Rangers Minor League Roundup - 8/8

Spokane pitchers Nick Martinez, David Perez, Juan Grullon and Matt West combined on a shutout of Yakima on Monday. Lone Star Dugout takes a look at all of the day's minor league action in the Texas Rangers' system.

AAA: Round Rock 7 – Tacoma 8
L - Hurley (6-1)
HR - Majewski (3)
68-49, 9.0 GU

The Express scored seven runs for the second consecutive day, and they also lost for the second consecutive day against the Seattle Triple-A affiliate.

Eric Hurley suffered his first loss and worst start of the season, as he was knocked around the yard for eight runs on 10 hits (including two homers) in 4.1 innings. He walked three and struck out two.

The Round Rock bullpen pitched well, but it was too little, too late for the Express. Lefty Beau Jones (2.2 IP) and right-hander Pedro Strop (2 IP) combined for 4.2 innings of no-hit relief. Strop was particularly impressive, fanning four without yielding a hit or a walk.

Cleanup hitter Val Majewski (.400/.446/.680 in 13 games) had only one hit on Monday, but it was a three-run homer––his third in 13 games with Round Rock.

Leonys Martin (2/4, 2B) and Chad Tracy (1/5, 2B) both doubled. Right fielder Joey Butler had two singles and a walk in three plate appearances, raising his batting average to .337. BUtler also stole his 12th base while Martin swiped his fourth in Triple-A.

Rehabbing speedster Craig Gentry went 2-for-5 with a steal. Gentry is expected to be activated from the disabled list in time for Wednesday's game.

Player of the Game: DH Val Majewski
4 1 1 0 1 3 1 0 .400

AA: Frisco 1 – San Antonio 3
L - Bleier (4-7)
HR - Bianucci (26)
22-22, 6.0 GB

Derek Hankins, who had pitched the entire season in Triple-A, made his first Texas League outing on Monday. The former Pirates farmhand surrendered only a single hit in five scoreless innings, as he walked one and struck out two.

Unfortunately for the RoughRiders, former Rangers prospect Robbie Erlin did a number on his old club. Erlin gave up a run on two hits in six innings, fanning nine without issuing a walk.

And true to form, the only run Erlin allowed was on a solo home run––from left fielder Mike Bianucci, who was 1-for-3 on the night.

Tom Mendonca (2/4, 2B), Engel Beltre (1/3) and Elio Sarmiento (1/3) had the other knocks. Leadoff hitter Renny Osuna struck out in each of his four plate appearances.

The ‘Riders carried a 1-0 lead into the eighth inning, but San Antonio struck back for three runs in their final two at-bats.

Suddenly scuffling reliever Jake Brigham walked four batters in one inning, throwing only 17 of his 43 pitches for strikes. He struck out three and allowed a run on two hits.

Brigham appeared to be turning a corner out of the bullpen recently, but he has suddenly walked eight batters in 2.2 frames during his last two appearances.

Player of the Game: RHP Derek Hankins
5.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0.00

A+: Myrtle Beach 11 – Frederick 5
W - Kiker (3-2)
HR - DiFazio (7)
21-22, 3.5 GB

It's no secret that the Pelicans' offense has scuffled of late––particularly since they lost slugging third baseman Mike Olt to a broken collarbone.

But Olt is slated to return soon, and Myrtle Beach busted out for eight second-inning runs on Monday.

Despite their recent struggles, the Pelicans are second in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League in both batting average (.260) and runs scored (492).

Starter Barret Loux lasted only three innings, as he allowed four runs on six hits. But he had plenty of cushion.

The Texas A&M product Loux was facing former Big 12 opponent Rick Zagone, who hails from the University of Missouri. The Pelicans tagged Zagone for eight runs in just 2.1 innings.

Vin DiFazio (.220/.395/.399) was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and two walks. Though he is hitting just .220, DiFazio has an OPS of nearly .800 due to his power and plate discipline.

David Paisano (2/5, 2B) singled, doubled, and drove in four runs. Jared Bolden (2/4, 2B, BB) and Jared Prince (2/3, 2B, 2 BB) also doubled while leadoff man Andres James belted his first triple of the season.

Centerfielder Ryan Strausborger, who appears to be heating up slightly, had a single and two walks in five plate appearances. He has hit safely in five of his last six games.

Player of the Game: C Vin DiFazio
3 1 1 0 1 1 2 1 .220

A: Hickory 9 – (@) Asheville 10
L - Reyes (6-1)
HR - Clark (12), Skole (6), Gomez (2)
25-19, 1.5 GB

The Crawdads and Tourists teamed up to blast seven home runs in Monday evening.

