Rangers Minor League Roundup – 8/4

Left-hander Robbie Ross turned in a strong six innings during his regular-season Double-A debut on Thursday while Hickory's Jurickson Profar was a perfect 4-for-4. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 2 – Salt Lake 6
L - Tucker (2-4)
66-47, 8.0 GU

Hard-throwing righty Ryan Tucker (5.06 ERA/.284 BAA), who recently moved into the Round Rock rotation, worked a season-high six innings on Thursday.

The 24-year-old allowed six runs––five earned––on seven hits, walking three and striking out two. He has yielded 15 earned runs in 23 innings during his five starts with the Express.

Tucker came up in the Marlins' system as a starting pitcher, and he made six starts for the major league club in 2008. He moved to the bullpen last season while pitching back at High-A Jupiter.

The Express' offense totaled 11 hits in the game, but they were all singles and the club went just 1-for-10 with men in scoring position.

Second baseman Matt Kata led the way with three singles in four at-bats, raising his average to .298. Esteban German (2/4) and Val Majewski (2/4) both singled twice in four trips.

Leonys Martin was hitless in five trips. The 23-year-old is batting .264/.326/.287 in 20 Triple-A games and is only 6-for-44 in his last 10 contests.

Relievers Beau Jones (2 IP) and Derek Hankins (1 IP) combined for three innings of hitless, scoreless ball to finish the game. The left-hander Jones has punched out 18 over 13 innings in his last nine appearances.

Player of the Game: 2B Matt Kata
4 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 .298

AA: Frisco 1 – (@) Midland 3
L - Ross (0-1)
21-19, 4.0 GB

Like their Triple-A counterparts, the Double-A RoughRiders didn't do much scoring despite logging double-digit hits. Frisco had one run on 12 hits, going 2-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Left-hander Robbie Ross picked up a by-definition quality start in his first regular-season Double-A outing. Ross made one start for Frisco during the Texas League playoffs last season, and that game was also at Midland.

The 22-year-old threw 91 pitches (59 strikes) in six innings, giving up three runs on six hits. He struck out six while walking just one.

After allowing two first-inning runs, Ross settled down and retired the side in order during four of his next five frames. He fanned the side––Matt Sulentic, Grant Green, Stephen Parker––with a trio of swinging strikeouts in the third inning.

The former second-round pick also yielded a solo homer to Jeremy Barfield, leading off the fifth inning. He allowed only one round-tripper in 123.1 innings this season at the pitcher-friendly Carolina League environment.

Corner infielders Jose Ruiz (2/4, 2B) and Tom Mendonca (1/5, 2B) both doubled once. Ruiz's two-bagger was his 27th of the season while Mendonca hit his 22nd.

Renny Osuna (2/5), Jonathan Greene (2/3, BB) and Jose Felix (2/4) all had two singles apiece. Greene also stole his fourth base of the season.

Sidearming righty Johan Yan threw just nine pitches in a scoreless seventh inning, working around one single. The 22-year-old hasn't surrendered an earned run since June 1 against Frederick––a span of 19 appearances and 30 innings.

Fabio Castillo worked a blank eighth, getting one strikeout and throwing 11 of his 13 pitches for strikes.

Player of the Game: LHP Robbie Ross
6.0 6 3 3 1 6 1 4.50

A+: Myrtle Beach 2 – (@) Kinston 3
L - Hurley (1-4)
19-20, 3.5 GB

Chad Bell (2.77 ERA/.220 BAA) will be taking over for Ross in the Pelicans' rotation, and he did a fine job while filling the spot on Thursday. The southpaw held Kinston to just a single run on three hits over six innings, walking one and striking out six.

Bell, 22, got off to a slow start this season but has taken off since a mid-season arm slot adjustment. Since the beginning of June, Bell has the following line––33.1 ip, 22 h, 5 er (1.35 ERA), 6 bb, 32 k. He had 10 walks and 12 strikeouts during his first two months.

After righty Trevor Hurley worked a scoreless seventh, he permitted two runs in the eighth, deciding the game and getting him stuck with his fourth loss.

The Myrtle Beach offense had just five singles in the game. They came from Ryan Strausborger (2/4), Leury Garcia (1/4), Jared Bolden (1/4) and Santiago Chirino (1/4).

