings of one-hit, shutout ball, walking two and striking out four. Mendez didn't return the following day. Righty Nick McBride took over and gave up two runs in three innings, as he got his first victory of the season.

?Third baseman Christian Villanueva (2/3, 2B) and right fielder Josh Richmond (2/3, 2B) both singled and doubled. Richmond hit his 24th double while Villanueva got his 21st.

Joe Van Meter tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning to close out the game, dropping his earned-run average to 2.61.

Player of the Game: RHP Roman Mendez
3.0 1 0 0 2 4 0 4.17

A: Hickory 6 – Lexington 1 (7 innings – Game 2)
W - Tepesch (5-3)
HR - Clark (4)

Starting pitcher Nick Tepesch (3.12 ERA/.267 BAA) has quickly come perhaps the hottest arm in the Rangers' organization. The 22-year-old twirled his second seven-inning complete game in as many starts on Saturday. Tepesch allowed one run while scattering eight hits. He struck out seven, didn't issue a walk, and induced nine groundouts against one flyout.

While Tepesch doesn't have great strikeout numbers for the season, he has missed more bats since the beginning of June. His line in eight starts since June 1––49.1 ip, 44 h, 12 er, 10 bb, 46 k.

Cleanup hitter Andrew Clark's two-run homer in the second inning gave Hickory the only support Tepesch would need. The long ball was his fourth of the season, and he also drew a free pass.

Teodoro Martinez (1/4, 2B), Jhonny Gomez (1/2, 2B, BB) and Kellin Deglan (1/3, 2B) all doubled. Martinez stole his 15th base of the season.

Left fielder Jake Skole singled, walked, and stole his 13th base.

All nine of Hickory's position players had exactly one hit.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Tepesch
7.0 8 1 1 0 7 0 3.12

SSA: Spokane 1 – Vancouver 2
L - S. Perez (3-1)

The Indians managed only three hits in Saturday's series opener against the Blue Jays affiliate Vancouver Canadians. Centerfielder Zach Cone did most of the damage, going 2-for-3 with his seventh double, a walk, and his seventh stolen base.

Edwin Garcia (1/4) singled for the only other knock.

While right fielder Guillermo Pimentel was 0-for-3 with a walk, he did steal two bases to give him four on the summer.

Starting pitcher Santo Perez suffered his first loss after permitting two runs on six hits (all singles) over five innings. He walked one, fanned three, and induced eight groundouts against one flyout.

Juan Grullon held Vancouver to one hit in three shutout frames, striking out for. Francisco Mendoza logged a perfect ninth.

Player of the Game: LHP Juan Grullon
3.0 1 0 0 1 4 0 2.50

RK: AZL Rangers 9 – AZL Diamondbacks 4
W - Castro (1-0)
HR - Swift (1)

The Rookie Rangers pounded out nine more runs on 14 hits during Saturday's victory. While the offense was good, the main story was arguably first-round pick Kevin Matthews and third-rounder Kyle Castro.

The left-hander Matthews hurled a scoreless first inning, giving up just one walk and getting one strikeout. Castro, who picked up the victory, worked around one hit in an otherwise clean second.

Third baseman Jimmy Swift went 2-for-3 with a two-run homer in the contest. After the game, he was pulled up to Double-A Frisco in order to fill an empty roster spot for the time being.

Leadoff man Nick Urbanus raised his average above the .300 mark by going 3-for-5 with his third double. Centerfielder Jordan Akins was 2-for-4 with his seventh two-bagger.

One day after he hit for the cycle, DH Kevin Torres had a single, a triple, and a walk in five plate appearances.

After Taylor Dennis battled with command and allowed four runs in two-plus innings, righty Arlett Mavare came in and slammed the door. Mavare worked four innings of no-hit ball, keeping the D-Backs off the scoreboard. He walked one, plunked one, and struck out four.

Jerad Eickhoff closed it out by retiring all three batters he faced in the ninth.

Player of the Game: RHP Arlett Mavare
4.0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0.56

DSL: DSL Rangers 7 – DSL Marlins 2
W - Fandino (1-0)

Leadoff hitter Chris Garia continued to get on base at a high rate, and he even hit for some power on Saturday. The Curacao native went 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, and a base on balls.

Third baseman Elio Castillo (2/3, 2B, BB) singled, doubled, walked, and knocked in three runs. Smerling Lantigua (2/4) and Jose Gonzalez (2/4) both singled twice.

Starting pitcher Nerfy Nunez worked around four walks and two hits in 3.1 innings, allowing an unearned run. He fanned three.

Dennys Montero (2.1 IP) and Geuris Grullon (1 IP) finished off the ‘W' with 3.1 total innings of no-hit, scoreless relief. Grullon worked a perfect ninth, getting one strikeout.

Player of the Game: CF Chris Garia
4 2 2 1 0 0 1 0 .312

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