For Hickory, first baseman Andrew Clark (.311/.422/.480) extended his hitting streak to nine games by going 2-for-5 with a homer and four RBI. He now has 12 round-trippers on the season, including nine since the All-Star break.

Right fielder Jhonny Gomez was 2-for-4 with a double, a homer, and two RBI. Centerfielder Jake Skole also went 2-for-4 with a home run and a walk.

Kellin Deglan had a single and a triple in five trips. Odubel Herrera (2/5), Christian Villanueva (2/4, BB) and Alejandro Selen (2/5) all singled twice.

Starter Joe Van Meter served up three home runs in three innings, leading two six runs allowed. The Virginia native gave up six total hits while walking two and fanning one.

Hard-throwing reliever Francisco Mendoza (2.31 ERA/.225 BAA) struck out two batters while working around two singles in a pair of shutout innings.

In 11.2 innings with Hickory, Mendoza has allowed three runs on nine hits, walking two and striking out 13.

Player of the Game: 1B Andrew Clark
5 1 2 0 1 4 0 1 .311

SSA: Spokane 1 - Yakima 0
W - Perez (1-3)
SV - West (6)
6-7, 3.0 GB

Four Spokane pitchers combined on Monday's nine-inning shutout of Yakima.

Nick Martinez (1.50 ERA/.239 BAA) struck out seven batters in five scoreless innings, scattering five hits without issuing a walk.

Martinez, who turned 21 last week, has made 10 appearances (six starts) between the AZL and Spokane. In 37.2 innings, he has yielded 37 hits, walked seven, and struck out 39––leading to a 1.67 ERA.

Talented righty David Perez was sent to the bullpen after his recent control issues as a starter. But Perez earned the victory by striking out all three batters he faced on Monday.

Juan Grullon (1.1 IP) followed with scoreless ball out of the bullpen, though he ran into some trouble in the eighth inning.

Closer Matt West (2.81 ERA/.179 BAA) got out of a jam by getting a double play to end the eighth, and he posted a blank ninth with two strikeouts. The 6-foot-1 prospect now has 23 strikeouts without a walk in 16 innings this summer.

The Indians' offense plated its only run on a Guillermo Pimentel (2/3) RBI single. Jorge Alfaro (2/3) and Ruben Sierra (2/3) also had two knocks apiece.

Player of the Game: RHP Nick Martinez
5.0 5 0 0 0 7 0 1.50

RK: AZL Rangers 4 – AZL Royals 3
W - Williams (3-1)
SV - Dennis (1)
HR - Mendez (1)
27-12, 8.5 GU

Abel de los Santos (4.06 ERA/.244 BAA) didn't factor into the decision on Monday despite pitching extremely well. The Dominican hurler worked five innings and surrendered two hits (one infield single) without a run. He fanned five and didn't walk a batter.

The 18-year-old de los Santos has 46 strikeouts and seven walks in 44.1 innings this season.

At the plate, shortstop Luis Mendez (.288/.400/.384) was 1-for-2 with a homer, a walk, and three RBI. The round-tripper was the 18-year-old Mendez's first of his professional career.

Jeremy Williams (1/4, 3B) tripled while Guy Edmonds (1/3, 2B, BB) added a two-bagger. Edmonds has 14 extra-base hits in 20 games this summer, giving him a .597 slugging percentage.

Righty Taylor Dennis (5.94 ERA/.319 BAA) picked up his first professional save after he worked two innings and allowed a run on four hits. The 22-year-old has 16.2 innings this year, permitting 22 hits, walking eight, and striking out 23.

Player of the Game: RHP Abel de los Santos
5.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 4.06

DSL: DSL Rangers 5 – DSL Braves 3
W - Rodriguez (4-0)
33-23, 1.5 GB

The Rangers came back late by scoring two runs in the seventh followed by two more in the eighth for the two-run victory.

Starting pitcher Nerfy Nunez surrendered three runs (two earned) in 3.2 innings, giving up four hits and two walks without recording a strikeout.

The bullpen trio of Jose Leclerc (2.1 IP), Jesus Fandino (1 IP) and Ricardo Rodriguez (2 IP) kept the Braves off the scoreboard for the game's final 5.1 innings. Leclerc was particularly strong, as he didn't allow a hit.

Second baseman Luis Marte (1/5, 3B) tripled while right fielder Chris Garia (1/5, 2B) doubled. Garia also added his 27th stolen base of the season.

Jose Gonzalez (2/3, BB), Alberto Triunfel (2/4, BB) and Smerling Lantigua (2/5) all singled twice.

Player of the Game: CF Jose Gonzalez
3 0 2 0 0 3 1 1 .255

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