Rangers Minor League Roundup – 7/15

After busting out for 15 runs on Friday evening, the rookie-level Surprise Rangers have now scored at least eight runs in 12 of their 19 contests this summer. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's action in the Texas Rangers' minor league system.

AAA: Round Rock 6 – (@) Memphis 3 (7 innings - Game 1)
W - Hankins (6-6)
SV - Eppley (8)
HR - Kata (6)

Starting pitcher Neil Ramirez was pulled after 1.2 innings and 47 pitches due to some tightness in his right shoulder, according to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com.

Ramirez fanned three in 1.2 shutout frames without allowing a hit, but he also issued three walks and hit a batter.

Second baseman Esteban German had a perfect game at the plate, going 3-for-3 with his 17th double and a base on balls. He also stole two bases to give him 25 on the year.

Joey Butler (1/4, 2B) added his 19th two-bagger.

Left fielder Matt Kata gave the Express a rather comfortable league with his two-run jack––his sixth of the season––in the top of the fifth. He was also hit by a pitch.

Nine-hole hitting shortstop Guilder Rodriguez singled twice and knocked home a run in three at-bats.

Derek Hankins came off the disabled list and allowed three runs in 3.1 innings of long relief work.

Sidearming reliever Darren O'Day, who was optioned to Triple-A on Thursday, threw 21 pitches in a 1-2-3 sixth inning. He got a strikeout followed by two flyouts to center. Cody Eppley worked around two walks in an otherwise clean seventh to earn his eighth save.

Player of the Game: 2B Esteban German
3 1 3 1 0 1 1 0 .304

AAA: Round Rock 1 – (@) Memphis 4 (7 innings - Game 2)
L - Tucker (1-2)
HR - Davis (21)
54-39, 6.5 GU

Chris Davis (.364/.408/.827) launched a solo homer––his 21st in 41 Triple-A games this year––in the first inning. But that would be the only damage Round Rock's offense did to the scoreboard for the remainder of the nightcap.

Joey Butler (1/2, 2B, BB) and Robinzon Diaz (1/2, BB) had the other two hits.

The 25-year-old Butler doesn't appear to be slowing down much after his hot start in Triple-A. He is hitting .283 with seven extra-base hits in 13 games this month and has a .320/.379/.506 slash line in 68 Triple-A contests overall.

Since returning to Triple-A from the majors, catcher Taylor Teagarden is just 2-for-20 with three walks and 10 strikeouts.

Game two spot-starter Ryan Tucker allowed two runs in 2.1 innings of work. Michael Kirkman followed by doing the same––he gave up four hits, walked one, and struck out four.

Beau Jones (3.89 ERA/.287 BAA) finished it off by getting two punchouts in 1.1 hitless, scoreless innings.

Texas Rangers' top prospect Martin Perez is set to make his Triple-A debut against the Redbirds on Saturday evening.

Player of the Game: DH Chris Davis
3 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 .364

AA: Frisco 8 – Corpus Christi 9
L - Castillo (3-5)
HR - Greene (10)
12-8, 2.0 GB

The Hooks jumped out to a big early lead before Frisco came storming back to take the lead in the middle innings. But Corpus Christi's T.J. Steele launched a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to win the game.

Steele hit the bomb off RoughRiders closer Fabio Castillo, who gave up those two runs in one inning.

The 22-year-old Castillo is having an inconsistent campaign after being added to the 40-man roster over the offseason. He has a 6.48 ERA in 29 relief appearances. Over 33.1 innings, he has allowed 33 hits while walking 14 and striking out 24.

Left-hander Richard Bleier has moved between the starting rotation and bullpen quite a bit of late, and he went back into the rotation to take Martin Perez's spot. On Friday, Bleier gave up seven runs (six earned) in five innings of work.

The Frisco offense actually touched up lefty Dallas Keuchel, who ranks second in the league with a 3.16 earned-run average. Keuchel gave up six runs in 5.1 innings.

Right fielder Jonathan Greene (.298/.365/.467) had the biggest performance, going 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, and four runs batted in.

First baseman Jose Ruiz (1/4, 3B) tripled and drove in three runs. Mike Bianucci (3/4) and Renny Osuna (2/4) both singled multiple times.

Engel Beltre punched out twice in four hitless at-bats. The toolsy prospect is now without an extra-base hit in his last 12 contests, spanning 50 plate appearances. He doesn't have a non-intentional walk in his last 27 games––or 112 plate appearances.

Fireballing righty Tanner Scheppers threw seven of nine pitches for strikes––striking out one––in a perfect eighth inning.

Player of the Game: RF Jonathan Greene
4 1 2 1 1 4 0 1 .298

A+: Myrtle Beach 4 – Salem 3 (10 innings)
W - Osborne (1-2)
11-11, 2.5 GB

Making his return from the disabled list, Pelicans starting pitcher Justin Grimm (3.42 ERA/.260 BAA) worked five innings and allowed three runs, two of which were earned. The 22-year-old scattered five hits, walked one, and fanned four.

Second baseman Santiago Chirino raised his average to .282 by going 2-for-3 with his 12th double and a sacrifice bunt. Jared Hoying (1/4, 2B) and David Paisano (1/2, 2B, BB, HBP) also doubled.

First baseman Jared Bolden is now hitting .283 after recording three singles in five at-bats.