Catcher Vin DiFazio went 0-for-2 with a pair of walks. Though he is hitting .216 on the season, he has worked 37 free passes in 51 contests.

Player of the Game: LHP Chad Bell
6.0 3 1 1 1 6 0 2.77

A: Hickory 8 – Hagerstown 1
W - Buckel (5-3)
SV - Rowen (1)
24-16, 1.5 GU

Leadoff hitter and shortstop Jurickson Profar (.292/.397/.504) had a banner day at the plate, going a perfect 4-for-4 with his 29th double, a walk, and two runs batted in.

The 18-year-old switch-hitting prospect ranks eighth in the Sally League with a .901 OPS. He is also fourth in doubles (29), third in triples (7) and seventh in walks (53). He has eight more walks than strikeouts on the season.

Starter Cody Buckel (2.76 ERA/.232 BAA) picked up his fifth win of the season while allowing one run over five innings. The 19-year-old righty scattered four hits, walked one, and punched out five.

Submarining reliever Ben Rowen (2.44 ERA/.243 BAA) earned his first save with four scoreless innings after Buckel. He gave up a lone hit, walked three, and fanned one. The sinkerballer induced seven groundouts without a flyout.

Braxton Lane (2/4, 2B), Alejandro Selen (1/4, 2B) and Josh Richmond (1/4, 2B) all doubled once.

Infielders Odubel Herrera (2/5) and Andrew Clark (2/4, BB) both had two hits.

Player of the Game: SS Jurickson Profar
4 2 4 1 0 2 1 0 .292

SSA: Spokane 4 - (@) Vancouver 1
W - Payano (2-5)
SV - West (4)
HR - Vickerson (1)
4-5, 2.0 GB

Southpaw Chris Hanna took over Victor Payano's rotation spot on Thursday, as the Indians' coaching staff moved the scuffling Payano into the bullpen.

The move appeared to work out for both hurlers. Hanna (4.40 ERA/.276 BAA) pitched four innings and gave up one run, working around three hits and three walks. He also struck out three.

Payano (6.95 ERA/.317 BAA) followed with two hitless, scoreless frames. The 18-year-old prospect walked and struck out one apiece.

Third baseman Nick Vickerson (.193/.338/.316) has struggled for most of the summer, but he gave Spokane a three-run cushion with his solo home run in the fourth inning. It was Vickerson's only hit of the game.

Hanser Alberto was 2-for-3 with his sixth double and a base on balls.

Hirotoshi Onaka (2/4), Trever Adams (2/4) and Yefry Castillo (2/5) all singled twice. DH Brett Nicholas was 0-for-2 but drew two walks.

In all, Spokane scored four runs but stranded 14 runners on base.

Righty relievers Kyle Hendricks (2 IP) and Matt West (1 IP) closed the game with three blank innings. West (3.38 ERA/.217 BAA) punched out one in a perfect ninth. The 22-year-old has 19 strikeouts without a walk in 13.1 innings this summer.

Player of the Game: SS Hanser Alberto
3 2 2 1 0 0 1 1 .248

RK: AZL Rangers 2 – (@) AZL Mariners 6
L - Castro (2-2)
24-12, 5.5 GU

The Surprise Rangers suffered a somewhat rare defeat on Thursday afternoon at the Mariners' spring training complex, but the club got solid work from first-round pick Kevin Matthews.

In the longest outing of Matthews' young professional career, the lefty worked three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out four. He also plunked a batter.

Third-rounder Kyle Castro got the starting nod and permitted three runs on four hits over three innings, walking two and striking out two. He also hit a batter.

Catcher Guy Edmonds (.314/.347/.614) was 1-for-3 with his ninth double––the team's lone extra-base hit of the game. Edmonds has nine two-baggers and four homers in 18 games this summer. With the DSL club last season, he had two extra-base hits (both doubles) in 34 contests.

Kevin Torres raised his average to .355 with two singles in four at-bats.

Player of the Game: LHP Kevin Matthews
3.0 2 0 0 1 4 0 1.50

DSL: DSL Rangers – DSL Nationals - PPD (Rain)
32-22, 1.0 GB

Every game in the Dominican Republic on Thursday was postponed due to heavy rains.

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