Travis Adair tripled for his only hit in five trips.

Myrtle Beach pitching kept the Red Sox off the scoreboard for the game's final seven innings. After Grimm departed the game, righty Ryan Kelly hurled three shutout frames, giving up two hits and striking out two. Native Texan Zach Osborne followed with two shutout innings, and he also struck out two.

While the 23-year-old Osborne went to a rough patch initially after he got to High-A, he has been solid in his last nine appearances––16.1 ip, 11 h, 2 er, 3 bb, 18 k.

The Pelicans won the game on catcher Zach Zaneski's walkoff single in the bottom of the 10th. It was his only hit of the night––and it extended his hitting streak to 15 games.

Player of the Game: RHP Ryan Kelly
3.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 4.76

A: Hickory 5 - (@) West Virginia 6
L - Killian (6-4)
14-8, 1.0 GU

The Crawdads touched up top prospect Jameson Taillon for five runs on nine hits in five innings on Friday, but they weren't able to turn it into a victory.

Nick Tepesch worked six innings and surrendered five runs (four earned). He gave up eight hits, walked two, and struck out four.

Leadoff hitter Jurickson Profar (.272/.381/.500) raised his slugging percentage to an even .500 after going 2-for-4 with two doubles, giving him 23 two-baggers on the season. The 18-year-old prospect also stole his 12th base.

Christian Villanueva (1/4, 2B) doubled while Odubel Herrera (2/4), Yefry Castillo (2/4) and Josh Richmond (2/4) all singled twice.

Centerfielder Teodoro Martinez singled, walked, and stole his 18th base.

Player of the Game: SS Jurickson Profar
4 1 2 2 0 1 0 1 .272

SSA: Spokane 2 – (@) Everett 8
L - Hanna (0-1)
14-14, 1.0 GB

Spokane fell behind in the first inning once again––this time it was with spot-starter Chris Hanna on the bump. Hanna struck out six in 3.2 innings but gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits.

Converted catcher Leonel de los Santos worked three innings of no-hit ball, but four walks turned into two runs allowed. Reliever Sam Robinson surrendered a three-run homer in the seventh with two of de los Santos' men on base.

First baseman Trever Adams raised his average to .344 with two singles (plus two strikeouts) in four at-bats. Second baseman Nick Vickerson was 1-for-4 with his seventh double.

Zach Cone (1/3, BB) and Brett Nicholas (1/3, BB) both singled and walked. Cone stole his eighth base of the year.

Player of the Game: CF Zach Cone
3 0 1 0 0 1 1 1 .289

RK: AZL Rangers 15 - (@) AZL Royals 2
W - Matthews (1-0)
13-6, 2.5 GU

After Friday's offensive outburst, the Rookie Rangers have now scored at least eight runs in 12 of their 19 contests so far this season.

Nine-hole hitting left fielder Jeremy Williams (.317/.396/.561) flashed some pop by going 4-for-5 with a double and two triples. The 24-year-old scored three times and drove home a run.

Catcher Guy Edmonds (.324/.351/.618), who moved up into the five spot in the lineup, was 2-for-5 with two doubles. The 18-year-old Australian has six extra-base hits in nine games this summer.

Kevin Torres (2/6, 2B) and Ryan Rua (2/5, 2B) also doubled. Shortstop Luis Mendez added two singles, two stolen bases, a walk, and four runs scored. He is hitting .360 so far this season.

The only runs the Rangers allowed in the game came against first-round pick Kevin Matthews. He worked one inning (the third), and both of the runs were unearned.

Third-round pick Kyle Castro, who started the game, gave up two hits in two shutout frames. He fanned one without issuing a walk.

Andrew Faulkner (2 IP), Kyle DeVore (1 IP), Alexander Claudio (2 IP) and Taylor Dennis (1 IP) finished the game with six blank innings. Dennis struck out the side in the ninth.

Faulkner, 18, is off to an excellent start in his pro career. The 6-foot-3 lefty has worked five hitless, scoreless innings over three appearances, walking one and striking out four.

Player of the Game: LF Jeremy Williams
5 3 4 1 0 2 0 0 .317

DSL: DSL Rangers 0 – DSL Giants 7
L - Valdespina (0-3)
24-16, 1.0 GU

The Dominican Rangers were shut out and held to four hits just one day after they were no-hit by the DSL Angels.

On Friday, starter Jose Valdespina (3.41 ERA/.233 BAA) suffered the loss despite pitching well. The 6-foot-6 hurler yielded a run on five hits in five innings, walking two and striking out two.

Anyelo Leclerc (0.38 ERA/.146 BAA), on in relief of Valdespina, was knocked around for the first time this season and gave up his first earned run. He worked two innings and allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits.

Second baseman Alex Gonzalez entered as a late substitution and doubled––his seventh of the season––in his only plate appearances. Chris Garia (1/4), Elio Castillo (1/3, HBP) and Anderson Jesus (1/4) combined for the club's other three hits.

The Rangers' offense ran into Adalberto Mejia, an 18-year-old lefty who signed with the Giants for a reported $350,000 prior to this season. He has a 1.01 ERA so far this year, issuing only four walks while fanning 49 in 53.1 innings.

Player of the Game: RHP Jose Valdespina
5.0 5 1 1 2 2 0 3.41

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